Environmentalist & Social Entrepreneur
I am a New Zealand entrepreneur - you may know me as the founder and former CEO of Ethique – a regenerative beauty brand now sold in over 22 countries, in more than 8000 stores. I have just started my latest start-up, Incrediballs, now here to revolutionise the drinks industry!
I was named a ‘ Top 100 Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy magazine in 2016, the 2019 NZ EY 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' and One Young World's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. I have been named a Blake Leader and inducted into the Women Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame in 2023.
I am passionate about protecting and restoring our environment and I believe that business should benefit everyone involved, from suppliers, to the team - not just shareholders.
Who am I?
Originally from the UK, my family immigrated in 1994 to New Zealand, which is where Ethique HQ continues to be located.
While I’m best known for establishing the world’s first full range beauty and lifestyle brand, I'm also an animal-obsessed, science-loving scuba diver with a love for exploring slightly unusual places.
I was 24 and studying towards a science degree in 2012 when I reached the logical conclusion that with so much water found in our bathrooms there’s no need to add it to the likes of shampoo, conditioners, moisturisers, household cleaners and cosmetics, which are usually 60-95% water. By making these products solid and simply sending the active ingredients to our customers, there’s no need for plastic containers.
My first solid products were formulated in my kitchen, along with the idea of helping eliminate plastic from the global beauty industry. The overarching goal is to put a bar in every shower and to change consumers' behaviour, whilst proving to businesses that they can be environmentally proactive while also being financially sustainable.
Ten years later, Ethique has prevented more than 28 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of in landfills and prevented over 600,000kg of carbon emissions. That’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to say. Even better, we’re on track to make that number 500 million by 2030. Ethique was one of New Zealand’s founding B Corps, is 'living wage' accredited, works with cooperatives around the world to source our ingredients and donates 2% of sales to charity.
Now I have stepped down as CEO (in April 2023), I have founded a new start-up, called Incrediballs. Founded under the same ideals as Ethique, but this time about ridding the drinks world of plastic bottles. Stay tuned for more and for week-to-week updates, follow my podcast 'Now, that's what I call business', wherever you get your podcasts.
For those of you who want to build businesses that solve social or environmental problems, I have created Business, but Better. A free education hub covering everything from business foundations, to finance, marketing and export. And yes, it's free! No strings attached.
I am also a partner in a social impact investment fund called Insprie (in-spree), working towards supporting the next generation of social enterprises.
I truly believe we can have a healthy, beautiful and awe-inspiring environment, with fairly shared equity amongst all, sustainable economic growth and that no one needs to be left behind. We just need to do things a little differently.
Ethique is proof that this is possible.