Who is Brianne West?
New Zealand entrepreneur and founder of Ethique – the world’s first full range, zero-waste beauty brand. Cited as a ‘Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy magazine in 2016 for “making beauty eco-friendly”. Named 2019 NZ EY 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year'.
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.
Seven years later, Ethique has prevented more than 6 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of in landfills and prevented over 400,000kg of carbon emissions. That’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to say. Even better, we’re on track to make that number 50 million by 2025. Ethique is New Zealand’s highest scoring B Corp, is 'living wage' accredited, works with cooperatives around the world to source our ingredients and donates 20% of profit to charity.
Outside Ethique I am establishing a charitable foundation to distribute 20% of Ethique’s net profit annually with donations focused on community education, environmental conservation and animal welfare causes. Currently I am exploring the viability of marine permaculture as a carbon sink alongside some incredible scientists and establishing a native forest in New Zealand to bring back our native wildlife.
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.
Asia Pacific Leader, Obama Foundation
EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman
Winner, 'EY Young Entrepreneur Of The Year'
Winner, Stuff Women of Influence Awards - Business Enterprise
Winner, Deloitte Fast 50 Awards - Retail. Also placed 4th in overall national rankings.
Supreme Winner, Westpac Champion Business Awards - Small Enterprise. Also winner 'Champion Innovation.'
Winner, NZ American Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year ($1-10 million.)
Regional winner, Canterbury Kiwibank Local Hero
Semi-finalist, Kiwibank Innovator of the Year
Finalist, Sanitarium NZ Innovator Of The Year
Award, 2016 100 Leading Global Thinkers
Award, Deloitte's 'Rising Star - One to Watch