reduce plastic environment plant

Our favourite swaps to reduce plastic

We all know that single-use plastic is a massive issue, and yet plastic is seemingly everywhere. If you want a takeaway coffee there is plastic lining the cup and if you shop in a supermarket, nearly everything seems to be wrapped in plastic. With Plastic Free July underway, we are investigating the problem with plastic and some simple swaps to make at home, work and while you’re on the go. Acting collectively, even small changes will make a big difference. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Let’s do it!

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Plastic is everywhere…
and virtually indestructible

 

How did we even get to here, to this point where plastic is a ubiquitous part of all our lives? In 1907 Leo Baekeland invented Bakelite, the first fully synthetic plastic, meaning it contained no molecules found in nature. It was initially seen as a major breakthrough and plastics were lauded for being both versatile, cheap and, unbelievably, glamourous. Fast forward to 2019 and there are now literally hundreds and thousands of different kinds of polymers (or plastics), most of which are used so widely because they are virtually indestructible. Of course, this is also their biggest disadvantage. Plastic might sit in landfill or pollute our planet for thousands of years without decomposing.

reduce plastic pollution

The problem of plastic

“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.” – Annie Leonard

Plastic pollution is everywhere and affects everything from marine life to our health. There are garbage patches of plastic waste at five locations worldwide. Most of you will have heard of the most infamous of these, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch said to be three times the size of France. And while the average plastic bag will only be in use for about 12 minutes, they take from 500-years to forever to break down. Eeek! Toothbrushes can take 400 years to fully break down, and let’s not even start on coffee cups. It wasn’t until the influential War on Waste screened on the ABC last year that many people realised that take away cups were not recyclable. Sales of reusable coffee cups have since soared and in our neighbourhood at least, it is not unusual to see people picking up their takeaway coffees in everything from jam jars to thrift shop mugs.

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Allow us to suggest some of
our favourite swaps

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Plastic Free July has so far inspired 120 million participants in 177 countries to refuse plastics for a month – and beyond. If only it was Plastic Free July every month. Check out our favourite swaps and get involved.

reduce plastic reusable coffee cup

BYO coffee cup to your local.

You don’t need an Instagram worthy vessel for this. A jam jar works just as well, as does a mug from home if you’re planning to mooch with your coffee somewhere close by. If you need an incentive, some cafes offer a discount for people who bring their own cups.

reduce plastic straws

Say no to straws.

Straws really do suck. Straws No More is working hard to lobby restaurants and hotels to make the swap to paper straws but, if you can, bring your own. We do understand however that some people with disability cannot drink a beverage without the assistance of a plastic straw, and should not have to navigate additional obstacles when eating out. There is clearly work to be done here.

reduce plastic bag

Say no to plastic bags at the supermarket and for produce.

Keep reusable bags in your car or handbag to load your groceries and using paper or reusable produce bags. These can be made out of old pillowcases or tea towels if you’re feeling crafty.

reduce plastic farmers market vegetables

Support your local farmers and local brands.

There is a perception that this is more a more expensive way to shop but food that is fresh and in season should be just as affordable, if not cheaper.

reduce plastic, bulk store

Buy in bulk.

Bulk food stores are springing up everywhere. Pasta, flour, nuts and grains can be stored in old jars or yoghurt tubs. Just like Nana does!

second hand clothes reduce plastic

Avoid fast fashion.

It is calculated that 6000kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes in Australia. To this we say vintage, thrift shops or, if your budget allows, support a slow fashion label you love. Organising a clothes swap with your friends is also good fun, and you can eat yummy food together at the same time as getting your mitts on coveted items you’ve always admired on a friend. Everyone’s a winner.

reduce plastic buy bar soap

Change your toiletries.

Choose bar soap, reusable razors rather than disposal and try reusable toothbrushes – prices are coming down as they become more popular.

reduce plastic recycle sienna nail polish bottle

Recycle your Sienna bottles.

We run an in-house recycling program for our bottles. Follow the link on our Sustainability and Ethics page to find out more.

