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Christchurch-based exporter Ethique is accelerating its global expansion on the back of exponential US sales growth.

Starting up in a Christchurch home kitchen just over six years ago, the lifestyle brand is achieving sell-out success on Amazon and being touted by Google ( as an emerging leader in sustainable business.

Ethique’s range of zero-waste, 100 percent solid beauty bars made exclusively from naturally-derived and sustainably-sourced ingredients is also capturing the American media’s attention, appearing in Elle, Cosmopolitan, PopSugar, Fashionista, Bustle and Oprah magazines as well as in Forbes, Business Insider and National Geographic.

Adam Berkowitz, chief operating officer of Pharmapacks – one of Amazon’s largest sellers in the North America – describes Ethique as one of the most successful brands in their company’s Emerging Brands division.

“Sales growth with Ethique has been one of the fastest we’ve experienced with any new brand launch,” he said.

By the end of 2019 Ethique bars will be in carefully selected retail stores throughout the United States and expand in 2020 and beyond.

Global annual sales growth currently averages 300% and founder Brianne West (pictured) has confirmed Ethique is valued “well into the tens of millions”.

“It’s been my goal to make beauty eco-friendly and I’m hopeful that Ethique’s success will help challenge the international cosmetics industry to change.”

By removing water from its formulations, Ethique takes credit for preventing the manufacture and disposal of more than three million plastic bottles. It’s also New Zealand’s highest ranking BCorp business.

This passion for environmental sustainability backed by strong commercial growth recently caught the eye of Google, which has featured Ethique in a video case study shared via the Google YouTube channel.

The brand had a similar effect on retail health and beauty buyer for Farmers, Charlotte Lacey, who says she noticed instantly how “really on trend” it is and asked to stock the full range.

“Ethique has definitely been a star performer for us in the natural skincare space and is already one of our top three sellers along with Trilogy and Antipodes. It’s highly unusual to be up with the big brands in the first year – that doesn’t happen every day.”

Pharmapack’s Berkowitz confirms that solid products are “a rapidly growing trend” and the offering of “ethical, natural, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and zero-waste products is in high demand in the US market. People in the US are shifting towards natural solutions for all products that they are using.”

New York-based PR expert Anna MacLellan from 5W Public Relations, says what’s different about Ethique is it’s seen as a brand everyone can get behind.

“Ethique’s success in the US doesn’t simply hinge off what Ethique offers and what other brands don’t, but rather it’s a brand that encourages us as humans to come together and strive for this cleaner, healthier, happier lifestyle. Consumers want to see their favourite brands stand by this cause in a meaningful way, not just use it as a marketing term.

“They’re rapidly becoming a leader in the new waste-free and sustainable standard of living.”

Now stocked in 420 Priceline stores throughout Australia, Ethique can also be found in retail stores in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The brand launched in Japan in February 2019 and arrives into the UK mid-year where expansion into the retail landscape will involve launching into a large British retail chain. Ethique will also be stocked later in 2019 by more than 1000 pharmacies in Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland. An estimated 500 more stores in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong will stock Ethique bars by the end of 2019.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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