Five Minutes With: ecoture australia

We know you love online shopping, and you know we love sharing our favourite ethical stores with you. This week we’d like to introduce you to ecoture australia, an online beauty and fashion destination created by mother and daughter duo Rebecca Dow and Caitlin Clark. After struggling to find fashion and beauty products that were not only gorgeous but also ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free, the pair took matters into their own hands and launched ecoture australia – a premium online shopping destination for people who want real style – but not at the expense of the planet and its human and animal occupants. Here ecoture australia co-founder and brand manager Caitlin Clark shares the store’s journey with THE ECO EDIT.

THE ECO EDIT: What prompted you and your mum to create an eco-focused shop?

Caitlin: I became vegan in 2015, which led to extensive research into where everything I bought came from – and it was a truly eye-opening experience. Then after I had a leather-free handbag destroyed by an exploding smoothie, it became clear that there simply weren’t enough places to buy a range of products that I was confident were both ethically produced and cruelty-free. So that’s when we decided to create a site that had covetable fashion and beauty products that we were also personally comfortable about stocking.

Caitlin, right, with mum Rebecca

Why are natural and ethical cosmetics important to you?

For me, it’s driven by the fact I’ve always had troublesome skin and so I’m very careful about the ingredients I use on it. The products are often just nicer, they feel and smell better, and introduce a bit of luxury into every day. When it comes to ethics, I can’t justify needlessly exploiting the Earth or its animal inhabitants for what is essentially my vanity.

I can’t justify needlessly exploiting the Earth or its animal inhabitants for what is essentially my vanity…

What role do you see ethical and sustainable products playing in the future of society and retail?

They’re already rapidly increasing in popularity, which is fantastic. But I’d like to think that ethical and sustainable products are more than just a trend. With so much information at our fingertips, more brands are being transparent in their operations, so I think ethical and sustainable products are the promising future of retail. I look forward to the day that they’re the norm.

Can you please describe who the ecoture australia customer is, and what they’re looking for in their products?

We like to say the ecoture customer can be anyone. Many come to our site specifically looking for ethical or organic products, however we’re increasingly seeing customers that are simply looking for quality – clothes that are made well and beauty products that work. There have also been more men buying from our site lately, which is encouraging too.

What are your fave beauty products you stock?

1) Jasmine Lotion from Earth tu Face – it smells absolutely divine. I always get so many compliments when I’m wearing it and it’s beautifully light on the skin.

2) La Crème Gommante (Natural Organic Gentle Cream Exfoliant) from Absolution – it’s a lovely, fine scrub that removes impurities but is gentle enough for even my sensitive skin. I use it twice a week, it’s an essential for me.

3) Natural Nail Colour Remover Wipes from LVX – these wipes are amazing! They have a natural, plant-based formula that removes nail colour so easily but they actually leave your nails looking healthier after use.

What’s next for ecoture australia?

We have an exciting expansion coming up but can’t give away too many details at this stage.

Nail Your Winter Mani With Non-Toxic Nail Polish

As the cooler weather sets in, it’s time to switch out those bright, vibrant summer nail polishes and opt for something a little more sophisticated, moody and chic. “The Autumn/Winter 2017 nail trends closely follow those seen in fashion on the catwalks,” says Mavala trainer and nail expert Tracey Winder. “The catwalks were awash with an eclectic mix of brights contrasted against warm, earthy tones – bold mauves and reds were combined with more muted warm rose, grey and brown tones.”

While you won’t be too hard-pressed to find the perfect colour to dress up your digits this winter, it might be a little trickier to find a gorgeous polish that’s also free from major toxins and harmful ingredients. “There are a number of ‘nasties’ or damaging ingredients that can be found in nail polishes which are incredibly toxic and can be detrimental to the health of the nail if used too frequently,” warns Tracey. “The five chemicals people are most concerned about are formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin and synthetic camphor.”

Danielle Egan, founder of one of our all-time favourite healthy nail polish brands Sienna Byron Bay, is equally horrified by some of the toxic ingredients that can be found in many mainstream nail polishes. “Did you know they once bottled car paint for the ladies to match their nails to their car? I believe this was back in the 40s and 50s – thank goodness we’ve come a long way since then!” exclaims Danielle. “These toxic chemicals are known to cause birth defects, are linked to neurological dysfunctions, and can cause skin irritation.”