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We are all doing our best

“Going back to a simpler life is not a step backward.”
– Yvon Chouinard

But some real talk. Making a change is not easy. As our friends and environmental leaders Eco Warrior Princess say, adopting a sustainable lifestyle is fraught with challenges and it takes determination to always stay grounded and make the eco-choice, even when it’s not convenient. Everyone’s situation is different and going green doesn’t mean the same for everyone. For some, going vegan is an obvious choice, for others ditching plastic or going for zero waste is the way forward. Whether you are a veteran of green living or are taking your first steps, we are all doing our best and every little bit helps. There will be no eco-shaming here.

reduce plastic environment plant

Some barriers to going green and how to overcome them

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Breaking old habits is an obvious but underrated challenge. One suggestion is to focus on building new habits such as making sure you have your reusable bags packed when you go to the shops (and then remembering to take them in with you!) or packing your BYO coffee cup each day. In time, it will become second nature. Celebrate your wins and don’t berate yourself in the early days. It can take 66 days to form a new habit.

Cost and accessibility are also barriers to green living. The gorgeous images we see on social media would have us think that cutting back on waste needs to be pretty. It doesn’t. By all means, be inspired by your favourite online accounts but tread your own path. Most people find they can repurpose things they already have to hand to pack groceries and lunches, while options like bar soap are demonstrably cheaper.

 

Over to you

As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know how your tips and tricks to reducing your own plastic use. When people work together, there’s nothing we can’t do.

Certified B corp

Sienna is B Corp certified!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that
we are now B Corp certified.

 

We join a community of like-minded businesses who are leading the way and doing business better, and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of this global movement. Sienna is one of only two nail polishes worldwide who have this coveted accreditation, and we hope to inspire more to follow us in our ethical, sustainable approach to beauty. Read on to learn more.

Certified B corp

Sienna x B Corp

 

What exactly is a B Corp, you ask? We think they probably say it best:

“Certified B Companies are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good.”

All the sustainable and ethical things we have been doing since our very first bottles were poured in 2014 have now been documented, measured and verified. You can see how we went on our impact statement.

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How do you become a certified B Corp?

 

It takes months to become certified as a B Corp. B Lab is the non-profit body that certifies products and services to make sure they meet the high standards required to become certified. B Lab looks at every aspect of your business to assess your positive impact. The combination of third-party validation, public transparency and legal accountability builds trust and helps caring consumers like you make ethical choices.

B lab

It’s not a dollar, it’s a ballot

 

You cast your vote every time you make a decision about what you buy and where you shop. You can vote for your values by choosing companies that put people and planet first. The B Corp directory has every business type under the sun, from activewear to restaurants, to hair salons, to designer dress rental. People and businesses are doing extraordinary things.

Did you know?

Who doesn’t love a good statistic? Here are a few via the B Corp Instagram account:

‘B Corps are more than 87% more likely to manage greenhouse gas emissions.’

‘B Corps are nearly three times as likely to use 100% renewable energy’

‘B Corps outperform other companies by 16% on addressing climate change’

‘B Corps outperform other business by 10% on providing high-quality jobs’

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Sustainability is a journey

Sienna Nail Polish Bottle Pink

Sustainability is at the centre of everything we do. We’re not saying we have all the answers, but we will always keep pushing to find ways of doing things better. Check out our Sustainability & Ethics page for more details on sustainability at Sienna.

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The nature of Byron

A little bit of history

 

Byron Bay is a little beachside town located in the far-north east corner of NSW, Australia. It is a quick 1.5-hour flight from Sydney and just a couple of hours drive south from Brisbane. It’s also home to Sienna.

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While the town may have a relatively small population – just under 10,000 people – Byron is well and truly on the radar globally and nearly 2 million visitors every year come from all over the world for the glorious beaches, healthy lifestyle and thriving food scene. Did we mention the coffee?

The Arakwal people have lived in this area for at least 22,000 years and were here for many thousands of years before the arrival of non-Aboriginal people. The history of Europeans in Byron Bay didn’t begin until 1770. Most people would find it shocking to learn that prominent industries back then were logging, abattoirs and whaling – a far cry from the eco-epicentre Byron Bay is today. The town was actually an active sea port until 1963. All that was about to change though.

