Well, it’s been a year. I very clearly remember this time last year thinking how much different 2021 was going to be now that the pandemic was almost over. \nAnd yet, here we are. Despite all the challenges that this ‘new normal’ has brought about, there have been some fantastic wins for people and the planet and it’s this positive news I choose to focus on. Negative press is what gets clicks, but if you are ever feeling a little bit ‘all is lost’, I recommend you dig a little deeper into the positive stories that can be found. \nSome of my favourite:\n\nThe Great Barrier Reef shows some signs of recovery after several episodes of bleaching. \nIndia banned single use plastics – this comes into place in July 2022 so they are moving quickly. \n\nVietnam has pledged to plant one billion trees by 2025. I love this – I really feel this should be come a global competition – which country can plant (and maintain) the great number of native trees… \n\n It’s been a big year for Ethique again. This time last year we were a team of just eight. Now we’ve grown to 26, based across Christchurch (HQ), Auckland, the UK and the USA. This has meant that we need to move to accommodate all these new faces, so for those of you who have visited our Christchurch office before in Wigram, we will soon be found in the CBD, in a much bigger office. Behind the scenes tour of our new custom-built lab and studio to come!\nWe’ve had some great wins this year, all down to this team’s incredible hard work.\n\nWe hit an amazing milestone; 15 million plastic bottles have been saved so far from being made or disposed of in landfills around the world. Hopefully most of you know by now that our next goal is half a billion by 2030! \nEthique has been climate positive (carbon neutral forever) which means we not only work to minimize our emissions annually, but we have been offsetting at least 120% of that which we cannot prevent. We have done this through Ecologi, a gold standard accredited offset partner, who on top of these carbon offsets, have planted over 364,000 trees on our behalf*. (Check out our forest here!) \n\nEthique proudly began a partnership with Coral Vita this year; Coral Vita grows corals to revitalize dying reefs. Coral reefs are vital ecosystems and support 25% of marine species and devastatingly (especially as a scuba diver), scientists predict most reefs will be dead or dying by 2030. Coral Vita have partnered with leading marine institutes to grow coral up to 50x faster while making sure the corals are resilient against warming and ocean acidification, all of which threaten their survival. \n\nWe introduced our new range of plastic-free lip balms, which had been in the making since 2014. Our deodorants, butter blocks and much more are now available in tubes too. They have been in development for a very long time, to ensure they are definitely compostable, yet robust enough for a handbag or pocket. \n\nWe are a “Best for the World” BCorp for the fourth year running! That means Ethique is in the top 5% of all BCorps globally and I am delighted with that result. We are joined by seven other companies from Aotearoa, New Zealand, which is testament to the values and ethics New Zealander’s value in business. \n\nWe worked with and donated to over 70 organisations this year. And next year we are kicking this side of the business up a notch. So stay tuned…\n\n\nCan you believe Ethique turns 10 next year? We might have to start planning a virtual party to celebrate. How about an Ethique World Festival? \nNext year is planned to be bigger and better than ever before, with some big changes coming (keep an eye out in the middle of the year), some new additions to our product range, new initiatives rolling out and, no doubt, lots of new team members to welcome and help us on our mission. \nIn the meantime, have a great holiday season, I hope you can spend time with family and friends and take stock of another year. \nThanks as always to all of you (whether you’ve supported Ethique since its Sorbet\/Wilson’s Road store days or whether you’re new to all things Ethique) for your support and feedback throughout our journey. We really do appreciate all your comments (positive, negative, constructive and everything in-between), as they help us to build a truly regenerative business dedicated to making our world a better place. \nBrianne \n *since 22 April 2020.