Those with sensitive skin know the itchy frustration of choosing the wrong product. But opting for natural alternatives can lead you down a rabbit hole of garlick-y face masks, and turmeric-based deodorants that leave suspicious yellow stains on your clothes.
A year and a half ago, Ellie Degraeve, who’s based in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, started Go for Zero after struggling to find products that didn’t aggravate her infant daughter’s skin and were also sustainably packaged and Australian owned.
“My daughter was so sensitive,” she says. “[Whatever] I put on her skin, she would break out in a rash and then I’d look at the packaging on the products and there were all these words I couldn’t pronounce and all these numbers – I just started to make my own products.”
There’s only so much coconut-oil-based body wash you can make, though, before you need to shop around.
Degraeve’s online shop stocks a wide variety of chemical-free skincare, beauty and bath products and everyday household products such as dishwashing liquid, cleaning cloths, brushes, candles and essential oils.
They’re also packaged using reusable, compostable or easily recyclable materials with minimal plastic and sourced from family-run Australian businesses. The majority are also made in Australia (some products containing stainless steel, bamboo and silicone come from overseas).
“We live on the coast and you really see the impact of all the single-use plastic – so much waste washes up at the beach,” Degraeve says. “I stock things I need for myself and I bought all these amazing, beautiful products and they all came in plastic.”
When choosing products, Degraeve considers their ingredients, packaging and carbon footprint. She works closely with her suppliers and will often suggest ways they can go from low-waste to zero-waste packaging. (That could be something as simple as ditching plastic lids on glass jars.)
“There are so many innovative, great small brands in Australia and I just love supporting them and talking to them,” she says. “I want to be that shop where people can really feel good and know [they’re] not adding more plastic into landfill and [they’re] not going to get a rash from it either.”
Go for Zero offers carbon-offset, Australia-wide shipping. It’s free for orders over $50.
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