The Byron feeling

 

The town was discovered by surfers during the 60s and with its beautiful bay and beaches, Byron quickly became the ultimate off-the-grid hippy destination. The Aquarius Festival was held in nearby Nimbin in 1973 and with that, the town’s reputation as a happy, hippy alternative town was established. Byron Bay was now synonymous with surf, sun and fun, a reputation that still holds true today. Locals joke Byron Bay is in a little bubble that’s a bit different from the rest of Australia, and it’s true! The main street is full of eco-stores, vegan food and yoga studios, and, also unlike most small surf towns, Byron enjoys all the international influences you would expect to find in a big city, thanks to all the visitors who have fallen in love and decided to stay. It is a real-life piece of paradise that visitors from all over the world come to discover.

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The Byron classics

 

Here’s our little glimpse of Byron; local style.

Surfing The Pass.

The most popular surf spot, the wave here is a perfect place for longboard surfers who come to surf long waves from the point of the bay to the end of the beach. It’s also a good place to learn!

Images: Grace Nail Polish

Coffee at the Road House.

Just a little out of the centre of town, this café is one of the most popular places for locals to grab a coffee, chai or one of the café’s delicious and super fresh dishes made from locally sourced produce.

Images: Nurture Nail Polish

Walking the lighthouse

If you come to Byron Bay, you need to go and see the view from the lighthouse. It’s accessible by car, but if you like walking, there’s a beautiful path along the beach that hugs the headland the whole way.  After your walk, have a swim in Wategos, one of the most beautiful beaches of the area. ‘Walking the Lighthouse’ is one of the most popular activities for locals with many heading up daily for both the exercise and the ‘walk and talk’.

Images: Spirit Nail Polish

Shopping in town

Byron Bay is full of amazing shops where you can buy from some of Byron’s best loved fashion labels and of course, plenty of organic products. It’s the perfect place to wander around and do a bit of shopping for things you won’t find anywhere else. You won’t be able to resist going home with some of Byron’s wildly covetable, Insta-worthy style.

Images: Blossom Nail Polish

Come and visit us soon!
We’d love to hear your highlights or Byron Bay bucket list!

spirit white nail polish swatch

Sienna – First Made Safe Nail Polish

We are so thrilled to share with you that Sienna recently became the very first nail polish company globally to achieve Australian Certified Toxic-free, Made Safe and Allergy Certified certification from MADE SAFE®.

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Made Safe certification

 

At Sienna, it’s important for us to make a difference, and be conscious of the impact we have on the environment. In fact, it’s the very foundation of our business.  For us it means bringing you high-end nail polish informed by the latest research. It also means aligning ourselves with well-known organisations and gaining certifications so you can see we are true to our word and actively support what we believe in. We want to show you that we really do walk our talk.

Who is Made Safe®

 

MADE SAFE® is Australia’s first nontoxic seal for everyday products. They have verified that every ingredient used in Sienna is safe from both a health and environmental perspective. We are committed to making sure all the ingredients in our products meet the Made Safe standards –  not just in our current lines, but in our future lines too.

 

‘Each ingredient will be scrutinized for contamination and examined for potential harm to humans and the environment to meet the highest level of health and safety possible with the best science of the day.’

Made Safe wants to change the way everyday products are made

 

Made Safe wants to change the way everyday products are made, with a goal of eventually encouraging companies to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether. We are so proud to be part of the journey and to be recognised for all our work in bringing you a professional quality nail polish that meets the highest health and environmental standards.

Learn more about our work with people and the planet by visiting our certifications page.

non toxic nail polish

Nail polish, Acrylic, Gel explained

What is the difference between non-toxic nail polish, regular nail polish, gel, shellac and acrylic?

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Acrylics

the most artificial of them all and more of a ‘nail enhancement’ than a polish. It is a substance that is balled up, placed on the nail then worked out to form a ‘nail shape’. You can identify acrylics by the way the nail looks raised. To remove you need an electric file which can grind back your natural nail, resulting in extensive damage.

 

Shellac

is actually a brand name! Shellac is actually Gel polish.

