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Imagine a world with a little more compassion and a lot less plastic. Pretty magical, huh?
Well, the first part is easy. The latter, not that much. Plastic is everywhere. From the prepackaged almonds to our local beach - it truly is a substance hard to get rid of. Lucky for you, late last year I came across a Kiwi company that offers a choice in the plastic debacle. They go by the name of Ethique and, yes, they're also responsible for good hair days in situations I would have never carried a shampoo bottle to in the first place (mountain huts, long-haul flights, you know all those new exotic places I like to call home lately).
Ethique makes all kinds of everything-free skin, hair, and household products without the bottle. Their products are solid and come in compostable carton-like boxes. Naturally, they're not just pretty and responsible on the outside; we're talking cruelty-free blocks of goodness without nasty chemicals, fillers, or any other strange, unpronounceable ingredients (that should have never found their way into the self-care industry in the first place) on the inside.
After carefully trying out all kinds of Ethique* products over the last 12 months, I now feel aptly qualified to not only share my thoughts but also work with Ethique and make them give away a year's worth of products (go here to enter and tell all of your friends).
Where to buy Ethique products
Ethique New Zealand & Australia
New Zealand stockists (online + in-store)
Rest of The World
How to store Ethique products
At home: In the shower, I recommend storing them away from running water (otherwise they will soften and you'll essentially lose product).
Ethique sells in-shower containers or you can pop them onto a high shelf without any containers, into a glass jar or reusable plastic container.
I do not recommend using metallic materials, as these may rust with time.
On the road: Tie a rubber band around your Ethique containers to take them on the road. Small glass jars or reusable plastic containers also work great. I tend to cut the blocks into smaller sections.
How long do they last?
All Ethique products are concentrated, so I find one shampoo bar will last me around three months. The body bars tend to last me a little longer.
My favourite Ethique products
Damage Control Shampoo Bar - I have dry, curly and often frizzy hair and I find this shampoo has the perfect balance of cleaning, but not weighing down my hair. Oh, and it contains real peppermint oil which, let me tell you, is a real treat.
The Guardian Conditioner - Ideal for soft locks. The conditioner bars are a little harder to apply at first, but once you get the hang of it, you won't go back.
In Your Face Cleansing Bar - When I travel a lot, my skin tends to break out. Now, travel is my job and this bar helps mitigate most of said breakouts. It's gentle, smells amazing and lathers effortlessly.
Saving Face Serum - I wouldn't go on long-haul flights without it. This bar is full of gorgeous ingredients such as rosehip oil and shea butter. Tip: rub it in your hands to soften before moisturising your face with it.
Lavender + Mint Bodywash - I want my entire house to smell like this.
Coconut + Lime Butter Block - Apply after a hot shower and pair with freshly washed sheets. Actual bliss.
Bombshell Self Tanning Bar - This was my saving grace last winter in Europe and Scotland. I would apply it on my face before going to bed and look like I've seen just the right amount of sunshine in the morning. I have not used actual fake tan before so I can't tell you how it compares, but it most definitely feels and looks really natural. I do recommend keeping it in the fridge over summer, so it doesn't get too soft during the warmer days.
Spearmint + Lime Glow Solid Deodorant - Smells great and does its job. Since it's not an aluminium loaden antiperspirant, it won't stop you from sweating entirely, but it has held up very well over long, sweaty hiking trips for me.
Flash! Solid Laundry Bar + Stain Remover - While I use washing powder at home, this bar goes on every adventure with me. I have used it countless times to handwash my clothing (lots of merino, too) with and I can't say a bad thing about it. Tip: Add a drop of essential lavender oil to the water for a gorgeously smelling suitcase.
If you're feeling confused about what bar to go for first, Ethique offers a selection of small sampler bars to get you started on. Find them here.
What are you waiting for? Go ditch those bottles and join the revolution.
Much love, Carmen xx
*(how many times can I say Ethique in one blog post? not that anyone is counting, but the challenge is clearly on)