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Bar none

14 May 2022

In just under a decade, Christchurch-based Brianne West has built a sustainable beauty business literally from her kitchen table into a global brand. This year sees Ethique’s first dip into cosmetics with a lush new lipstick range. Interview Josie Steenhart

What was the very first product you made from your kitchen table, and do you still make it?

It all started with Mintasy - our iconic teal bar! Mintasy (originally called Damage Control), was the very first Ethique shampoo bar back in 2012. We do still make it and it actually remains a crowd favourite to this day!

Do you have a favourite Ethique product?

Tough question! Pinkalicious is still my favourite shampoo bar – it was our 5th birthday bar and smells incredible. Otherwise, can’t beat Deep Green Cleanser, or the Lime & Lemongrass Body Cleanser. Today, anyway! Next week will be a new fave.

What do you love about living in Christchurch?

It’s a beautiful city, with almost everything you could need. A city with all the amenities, within just an hour (or so) drive of beautiful rainforest, ski fields, the ocean and a wealth of incredible nature to explore.

The city also has a really great entrepreneurial scene too, and is really supportive of entrepreneurs giving their ideas a crack, which is a fantastic thing to be a part of.

The new lipsticks are Ethique’s first foray into cosmetics, tell us about them…

Lipsticks are one of the most requested products from our customers and they’ve been a long time coming. The cosmetics industry is rife with wasteful packaging, fleeting ‘trend-led’ colours and ingredients associated with environmental damage and human suffering, so I’ve always known it was something I wanted to make an ‘Ethique’ take on.

Like all our products, the lipsticks are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free and packaged in home-compostable tubes. But they deliver just like your best lipstick – moisturising ingredients, long-wearing formulations, with a buildable, satin-y finish.

As always, we took a lot of care with how we sourced our ingredients, ensuring direct trade relationships wherever possible. Direct trade is immensely beneficial as it ensures producers can thrive rather than simply surviving, because they have a reliable source of income year-round and support to invest in regenerative farming techniques that keep their land healthy for the future.

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