 

Gel

Oh Gels. I WISH I could make a non-toxic gel (It needs certain ‘toxic’ ingredients to make it last like it does). They’re the most similar to a normal polish but with extra wear (if you apply them right). They apply like a normal polish but are usually cured under a UV lamp and your nails need to be SOAKED in acetone to remove it. Don’t pick at it because it gets so deeply embedded in your nail (think the top few micro layers) that you will pull your nail off with it.

 

Regular nail polish

These are your classic polishes like your Revlon’s and OPI’s. They’re usually long standing brands but the problem is their formulas (and ethics) are stuck in the dark ages. They contain many of the ingredients that modern users are trying to avoid whilst not giving any longer wear than non-toxic ones. Another thing to note is they and are often not cruelty free or vegan as they are more of the ‘mass market’ brand and sell wholesale to countries like China.

 

Non-toxic polish

Yay! The best of the bunch. Not only are these not damaging to your nail bed but they come without the harsh ingredients that we’re ALL trying to avoid. They’re often produced by smaller companies (like us!) so you have greater capacity to ask questions and develop the trust needed to use these brands.

Helena Nail Polish

If you’re using acrylics or gels but you want to try going for a natural nail it will take approx. 3-6 months for your nail bed to grow out and look natural. I have seen many people with damage that lasts long beyond the 6 month mark! Your nails should recover eventually but it does take a long time so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

 

And remember: the stronger the polish, the more unnatural the ingredients and the more intense they have to be.

7-free, 10-free, 12-free nail polish explained

The ‘10-free 12-free’ branding on nail polish was initially developed to show customers the ‘sans chemical’ cleanliness of products compared to other brands. 3-free was Formaldehyde, Toluene & DBP free, 5-free removed Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor, 7-free removed more, 12-free nail polish and so on.

Beyond Red Nail Polish

BUT it’s all changed!

 

These days businesses are including things like animal products & gluten (gluten is never found in nail polish) which makes it hard to compare brands. Without a cosmetic governing body, you really have to look into what each brand is claiming as their ‘x-free’. We have recently removed our ‘7-free’ label because there are many others claiming to be ‘10-free’ nail polish, ‘12-free’ (even 21-free!) but they still use Benzophenone-1, an endocrine disruptor, and that’s one of the ones we avoid. It became a marketing race which is something we do not want to be a part of.

You guys see right through that, we  know you do! So, if you have a ‘7-free’ bottle of ours, rest assured it’s still the cleanest you can get. And if you’re looking at ‘10-free’ nail polish, ‘12-free’ ‘x-free’ brands and think they must be super clean, please check the labels. First step is to check if they include Benzophenone-1 in their ingredients list.

 

If they do, we don’t so we’re cleaner!

Naturally Byron Collection

Naturally Byron – The New Summer Collection

Summer Collection Nail Polish

A morning walk on the beach, a cafe with those we love, a view surrounded by mountains, life in unison with nature and the ocean … The essence of Byron Bay.

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This summer, we present you “Naturally Byron”, a collection in the colours of the beautiful Byron and all the joy it brings us. From the blue azure of Kombi to the vibrant peach of Joy, these 5 new crèmes are all inspired by a moment, an emotion, a memory lived in this unique town.

Kombi Blue Nail Polish

Kombi – Azure blue crème

This azure blue is inspired by one of the greatest classic of Byron Bay: the Kombi. Want to go on a road trip? Explore the open road? Let yourself be carried away by this intense blue and go on the road, where the wind will take you.

Bohemian Purple Nail Polish

Bohemian – Soft lily purple crème

The delicacy of this soft lily represents the calm spirit and peace someone can feel watching at the ocean.

Joy Orange Nail Polish

Joy – Vibrant peach crème

The smile of a child, his little hand in ours, as if we were alone in the world. Here’s Joy, a vibrant peach perfect for a sunny day full of happy moments.

Goddess Raspberry Nail Polish

Goddess – Dark raspberry pink crème

It’s summer, bring out the goddess in you and let it shine! This dark raspberry will accompany your best outfits to celebrate in style.

Passion Red Nail Polish

Passion – Intense Vermillion red crème

Here is a bright red as intense as the fire that burns in your heart when you are with the person you love.

