I first encountered the Ethique brand in its previous guise, as solid beauty bar brand Sorbet. I was intrigued by the concept from the get go, and seeing it transform over the past year or so into Ethique has been fantastic.
Essentially, Ethique is a 100 per cent solid skin and hair care company based in Christchurch. They proudly say they are “committed to making amazing-smelling, seriously bubbly hair, face and body bars using natural ingredients and minimal packaging”, are climate neutral and cruelty free and come complete with the slogan: give up the bottle!
The super clever Brianne West is the founder of Ethique, and started mixing up unique formulas in her kitchen way back in 2012. She wanted to create products that were fun to use whilst being a bit different, and she was adamant that she didn't want contribute to the massive amounts of wasteful packaging in the industry. Soon she wanted to take the business to the next level, so in June last year she and her small team ran an equity crowdfunding campaign. The firm raised its maximum target of $200,000, with 138 investors taking a 16 per cent stake in the sustainable beauty bar company. Clearly she isn’t alone in being concerned about the fact that New Zealanders throw out over 50 million shampoo and conditioner bottles every year. Each takes more than 500 years to degrade in a landfill and even those that are sent to be recycled might not end up being reused, and West has been determined to help turn those figures around.
She has now developed over 30 solid beauty bars in a collection that includes cleansers, scrubs, moisturisers, household cleaners and even a self-tanning bar. All are made with sustainable, naturally derived ingredients, and the fact that they are solid means they last for ages as they’re so concentrated – one bar can last as long as five bottles of its liquid relative. You can feel smug about opting for Ethique over other brands too as every bar bought helps them support their carefully chosen charity partners; SAFE, WSPA, Greenpeace & HUHA. Awesome!
So, what are they actually like to use? Well of all of the ones I have tried, my favourites are the cleansing bars thus far – and there are a few options. In Your Face is the pick for Oily-Normal skin, whilst the new-ish Bliss Bar is the pick for Normal-Dry. The real standout for me is the SuperStar! Cleansing Balm & Makeup Remover, which you could actually classify as a moisturiser too as it leaves behind a nice layer of hydration without being slick or greasy. It is created using a combination of cocoa butter, kokum butter, coconut oil and cleansing castor oil, whilst the addition of Sweet Orange essential oil helps break down oil and grease and leaves you smelling super sweet. To use this puppy, start by wetting both bar and your hands with warm water, then rub the bar between the hands until a small amount of product has been deposited. Massage that into a wet face - concentrating a little longer on congested areas – then simply rinse with warm water. Magic.
I've been playing with a couple of the brand's new masks of late and don't think I have them nailed yet, but the amazing ethose behind Ethique means I am determined to persevere!
To find out more about Ethique – or even become a tester! – and to order some of your own, head here.