We really are the lucky country, and this Earth Day I want to celebrate the bounty of Australian brands who possess an environmental conscience. This has been one of the more fascinating aspects of being a blogger – discovering the personalities and ethics behind our local brands, learning about the wonderful ways that they are striving to reduce their environmental impact. An environmental conscience doesn’t need to compromise efficiency, function or price.
There are plenty of local brands steering clear of nasty chemicals and toxins. And terms like ‘organic’ and ‘fair trade’ are not simply buzz words, they provide strict guidelines so that the environment, the producers and the consumers are all taken care of.
I’ve included a small range in this Earth Day post, but of course there are so many brands out there doing their best, so please share your favourites in the comments below.
Natural doesn’t have to break the budget! Take Crop Skincare, a line sold exclusively in Coles, whose products use 95% naturally derived ingredients sourced from sustainable natural resources. As a bonus, their packaging was carefully selected to have minimum impact on our environment while increasing the longevity and performance of their range. Then there’s budget makeup brand ulta3, who offer an ever-increasing range of cruelty free and vegan cosmetics, including blush, bronzer, powder, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and nail polish. And Fix Organic, whose signature paw paw & manuka honey balm is 99.1% certified organic, are all about 100% natural ingredients and no nasties, for an affordable price. They also support and endorse ‘Switch to Safer,’ a philosophy encouraging the protection of our own health & the health of the planet through organic ingredients, as promoted by the film The Human Experiment.
The entire De Lorenzo range is infused with certified organic ingredients, and locally sourced fair trade ingredients are used where they can. Their products are free from petrochemicals, and the brand is strictly cruelty free and vegan friendly. Being respectful of their environmental footprint is something that the company has always held as a standard, and they were the first to manufacture a non-aerosol hairspray pump in the 80’s, when CFCs were a major environmental concern.
Family owned brand Dr Roebuck’s, initially developed by two prominent physicians, ensure their products are tested under the strictest supervision. They are all paraben and BPA free, as well as being active and non-toxic, using high performance natural ingredients such as rosehip oil, vitamin E oil, macadamia oil and beeswax. Another family success story is The Jojoba Company, established in 2008 by Ian Turner, who planted his first crop of jojoba on the NSW family estate and became a pioneer in Australian jojoba farming. The company still use 100% natural Australian jojoba, a sustainable, carbon-negative crop known to produce wax esters closely matching those in our skin, and they are committed to not using animal derivatives, petrochemicals, mineral oil or artificial fragrances.
We even have online retailers doing their best to stock their shelves with environmentally-friendly products. Natural Supply Co are actively working to build their lists of vegan and palm-oil free brands, and all products stocked are cruelty free. They also use recycled packaging materials to protect all orders. And toxin-free beauty e-tailer Nourished Life have carefully categorised their website, so you can find gluten free, vegan and certified organic products at a glance. Founder Irene Falcone is a member of the National Toxics Network, and she sits on the advisory board of Global GreenTag, a leading eco certification board.
Did you know that Jurlique own a 155-acre farm in the Adelaide Hills? Home to over 10,000 native trees, a number of bee hives, and combining traditional biodynamic and modern organic farming method, this efficient, productive and sustainable farm is busy working towards a 20% reduction per finished product in energy, water and waste to landfill in 2015. They use a 2 in 6 year rotation allowing the soil to rejuvenate between crops of the same plant family, and they regularly support National Tree Planting Day, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 2025. With at least 95% natural ingredients and sustainable packaging used for their products, Jurlique have a multifaceted and generous approach to caring for our environment.
On top of ingredients and practices, a commitment to continuous research is a must to stay on top of the latest manufacturing methods and environmentally friendly techniques. Urban Rituelle have begun reformulating their existing products as new ingredients and manufacturing methods become available, even though these developments can often be more costly, alongside their strong belief in ethically sourced & harvested ingredients, packaging that can be recycled, vegan and cruelty free products, and power saving throughout their office and warehouse. A strong focus on research is also at the heart of Australia’s first certified organic anti-ageing skincare range, La Mav. Founder Tarj Mavi spent more than 25 in the research and development field, seeing first-hand the dangerous effects of the ongoing absorption of chemicals and synthetics through the skin into the blood stream, before devoting herself to developing a brand that contains 100% plant-based, naturally derived ingredients – good for you, good for the planet and good for generations to come.
And finally, if you’re like me and enjoy a glass of wine to relax, I urge you to consider eco-wine brand Banrock Station. This South Australian winery not only produces delicious wines, but every year contribute to eco/environmental projects around the globe. They established the Banrock Station Trust in 1995, and have so far contributed more than $5 million to 130 projects in 13 countries, including WWF’s recent ‘Rivers to Reefs to Turtles’ research campaign. Their 250-hectare vineyard has attained the Environmental Management Standard ISO-14001, and they’ve been involved in the restoration of more than 1,000 hectares of wetland surrounding the vineyards. So pour yourself a guilt-free glass!
Phew. There we go, a very impressive list to get you thinking this Earth Day.
Who are your favourite environmentally conscious brands? Share them in the comments below!
[title image credit: Just Energy]