Behind the brand: sustainable skincare that doesn't cost the earth

a lifestyle image of a person doing her skincare routine

Sustainability is at the very heart of Antipodes, and has been since I started the brand 18 years ago.

We want to leave the world better than we found it by championing the ideals of quality, natural, and sustainable, and to show customers that they don’t have to compromise the health of the planet for luxurious skincare that gives results.

Antipodes’ brand values align with the values of the millions of people around the world who wish to lead healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.

Our green beauty ethos encompasses three key areas:

  • Natural, traceable ingredients from forest to face
  • High-quality recyclable packaging; and
  • Formulations that are independently certified.

We are known for our natural-origin, efficacious skincare, which is why we invest in scientific testing of our products. Our devotees come back time and time again because they can trust our formulations to deliver genuine benefits for their skin, while also being kinder to the planet.

Ultra-clean ingredients

We are lucky that New Zealand’s fertile soil, clear air, high sunshine hours, and clean rainfall result in a bountiful array of clean ingredients that go into our skincare, to provide the greatest possible benefits for your skin.

These include harakeke flax, mamaku black fern, and kawakawa – all renowned for their protective and regenerative properties – as well as vitamin C-rich kiwi seed oil and antibacterial manuka honey, to name just a few.

High-performance extracts

We work with local suppliers who use innovative methods to extract their yields from the environment to ensure maximum nutrient density and freshness. One example is our Vinanza® Grape antioxidant extract, which is made from sauvignon blanc grape seeds, an upcycled by-product from the Marlborough wine industry.

These grapes have double the levels of polyphenolic antioxidants of grapes grown anywhere else in the world, and the seeds are harvested with a natural extraction technique that uses water instead of chemicals, to ensure the purest and clearest extract possible.

High-quality recyclable packaging

We’ve long been a pioneer of the ‘low consumption, high quality’ approach. Since the beginning we’ve used glass and aluminium as our core packaging, which I’m proud to say has saved more than 10 million plastic jars.

Both glass and aluminium are high-quality materials – important to us as a premium skincare brand – and are fully recyclable and endlessly reusable. So from our perspective, they are superior to plastic in every way and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Reducing plastic

Early in 2022 we removed all internal shrink wrap from the production process, thanks to the development of a biodegradable tamper seal. Made from wood pulp, the eco-friendly seal now features on all boxed products, eliminating the need for plastic shrink wrap on individual jars.

In 2022 we switched our Juliet Daily Balancing Gel Cleanser to glass, which has already saved 1.9 tonnes of plastic. But we’re not stopping there – we have some exciting new developments on the horizon to take us closer to our goal of making the entire facial skincare range 100% plastic free by the end of 2023.

Supporting sustainable forestry

All Antipodes labels and cardboard are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, from sustainable forests that maintain biodiversity, uphold workers’ rights, and don’t result in deforestation; and they are printed with biodegradable eco-inks from vegetables. We take a low-packaging approach overall, going without cardboard boxes for selected products and using innovations such as sets made from a single sheet of cardboard, not requiring glue.

Certified vegan, vegetarian & organic

We are one of few brands globally that strive to create 100% natural-origin formulations that also achieve the all-important scientific efficacy. Antipodes formulations are certified vegan, vegetarian, and organic by independent organisations, and you’ll see the symbols proudly displayed on our packaging.

  • Vegan & vegetarian

Our vegan and vegetarian skincare is certified by the UK Vegetarian Society (VegSoc), a world-leading organisation for the certification of vegan and vegetarian products. The certification is confirmation that products and their ingredients are not tested on animals, are free from animal ingredients and genetically modified organisms, and that there’s no cross-contamination during the production process.

  • Organic

Our organic skincare is certified by BioGro, the Pacific’s largest certifier of organic produce and products. To be certified organic, products must be 100% natural origin and contain more than 70% of ingredients from organic cultivation. All ingredients are grown free from pesticides and chemicals and there is full visibility of the supply chain.

What’s next?

Of course, all our formulations are made right here in Aotearoa and our printing takes place just around the corner from our Wellington headquarters. Our environmental ethos extends to our HQ – we have a green ‘living wall’, an in-house sustainability team, and a vegetarian policy to reflect the company’s values.

We are focused on exciting sustainability goals for 2023:

  • 100% plastic free,
  • 100% kerbside recyclable in New Zealand and Australia
  • 100% traceable ingredients

We’ve already reached that last goal, but we’re working on making this transparent by publishing the results.

All in all, it’s a really rewarding time for Antipodes as we work towards these ambitious goals and set new benchmarks for sustainable skincare.

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