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Australia’s green beauty brands in 2022

Lots of beauty brands talk a good game when it comes to the environment, but who walks the talk? Find out with the Finder Green Awards.

According to our research, more than half of the Australian public are actively seeking "greener" products or services. But we know that actually finding the most sustainable options isn't always easy and that is why we created the Finder Green Awards.

In this article we give you a breakdown of the Green Beauty Brand of the Year category, to give you the information you need if you're looking for more sustainable beauty products in Australia. The winners and finalists in this category are doing impressive sustainability work, so keep reading and start your green beauty journey today.

At the end of the article you'll also find more information about the methodology for this category and how we picked the winner.

Green beauty brand of the year 2022

Green Beauty Brand of the Year 2022: Seed & Sprout

Seed & Sprout has been a strong performer in the Finder Green Awards over the years and 2022 is no exception. As well as taking out our Green Online Retailer of the Year award, Seed & Sprout was named Finder's first ever Green Beauty Brand of the Year.

Seed & Sprout offers a range of beauty products including skincare, haircare and an array of beauty tools. The even better news is that many of the products are free from packaging or use packaging that is completely compostable or recyclable at home. As a result, Seed & Sprout scored highly when it came to waste avoiding landfill and recyclable packaging.

When it comes to emissions, Seed & Sprout's use of renewable energy in its Billinudgel office means its HQ is 100% emissions-free. It also has a number of impressive environmental targets in place to even further reduce its impact on the planet.

2022 Green Beauty Brand of the Year finalists

Kester Black

Kester black logo

Born out of a true love for the planet and natural beauty, Kester Black is on a mission to become Australia's most ethical beauty brand. Offering a range of beauty products including lipstick, nail polish, eyeliners and nailcare, Kester Black believes in "Better Beauty".

It's clear that this is a brand that's serious about sustainability. Kester Black is a certified B-Corp, which recognises its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business. In addition to this, Kester Black and all of its products are certified carbon neutral leading them to score well on this section. However, Kester Black couldn't quite match Seed & Sprout when it came to the highly weighted questions looking at absolute emissions.

The beauty brand does have some impressive targets though, including moving from single-use to refillable packaging formats where possible by 2023, and 90% of plastic in primary packaging to be recycled or recyclable by 2024.

Zero Co

Zero Co logo

After starting its journey in cleaning products, Zero Co has made the jump into the beauty space. Offering a range of haircare, body lotion, deodorant, hand wash and body wash, Zero Co is fast becoming a one-stop shop for refillable household products.

Zero Co's submission scored particularly well for raw emissions as well as its recycling rate.

Zero Co's mission to "untrash the planet" has so far prevented over a million plastic bottles worth of plastic from ending up in landfill and over 1.1 million plastic bottles worth of rubbish from ending up in the ocean. It's no surprise that it was one of our top scorers when it came to circular economy initiatives then.

These results are accompanied by some big targets. This includes getting the amount of plastic avoiding landfill and rubbish avoiding the ocean up to the equivalent of 1.5 million plastic bottles worth by the end of 2022 and committing to removing 2kg of CO2 for every 1kg it emits. However, Zero Co couldn't quite match Seed & Sprout when it came to renewable energy usage so we look forward to seeing the company improving in this space.

What makes a beauty brand green?

  • Current performance and targets (65%)

The bulk of the scoring in this category is made up of the brand's general environmental performance. This includes both their current performance and future targets, as well as any external accreditations they have received.

Current performance looks at the environmental impact of the business and takes into account factors such as emissions intensity, the proportion of energy sourced from renewables and how much of their waste avoided landfill.

We also looked at any environmental targets that have been set by the business in these areas.

In addition to this, we wanted to know about any relevant external awards or accreditations held by the business.

  • Industry-specific environmental criteria (35%)

The remainder of the scoring focused on environmental factors relating specifically to the beauty industry. This included the use of sustainable ingredients, the presence of circular economy initiatives and the use of sustainable packages. It also took into account any other sustainability initiatives that the brand may have in place.

To break this down further, we wanted to know what proportion of their ingredients they define as sustainable and how they do so, as well as the types of circular economy initiatives they have in place and the impact of those initiatives.

Finally, we looked at the sustainability of their packaging. We wanted to know the proportion of packaging that was made from recycled materials as well as the proportion of packaging that's recyclable in the average Australian home.

All entrants also had the opportunity to share any other sustainability initiatives they have in place to be taken into account in the scoring process.
Green Beauty Brand of the Year award methodology

Green Beauty Brand award methodology

The table below shows a more detailed breakdown of the scoring. If you're interested in more details you can view the 2022 Finder Green Awards entry criteria document (PDF).

Eligibility criteria: Brand must have created and sold beauty products (e.g. skincare, haircare, makeup, etc.) to consumers in Australia in the 12 months prior to 31 December 2021.

General environmental criteria:Sector-specific environmental criteria:

General environmental criteria (53%)

  • Emissions intensity
  • Emissions intensity (inc. offsets)
  • Energy from renewable sources
  • Waste avoiding landfill

Environmental targets and reporting (12%)

  • Emissions targets
  • Public climate change plan
  • External accreditations

Ingredients and packaging (28%)

  • Sustainable ingredients
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainable packaging

Other sustainability initiatives (7%)

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