Ethique – Home-Compostable Lipsticks

  • 2022

  • Product
    Housewares and Objects

Commissioned By:


Designed In:

New Zealand

Ethique lipsticks are designed to be buried. Unlike wasteful plastic-packaged lipsticks, every element of Ethique’s packaging is home-compostable, including the push-up tube. It can be buried in the ground, thrown in your compost or pushed down in a plant pot to return valuable nutrients to the soil.

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  • Around the world, 800 – 900 million lipsticks are sold annually. Most are packaged in plastic – rarely recyclable and usually sent to landfill. And even when packaging is recyclable, systemic issues with global waste systems mean only 9% is actually recycled and repurposed. It was clear to Ethique that a better solution was needed: cosmetics packaging that would leave no trace on the earth or better yet, would leave a positive impact. The team also knew a sustainable change would only go the distance if it performed just as well as – if not better than – its traditional counterparts.

  • A range of seven timeless shades was designed, packaged in home-compostable materials designed to disappear when buried in the ground. Buildable colour was achieved through naturally occurring child-labour-free pigments such as mica, manganese violet, and iron oxide. To meet the brand’s strict criteria, the lipstick also needed to be made without palm-oil (which is associated with deforestation and unethical farming practices) and instead created with directly traded, ethically sourced ingredients. Extensive supply chain research and auditing was conducted to find sustainable palm-alternatives – ultimately achieved through a blend of plant-based waxes and organic moringa oil from Rwandan co-operative, Asili Oils.

  • As well as the benefits to soil, the planet also benefits from fewer items of plastic in landfill with each Ethique lipstick. In ten years, Ethique and its customers have saved 20 million plastic containers from being manufactured. With this new range, Ethique is on track for its target of half a billion by 2030. The range will also have a big impact on producers, who benefit from the brand’s adherence to direct trade, fair wages and supply chain monitoring. This ensures producers can be confident of year-round income, thrive rather than just surviving and adopt regenerative farming techniques.

  • Like all Ethique products, the lipstick range is plastic-free, home-compostable, vegan, cruelty-free, palm-oil free, climate positive and BCorp certified.