22 Oct 2016

Solid shampoo: taking the water out of toiletries

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 22 October 2016
Brianne West of Ethique (Supplied)

Brianne West of Ethique (Supplied) Photo: (Supplied)

Brianne West of Ethique in Christchurch estimates that New Zealanders throw away 50 million shampoo and conditioner bottles every year. To combat that, she's making a range of 30 solid beauty bars including solid shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, moisturisers, and even household cleaners.

Brianne thinks it's mad that some hair care products and soaps we buy today contain more than 70 percent water when we can add this particular ingredient ourselves in the bathroom. A high water content also means you have to use preservatives to stop products spoiling, and find ways of storing these runny liquids.

“The idea is to rid the world of plastic bottles – or at least the cosmetic ones."

In 2012, Brianne started production in her own kitchen, but now she works from a proper lab to keep up with demand, which has gone up recently due to some online love from Britney Spears.

"My mum texted me and said 'Britney Spears has shared you' – this is seven in the morning. I thought 'No, she hasn't, you great lunatic!"

Ethique ingredients list

Ethique ingredients list Photo: (Supplied)