Sustainability in beauty is increasingly becoming a consumer priority across the globe, with many choosing to buy fewer plastic products and expecting brands to make their products more sustainable, reports Mintel.

According to the market intelligence agency,  this expectation is pushing beauty brands towards new sustainable innovations, such as waterless beauty, upcycling, carbon neutrality and reusable or refillable packaging solutions.

Mike Smith came up with an idea to tackle the global plastic problem while trekking and camping his way through some of the most far-flung corners of the planet with his girlfriend Alyssa.

In 2019, he launched Zero Co with the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter,  with the goal of raising $251,313 to help fund its first production run.

According to Mike: “Zero Co’s Kickstarter kicked ass and became the most funded Aussie Kickstarter project of 2019, raising $742,427 from almost 7,000 Aussie households.”

The subscription model of the Byron Bay-based brand works by offering  “incredible personal-care and home-cleaning products delivered direct to your door, minus the single-use plastic.”

“Our dispensers are made from plastic rubbish that we’ve pulled out of the ocean, beaches and landfill,” Mike said.

“So when you buy a Zero Co product, you’re stopping the production of more single-use plastic and helping to clean our oceans and beaches from plastic pollution. So far we have removed the equivalent of 803,083 water bottles worth of rubbish from oceans and beaches and are hoping to double that number in 2022.”

With plans pushed back to the Covid-19 pandemic, Zero Co officially launched its website in May 2020 and started taking orders for an October delivery.

The brand recently branched out into beauty by launching a Body Care range, including shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hand wash, body wash and body lotion.

“Research shows that Australians buy and throw away 93 million bottles of shampoo and conditioner, 29 million bottles of deodorant and 57 million bottles of skincare products bought from the supermarkets every year*. That’s a combined total of 179 million single-use plastic bottles, 152.15 million of which will end up in landfill each year**,”  Mike said.

“The plastic problem is big but making small changes to your daily routine can have massive global impacts.”

Zero Co’s new body range has been developed alongside Dr Kate Forbes, the ex-Global Head of Product at Aesop, who has assisted the team in entering such a competitive market and producing products with industry leading ingredients lists that are free from silicones, parabens and EDTA.


Dr Kate Forbes said: “It’s a brilliant concept and one that solves a significant challenge for the beauty industry. The innovative pouch cleaning solution that Zero Co has developed has allowed us to create these products in the liquid format that make it easy for our customers. It has been incredibly difficult, but the team have been persistent in creating products that leave no barrier to entry for the sake of planet-friendly.”


The new range expands Zero Co’s line up to 14 personal-care and home-cleaning products, including two newly released fragrances of hand wash and body wash as they look to diversify their offering to a fast-growing community of customers. The full range of kitchen, laundry and bathroom products are available online.

*SOURCE: IRI Big Picture Data
**According to the Federal Government’s Waste Report 2020 stating that 85% of plastics used by Australians, do not get recycled (ending up in landfill).

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