If you’re ready to embrace safe and healthy glamour this winter, adorn your digits with one of these bang-on-trend shades of non-toxic nail polish and nourishing treatments:

non-toxic nail polish

non-toxic nail polish

non-toxic nail polish

non-toxic nail polish

non-toxic nail polish

non-toxic nail polish

Five Minutes With: Beautiful Because Founder Nina Weston

Hailing from picturesque Cornwall in the UK, businesswoman and entrepreneur Nina Weston moved to Australia in 2010 and founded her ever-expanding eco-chic online boutique Beautiful Because in 2013.

Boasting a stunning array of certified organic, natural and toxin-free beauty brands, the store’s fan base grew rapidly thanks to its and unrivalled customer service, which includes complimentary samples and generous reward points.

Here Nina divulges her insights into the natural beauty industry, and shares the story behind her success.

EE: What first sparked your interest in natural beauty?

Nina: I’ve always loved boutique and handcrafted brands, but it wasn’t until I did a makeup artistry course that I really started to question the ingredients listed on the boxes of the mainstream products in my kit.

After years of trying every brand I possibly could in search of the holy grail of beauty, I woke up to the reality that most are tarred with the same toxic brush – and there was no turning back! I no longer wanted to use these products on myself, let alone apply them to others.

How did the idea to create Beautiful Because come about?

In a nutshell, I feel strongly that we shouldn’t have to fear toxins in our skincare and cosmetics, and I became frustrated by mainstream players in the industry falsely marketing themselves – often through celebrity-endorsed campaigns. Upon making the switch to support more ethical, cruelty-free brands myself, I was delighted to discover so many here in Australia with really effective, all-natural formulas.

I woke up to the reality that most beauty products are tarred with the same toxic brush.

I felt compelled to create an educational platform to showcase the finest, together and in one place, and help raise awareness that going green doesn’t mean a compromise on performance. Beautiful Because started as a passionate hobby between jobs, but I soon discovered there was little time for anything else!

Has the swift success and growth of Beautiful Because taken you by surprise, and why?

Yes and no. Natural and organic beauty is growing as an industry, yet I never expected the store to become so popular so quickly. I am very grateful for our loyal and savvy customers who are beautiful because they choose healthy and kind beauty.

What’s been the most challenging part of running your own business?

Expanding the shop while keeping the personalised service our customers love. Juggling many roles in the one day; from helping my staff pack orders on busy mornings, to advising customers, liaising with brands, creative and promotional tasks, etc, etc! Taking work home is all too easy when it’s your own business and sometimes it can be hard to switch off.

And what’s been the most rewarding part?

Working with like-minded people and helping to make a positive difference – be it small – to the lives of our customers and the wider world. It feels good to advocate for brands that are beautiful from the core, and I feel privileged to do so.

What are your top five natural beauty must-haves for summer?

In addition to one of our natural sunscreens (which is of course a must for that strong Australian sun), I will definitely be using the following products this summer:

1. Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

I love this because it works – even in the summer heat. I’m also a fan of its refreshing floral scent.

Erica Brooke Deodorant Cream in Neroli & Vanilla

2. Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

This mineral tint blurs the line between makeup and skincare. It provides great antioxidant protection with a beautiful flawless tint to boot.

Madara Sunflower Tinting Fluid

3. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

This is a real treat for skin in need of some extra TLC this summer. A highly nourishing and nutrient rich balm, it envelops skin in a cooling wave of azure blue goodness.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

4. Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

I adore this ethical lippie brand that proves eco-friendly beauty can be luxurious. My fave shade is Devotion, which gives your that perfect “my lips but better” natural look.

Axiology Lipstick in Devotion

5. INDAH Coconut Oil To Go

Coconut oil is the minimalist’s multitasking beauty essential. It gives you glowing skin and strong healthy hair, and it doesn’t get purer than INDAH’s cold-pressed extra virgin oil that comes in funky portable packaging – making it superb for using on-the-go.

INDAH Coconut Oil To Go