Brianne West, the brains behind environmentally friendly beauty company Ethique, has been named by US Foreign Policy as one of the leading Global Thinkers of 2016. After being dismayed by the amount of plastic waste being created by haircare, West – a qualified biologist – founded Ethique in 2012 while completing her second year of a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Canterbury. Ethique’s solution is to manufacture an entirely ‘solid’ product range, sold in biodegradable and compostable packaging. All ingredients used must be naturally derived and come from ethical, sustainable sources. The Ethique range includes solid shampoos, conditioners, body wash, face creams and solid moisturising serums, deodorants, self tanning bars, household cleaning products and even pet wash.
Foreign Policy editor Seyward Darby nominated West for this year’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers list after reading the feature article published by Forbes. She stated that West should be honoured “for making beauty eco-friendly.”
Christchurch-based West, aged 29, attended the annual Global Thinkers presentation ceremony in Washington, D.C over the weekend. “I’m so incredibly humbled to receive this sort of global recognition for our achievements to date,” said West. “While a huge part of what we do at Ethique is about eliminating the plastic bottles and wasted water caused by personal care products, it’s so much more than that. We have to stop transferring responsibility for saving our environment onto consumers – businesses need to lead the way and become responsible for the entire life cycle of their products.”
Published for the sixth year, previous recipients of the title include numerous decision-makers such as US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, through to a host of scientists, innovators, advocates and entrepreneurs – including Elon Musk and even the infamous street artist Banksy.