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We are really excited to show you this new collection! Here is a colour chart for a comparison of the new nail polish alongside some of our current range, to find the perfect colours for your summer vacation!

Conscience Gift Bag

The Conscience Gift Bag

Conscience Gift Bag

Our new Conscience Gift Bag has once again been made by the incredible women of the social enterprise, Freeset Global. This time around we wanted to have a unique ‘Sienna’ style print and so collaborated with the wonderful Kukukachu, a Byron Bay local, to create the perfect subtle design of our gold spots.

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Freeset Global

 

Freeset Global is a company created by Kerry and Annie Hilton in 2001. Just after moving to Kolkata, in India, they realised that most of the women who lived there were forced into prostitution by trafficking and poverty. They decided to create a sewing business to offer jobs to those women, and fight with them against the situation they were living in. It took patience and determination, but their efforts were rewarded and today, they work with more than 250 women, offering them and their families a brighter future.

Freeset Global commits to fair trade and eco-friendly practices and we are proud to work with such a company to create this lovely conscience gift bag. See everyone at work here.

The design

It was important for us to create a unique design to reflect our company and so we collaborated with an incredible local print designer, Alana, from Kukukachu studio. Her beautiful patterns and lovely personality inspired us to choose a soft gold spot pattern for our new bags. Check out her design process here.

 

 

 

Check out more designs

The Eden Collection

If you’ve been following the Sienna journey for a little while now, it will be of no surprise to you that we were again inspired by the beauty of our native flora when dreaming about the Eden campaign. The five new colours so beautifully represented in our natural environment was the perfect opportunity to step outside and spend the shoot day lapping up the sun! With a team of our favourite creative masterminds, and a fresh new face to front this campaign, the Eden collection very much aligns with the heart of Sienna.

Eden Spring Collection Sienna Byron Bay
Eden Spring Collection Sienna Byron Bay
Eden Spring Collection Sienna Byron Bay
spring eden nail colours

Spring Nail Colours you’re going to love!

If you were to ask any of our team members, they would tell you Spring is collectively our favourite time of the year here at Sienna HQ! Why? New life, warmer days, brighter mornings, and fresh new flowers blooming. That’s exactly what triggered the inspiration for our most recent collection, Eden.

There is so much choice in the nail polish world when designing new colours, shimmer or cremes, block colour or sheer. The possibilities are endless. But for these five new spring nail colours, we decided to keep it simple and look to the native Australian flora for our palette.

Spring nail colours are typically fresh, warm and inviting- a nod to the changing in season. We chose five gorgeous new hues to see you from day to night, casual to dressy.

spring nail colours elm

Elm- Misty Jade Green Crème

This beauty dusty green has been a long awaited and much requested colour. The slight greyish tinge is a nod to the beautiful gum leaves, a colour that looks just as spectacular in the native bushland as it does on you mani!

fleur pink nail polish bottle

Fleur- Blushing Bride Pink Crème

One of the spring nail colours we just couldn’t overlook, Fleur is going to be your new favourite pink. Slightly lighter than our best seller Ambrosia, Fleur is soft and delicate but has excellent coverage for such a light shade!

spring nail colours helena

Helena- Apricot Blush Crème

A gorgeous nude for those with fair, warm undertone skin, and a beautifully dusty apricot for everyone else! Helena is an all-round winner, perfectly subtle but with enough kick to take you from day into night.

spring nail colours peony

Peony- Cherry Blossom Pink Crème

Two pinks in the new collection? Correct! This one is a deeper, brighter shade for those of you who love a pop of colour for your mani! Peony is a cool-toned pink and sits on the pinker side of Bliss.

spring nail colours florence

Florence- Magenta Plum Crème

Florence is the deep plum that will be your holy grail! Beautifully rich jewel toned colour provides amazing coverage and is our new go-to for our pedicures!

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We are so excited to bring you this collection with colours that have been requested by many of our customers. Make sure you check the chart below for a comparison of these new colours alongside some of our current range, to find the perfect colour for your spring mani!

spring nail colours sienna comparison chart