Brianne West is the CEO of Ethique, a plastic-free and sustainable cosmetics company that has, to date, prevented the manufacture and disposal of over six million plastic containers worldwide.
While Brianne was studying Biology and Chemistry at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, she learned cosmetic chemistry and started a traditional cosmetic company as her first business at the age of 19. She realized that 75%-90% of shampoos and conditioners were made from water, and she was determined to create a product that delivered the same results, without the use of water as a major ingredient. She also wanted to eliminate the use of plastic involved in packaging. Her research and experiments led to the launch of Ethique in 2012. She has scaled the business without compromising on her core mission of purpose over profit. Every Ethique product is still made using only sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. And each year, Ethique donates 20% of its profit to charity to support animal rescue, rehabilitation and environmental conservation.
Ethique is B Corp certified and is a Living Wage accredited employer. The company is now distributed in over 2,500 stores and e-commerce retailers (including Amazon) across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe.
She was named the EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 and was also one of the leaders who participated in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific program.
“We aim to create a world where the environment is considered in all decisions,” Brianne said. “We also aim to establish strategic partnerships with key stakeholders that will help propel Ethique further into the consumer goods market as a trusted brand.”