OUR STORY

OUR ETHOS

The beauty of helping people sustainably

[ SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY ]

ETHOS is about redefining beauty.

We embrace the soulful beauty of serving others and in sustaining the earth. We find beauty in the transient imperfection of nature and the elegance that belongs to age, a beauty unmatched by the superficial.

We celebrate the elegance that belongs to age and the timeless luxury of crafting by hand.

Ethos exists to create a better future for Cambodia’s poorest by fair-trade sourcing traditionally-pressed coconut oil, which we turn into 100% synthetic-free products that care for the skin.

100% of Ethos profits go back into the sustainable development of poor communities in Cambodia, re-planting coconut trees in Kampot which act as carbon sinks, and growing Ethos so we can in turn increase our impact. 

Everything we do at Ethos challenges the conventional skincare industry – using our profits to create social & environmental change, knowing the trees our coconuts come from, and featuring the faces of Ethos people, not models.

OUR COLLECTIVE

Going far, together

We’re a diverse group of people using ethical business to change lives and improve the environment, drawn together by the coconut palm – tree of life.  

We are the Kampot growers who hand pick the coconuts, the women who press the coconut flesh into fragrant oil by hand, the Khmer social entrepreneurs who run the village enterprises Ethos supports. We are the generous souls and like-minded businesses in Aotearoa who’ve helped Ethos get going, and we’re the conscious consumers who are voting with our wallets for a better world. 

Collectively we can start to change the world through making and buying things that are more sustainable. Ethos is our shared platform to do it.

The Founders

[ GERARD & HANA ]

Ethos was born in Cambodia, an extension of the deep roots Gerard & Hana have put down there, and their love of Cambodia’s natural environment.

Volunteering in Cambodia back in 2009 left them unimpressed by the low value placed on indigenous knowledge by aid programmes. They’ve spent ten years building genuine relationships with Khmer people that respectfully focus on the value of local knowledge, and social, environmental & economic sustainability.

The network of 128 village producers they’ve collaborated with has already contributed over NZ$280,000 to the local economy. They’ve now turned their attention to increasing the incomes of as many of Kampot’s coconut growers as they can, creating employment for the women who handcraft the coconut oil. They’re optimistic that the green economy will one day be the normal way of doing business.

Negotiate a river by following its bends, enter a country by following its customs … Khmer proverb.

Village partners

We’re building on the tenacity & resourcefulness of Kampot’s coconut growers, coconut oil pressers, & family small-holders.

Our goal is to supplement the incomes of 600 growers and add to their coconut tree stock, creating extra income for them for the next 50 years. 

We also want to expand our network of 128 small-hold family producers who are raising their incomes through sustainable, chemical-free food production, led by Khmer social entrepreneur Phirun.

Vuthy and his team at our partner village enterprise hand-squeeze the coconuts at origin, producing the finest virgin coconut oil from coconut milk. This traditional time-honoured process retains the highest antioxidant levels and creates employment for 14 women.

Most rural Cambodians struggle to earn enough to meet their basic needs and are under-nourished – one third of under 5 year-olds have stunted growth. We see real (direct) trade as a better way to help than aid. 

 

The Supporters


HATS OFF to all the generous souls in Aotearoa who are creating social & environmental impact in Cambodia by supporting Ethos.
They're the people who vote with their wallets; the like-minded businesses who forgo profits to help us create a purpose driven brand; and the individuals who give their time & energy to build Ethos.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Rachel (Luminova Design); Jeremy (Online Business Accelerator); Nonavee (Dale Design) the team at Pauling Industries; Yves & David (Innovaction Ltd); Eric (ECLY Importers); Narly (Potter IP); Aimee (Achieve Accountants); Jeffrey (Anderson Creagh Lai); Rick & team (Arthur Holmes); Murray & Byron (Management Accountants);



Kirk (Vogel Media); Shane (Cassette design & print), David; Margaret & Christine (Barcodes NZ); Stuart (Kemps Weir), Kevin & team (Soar Print); Steve (Linkplas); Ming (R3pack); Trevor (Sent Packaging); Steven (Relate), Naomi, Glen, Carolyn, Carl, Andrew, Ian, Dave, Murray, David, Lars, Zoe, John, Rebecca & Matt.

Thanks for sharing the journey with us!

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