As of November 2018 we had prevented over 1 million plastic bottles from going to landfills, but by 2023 that number had reached 30 million.
In my early to mid-twenties, I became obsessed with this very pie-in-the-sky notion of creating a sustainable cosmetics company. Not just waste free, but the world’s most sustainable cosmetics company, in every aspect; from ingredients, to packaging, to how we work with people and much more. I started Ethique out of my kitchen back in 2012 with just five bars; four shampoo and one conditioner.
Since then it’s been an amazing rollercoaster ride; incredibly high-highs (like ranging in Farmers and Priceline in Australia) and super low-lows (like when we found out we had one week to change the name from Sorbet to Ethique due to international copyright issues).
Through all of that has been the overarching goal though; to rid the world of plastic bottles. So I am extremely pleased to say that we have hit our magic number of 1 million bottles prevented from being made and disposed of. That’s about 25T* of plastic that will not clog landfills or end up in our oceans wreaking havoc.
We expected to reach our original goal of 1M bottles by 2020, so we are quite ahead of schedule. A testament to our super-fast growth is our new goal, of 50M by 2025. We might beat that one too.
For those of you wondering how we calculate this, we have a formula based on number of bars sold, factoring in the various numbers of bottles each bar is equivalent to. We use 350ml bottles for equivalent sizing, as that is what the average is in supermarkets.
A shampoo bar, when diluted with water to make an equivalent liquid product, would make 1,050mL of liquid shampoo.
A conditioner bar goes two better, at 1,750mL.
The beauty of solid products of course is the plastic reduction, but the amount of water beauty bars save is significant too.
For example, one conditioner saves over 14L of water. This comes from two areas:
- We concentrate our bars so there is no water in them (remember, a typical conditioner can be 90% water). You use the same amount of water in the shower to apply them.
- Plastic manufacture uses lots of water- one HDPE^ bottle requires 2.5L of water in it’s manufacturing process.
Across 1M bottles, that equates to over 2,500,000L of water. Or enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
Want to know how many bottles your bar has saved? Check on the top of the packaging, as shown below:
If you are looking online, our website has the number of bottles each product is equivalent to down the bottom of each product page. Our checkout will automatically add it all up for you too, so you can feel really good about your purchase.
So, thank you, to everyone that has purchased a bar, shared a post, spread the word or encouraged their friends to #giveupthebottle. Thanks to our stockists who have taken a punt on an unusual product range- without you all we would have never reached this milestone and we are so proud!
Onwards to fifty million!
*A typical 350ml HDPE bottle weighs 25g.
^ Petrochemical derived HDPE (high density polyethylene) is the most common packaging material in the industry.