Environmental category

Living in an environmentally better world has always been something young entrepreneur Brianne West has strived for.

So she decided to build a company that would create something people loved but without all the chemicals.

The 27-year-old biology and chemistry student is the founder of the solid cosmetics business, based in Christchurch, called Sorbet.

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The company is almost two years old and creates completely solid beauty products - including shampoos, conditioners, massage oils, creams and serums - using biodegradable ingredients. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and have to be certified as cruelty-free by suppliers.

"I want to make the world a better place. It's always the economy first, but I personally am more concerned with the environment," Ms West said.

"I am aware that countries that are not well-off or have other issues happening - that is the last thing they're going to be concerned about. But for us, I think it should be a priority."

Most of the labels and wrappings used for the company's bars are also helping the environment, as they are water-soluble. That helps to reduce the huge number of bottles that end up in a landfill.

Ms West said although many of their customers were buying products just because they wanted something different or luxurious, people were also taking in the message the company was putting out.

"People have really responded to it. They know what we're trying to do and the message we're trying to push about sustainability."