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In 2012 Brianne was in her second year at university studying a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Canterbury (UC) in New Zealand when she discovered a way to create solid shampoos.
Brianne is a biologist and formulator extraordinaire, so she didn’t just stop at shampoo she went on to develop more than 30 solid beauty bars including solid shampoos for different hair types as well as conditioners, cleansers, scrubs, moisturisers, serums, a self-tanning bar, pet shampoo, men’s shampoo/shaving bar and household cleaners.
Brianne started her first business aged just eight – a pet detective agency – but as there were limited opportunities to reunite lost pets with their owners in her then home town of Dunedin, she knew she would one day have to find other outlets for her entrepreneurial spirit.
Brianne started Ethique (formerly Sorbet) while still at university, attracting an initial investor through a pitching competition run by UC. She then secured additional funding in 2015 through a highly successful crowdfunding campaign run by the New Zealand company PledgeMe, attracting the highest number of female investors in PledgeMe’s history.
Funding has allowed Ethique to move into its own manufacturing facility with a customised lab where Brianne continues to formulate cutting-edge products that marry science with nature. All Ethique products use ethically sourced, naturally-derived and sustainable ingredients.
Brianne is uncomfortable in the limelight that she genuinely deserves, but anyone who hears her speak is affected profoundly by her honesty, integrity, and her passion for animals and the environment:
“I’m not passionate about makeup, cosmetics or fashion. I love science and the environment and if I wasn't doing this, I would ideally be wading through the Amazon, studying the creatures that live there, (but of course avoiding the spiders.)
I am passionate about the values Ethique stands for and the change we are creating in the world with products that are waste free, natural & effective. I am insanely proud that we have prevented more than 150,000 bottles from being made and disposed of thus far and our next goal is one million. I have been able to use the skills I have to create a business that has a positive tangible effect on the environment and that feels amazing.”
Ethique (pronounced Eh-tique) is the French word for ‘ethical’ and we believe it is the first beauty company in the world to develop an entirely solid product range. All products are sold in compostable packaging, meaning zero consumer waste.
Ethique’s dedication to sustainable beauty practices has prevented the manufacture and disposal of more than 150,000 plastic containers worldwide, and is driven by the hashtag #giveupthebottle.
Our Bars Really Work
Our customers tell us the same thing again and again. You rave about how well our products work, far surpassing the quality of salon brands. Brianne explains that the reason for this is because the bars are super concentrated and made with potent natural ingredients. Our bars contain no nasties, they are cruelty free and vegan.
Saving You Money
Solid bars last between three to six times longer (depending on the product) than bottled products because they’re super-concentrated. You add the water not us, and yes our solid beauty bars foam.
We use biodegradable ingredients and wrappers so our solid bars leave no trace on the planet. You can pop the compostable wrapping in your compost bin. No bottles, jars, lids or pump dispensers contributing to landfill or oceanic pollution.
We are certified climate neutral, cruelty free and a living wage employer.
Ethique is a certified BCorp- “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
Ethique was recognised as New Zealand’s most sustainable business when awarded 'the Best in B' award for New Zealand in July 2015.
We have committed to donating 2% of revenue (or 20% of profit, whichever is highest) to charity.
All of Ethique’s products are New Zealand-made and manufactured in Christchurch.
We try to work directly with producers to ensure they are paid a fair price for their product, which in turn ensures they look after their community and their environment.
For more info on these, hit our values tab above.
The Ethique family is constantly growing and Brianne knows the company wouldn’t be where it is without the rest of us (which we kinda love) – from the team in the office and lab; Janette, Margot, Helen, Dee, Ella and Freddie to the marketing extraordinaires Miranda, Kate and Matt, Bryan our first investor and strategist, the people who crowd-funded the business, plus our network of unofficial advisors from legal, PR, accounting and numerous other professions.