Sorbet natural cosmetics making headway in NZ

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

Sorbet natural cosmetics making headway in NZ
An ambitious Christchurch cosmetics start-up is elbowing its' way to the forefront of New Zealand's cosmetics market. Which just goes to show that it's not just the big players changing the game.

Founder, Brianne West launched a natural line of face, hair, and body bars in her first year as a science student at Canterbury University from her home.

After two failed attempts, the determined entrepreneur has seen success with 'Sorbet Cosmetics' which has grown to employ four staff at a downtown store and is getting interest from international markets.

West has even forecast her revenue to reach more than $1 million by 2017.

"I sort of vacillate between terror and excitement. It is nerve-wracking… I'm surrounded by very experienced, very clever people, so I feel safe in that regard​," the CEO told website;

'Free from'

West claims her beauty products are unique in that her soap bars are free from formaldehyde, sodium laureth sulfate and preservatives and are wrapped in water-soluble paper, which makes it possible for the packaging to dissolve down the drain.

For products that come in the form of containers rather than paper packaging, the CEO says she is working on a 100 per cent compostable material from sugarcane.

Strong environmental principles are part of the company's DNA, West tells

"It's the number one factor for me. I think it's really important businesses not only focus on how they're producing something, and whether they can make that more sustainable, but what they're actually producing. 

New Zealand's small players taking the market by storm

NZ organic skin care line Plantæ has also seen success recently, making the jump to the European market after securing a distribution deal in the United Kingdom.

Company founder Carol Priest targeted the fast paced market for its' launch pad for the brand’s international roll out.

The UK is one of the biggest markets in Europe for natural and cosmetics products, and has continued to deliver high single digit growth figures year-on-year, even during the current economic downtown, where other industry categories have remained largely stagnant.

Priest, who has established the line with her two daughters, secured a distribution contract with Purely Natural Cosmetics, which specialises in the distribution of natural and organic cosmetic and personal care products.

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