What our favourite sustainability change-makers have on their list this year The G+S 2022 Conscious Gift Guide
Natural, effective and biodegradable, the brand that leaves no trace
In partnership with Biode
When Nicole Kidd and Vanessa Gray Lyndon met at their local daycare, they both admit there was an instant connection. However, like most friendships that stem from children, it wasn’t until months later they realised how serendipitous their meeting was. Unbeknown to them, both women were on quests for finding and creating the ultimate full-circle, natural and biodegradable skincare on the planet, and unknowingly they had landed on the partnership of a lifetime.
For Vanessa, who is a formulator and founder of organic skincare company, Vanessa Megan, it was a conversation with her friend and actress Zoe Gameau while in Byron Bay on a girls’ weekend that ignited her desire to create an earth first skincare company that would leave no trace of its existence once the product had been used.
“I had just launched some new products and I brought them all up to the girls’ weekend for everyone to try. And Zoe just said to me, “Nessy, what do you think about making products with more sustainable packaging?”,’’ Vanessa recalls.
“And I just went, “Oh, my god. How has this not occurred to me before?”. Here we are in the beauty industry ignoring all the issues that are happening around us.”
At a similar time, whilst on a playdate with Vanessa, Nicole had half jokingly challenged Vanessa to create a natural stick deodorant that actually worked.
“I was like, challenge accepted, on both fronts, on creating packaging that was sustainable, and a natural deodorant that worked,’’ Vanessa says.
Nicole, who is the mother of two children, and the strategic brains of the business partnership, lives with an auto-immune disease and came to realise the impact synthetic ingredients were having on her endocrine system. “I have an autoimmune disorder that has manifested itself in a number of ways,’’ Nicole says.
“After having three miscarriages and three failed rounds of IVF trying to conceive our second baby, I eventually gave up and just focussed on getting my health into order.’’
Nicole overhauled her entire personal care, beauty, eating and home cleaning routine, switching to natural and organic ingredients, and six weeks later aged 42, she fell pregnant naturally.
When Vanessa came to Nicole looking for strategic business advice on getting a first-of-its-kind all-natural, environmentally responsible body care and lifestyle brand off the ground, Nicole says she immediately wanted to be involved. The brief was to hero two natural deodorants, an all-purpose balm, soaps and shampoo and conditioner bars that had zero toxins and impact on the planet.
“Everyone has a need for these personal care products, and here’s an option that makes you feel good twice, it’s a natural product that works, and it’s good for the planet,’’ she says.
What the pair created is Biode, a home compostable lifestyle brand, with the ultimate aim of replenishing more to the planet than it takes.
“It’s 100 per cent natural and certified organic. But it is also something that you can chop up and pop in your compost. Or if you don’t have a compost, you can dig a hole and stick it in the garden or even a pot plant,’’ Nicole says.
“We want to educate our customers about a whole bunch of other things, like how to compost, what things in your house can you recycle, and to recycle properly, and be more than a lifestyle brand. We want our customers to know you don’t have to be perfect. If you want to choose to go natural and that’s the only thing you do, well, you know what, that should be commended.’’
Vanessa and Nicole talk passionately about the Biode lifecycle when asked about how they measure the brand’s sustainability.
“Let’s say you have bought the soap, you take the soap out of the box, put it into the shower, and you use the product. At the same time we plant a tree because we understand the majority of our packaging is paper,’’ says Vanessa.
“By the time you’ve finished your product, your box that the product came with has started its degrading process into the earth. So, by the time you’re going to order again, there’s a tree planted in its honor. The product that you’ve used has gone on you. And the box that it’s come in is dissolving into the earth.”
Since launching in June 2020, thanks to its community, Biode has planted 543 trees and saved at least 1086 units of packaging from landfill. Their products are certified toxin free, are not tested on animals, are vegan, biodegradable and home compostable. And their ultimate aim is to get as many natural, organic and home compostable products into as many households as they can. It’s changing the personal care game from the ground up. And we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Natural, planet friendly and low on white sheen The G+S approved natural sunscreens for under makeup
Why seaweed can help fight climate change Sam Elsom is changing the world, one seaweed plant at a time