Brianne West

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Brianne West

Brianne West (born 1986/1987[1]) is a New Zealand entrepreneur and founder of Ethique, the world's first zero-waste beauty brand[2]. In 2016 she was named a "Global Thinker" by Foreign Policy magazine[3].


Brianne West founded her first company, a pet detective agency, at age eight[4]. She started her first natural cosmetics business as a high-school leaver at the age of 19, and ran it for five years before starting a confectionery company[5].

West is a qualified biologist and received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand. West founded Ethique in 2012, a company that produces beauty products in concentrated solid bar form[6], while completing her second year at the university.

She first began creating products in her kitchen as a hobby before forming Ethique[7]. The company initially traded as Sorbet, and in 2015 re-branded as Ethique[8]. She used the knowledge from her degree to formulate products from natural ingredients from ethical and sustainable sources. The products are not tested on animals, and are sold in biodegradable and compostable packaging.[9] The range includes solid shampoos, conditioners, body wash, face creams and moisturisers, deodorants, self-tanning bars, household cleaning products and pet wash.

In 2013, West entered a business entrepreneurship competition at her university called "entré"[10]. As a result of becoming a finalist she secured a business mentor[8].

In 2015, West launched an online crowdfunding campaign through PledgeMe, which raised NZD$200,000, and attracted the largest number of female investors in the site's history.[11] The funds were used to build a customised laboratory for developing and manufacturing products, and to expand the company to global markets[3][11]. In 2017, West launched a second crowdfunding campaign and reached PledgeMe’s daily limit of NZD$500,000 in 90 minutes[12].

In 2016, Brianne and Ethique attracted social media attention from international celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Sarah Wilson (journalist) (I Quit Sugar) and Jamie McDell, after featuring in renowned publications such as Forbes[13], Huffington post[14] and 1 Million Women. Since then, Brianne has featured in publications across the globe including O, The Oprah Magazine[15], Kia Ora (Inflight Magazine), Business Insider[16], Daily Mail, and PopSugar[17], among others.

Personal Achievements[edit]

  • 2018: Kiwibank Local Hero Award[18]
  • 2018: Kiwibank Innovator of the Year, Semi-finalist[19]
  • 2016: Top 100 leading "Global Thinkers" in US Foreign Policy magazine[3]
  • 2016: Vital Voices by Bank of America Mentee[20]
  • 2016: East-West Center's Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar, Participant[21]
  • 2016: EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, Participant
  • 2015: Deloitte's 'Rising Star - One to Watch'[22]
  • 2015: New Zealand Green Apple Awards (for environmental best practice), Silver[23]


  1. ^ "Beauty boss Brianne West is named a global thinker". Sunday Star-Times. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Beauty bars stop over 3 million plastic bottles entering landfill". Stuff. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Global Thinkers 2016". Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Ethique". Sustainable Business Network. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Small business: Natural beauty – Brianne West". New Zealand Herald. 28 February 2014. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  6. ^ "From being mad about science to going global: Sorbet Cosmetics' Brianne West tackles beauty bars, tanning and shampooing". Idealog. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  7. ^ "This Woman Has Diverted 60,000 Plastic Bottles From Landfill. Here's How. | 1 Million Women". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b West, Brianne. "Sorbet by Ethique Limited | PledgeMe". Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  9. ^ "MiNDFOOD – Kiwi founder of Ethique named as 2016 'Global Thinker'". MINDFOOD. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Brianne West". The University of Canterbury. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Young Kiwi businesswoman tackles beauty industry's rubbish problem". Stuff. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. ^ Mack, Ben; Oct 2017, 02 (2 October 2017). "Ethique crowdfunds $500K in 90 minutes on PledgeMe". Idealog. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  13. ^ Chhabra, Esha. "This Female Founder Raised Over $1 Million For A Zero-Waste Beauty Brand". Forbes. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  14. ^ Ruiz-Grossman, Sarah (25 July 2016). "Genius Solid Shampoos Use No Plastic Packaging By Leaving Out Water". HuffPost. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Ethique Beauty Bars". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  16. ^ Picks, Mara Leighton, Insider. "This eco-friendly startup was named New Zealand's most sustainable business — its solid shampoo and conditioner bars aim to reduce plastic waste". Business Insider. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  17. ^ Demopoulos, Alaina (6 August 2018). "How 12 Female Beauty Entrepreneurs Found Funding For Their Brands". POPSUGAR Beauty Australia. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Regional Kiwibank Local Hero Medalists named". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Semi-finalists for 2018 New Zealander of the Year named". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Empowering Women Leaders to Advance Sustainable Development: The Global Ambassadors Program Heads to Australia October 3-7". Vital Voices. 5 February 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar". East-West Center | 4 January 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  22. ^ Private, Deloitte. "Exceptional Entrepreneur: Brianne West". Deloitte Private. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Brianne West | The Global Ambassadors Program". Retrieved 18 June 2019.