The firm, which produces handcrafted solid shampoos, conditioners and solid beauty bars, is tapping into the trend for no plastic bottles.
“The UK and Europe at large has some of the strongest demand for our products, so it was an easy decision where to go next. The momentum is growing around the world against the plastic obsession we have, so the time is right,” said West.
West told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the brand would be launching into over 1000 stores in the UK this year.
She added that the company has planned many events and activations in order to connect with its UK consumers.
Ehtique’s other goal this year is to strengthen its retail footprint in the Asian markets, said West.
The brand is currently available in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and recently launched in Japan.
“Our launch into Japan in February went off, and dramatically exceeded expectations, with products selling out before they even hit the shelves. The feedback from our Japanese customers has been incredible, so I am looking forward to see how Ethique resonates with other countries.” said West.
Ethique also has new products in the pipeline, West added.
“We have about 28 products slated for release within the next 12 to 18 months. A couple of new ranges for us which are again, completely new and I’m very excited about them. Also we have some new packaging material we think will be the first to market.”
Recycling is not enough
With the brand’s success, West expressed that she hoped more beauty brands will commit to being sustainable in the future.
“We are proof that you can be sustainable and profitable. We donate 20% of our profit to various charities, so giving back is already an important part of our values. I think charitable donations is already a stronger part of a lot of brands, because it is easier to give back, than to produce a genuinely sustainable product.”
However, she commented that the cosmetics industry has a ‘long way to go’ in terms of sustainability.
West observed that many cosmetics companies are focused on sourcing natural ingredients and recycling sustainably but she believes this was not enough.
“Consumers are demanding more, but companies are struggling to deliver because it’s really hard. There are a couple of brands working towards the goals as we are but most other brands are just focused on making their packaging recyclable by 2025.”
She elaborated: “Recycling is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, and that ambulance is missing two wheels. Only 9% of plastic ever made has ever been recycled, the sad truth is that it is usually shipped off shore because it is not financially viable to recycle plastic and there is just too much of it.”
West cited palm oil as another example.
“We are one of only about four cosmetics companies in the world – and the one with the largest range that’s certified palm oil-free. It’s just not a priority for many companies because it’s so hard to do.”