Come with us for backstage access to our recent photoshoot and see the faces behind the hands you see on our socials.
Did somebody say video?
It’s all coming soon
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.
What exactly is a B Corp, you ask? We think they probably say it best:
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.
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.
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.
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’
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.
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 is 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!
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 2020 and there are now hundreds and thousands of different kinds of polymers (or plastics), most of which are used widely because they are virtually indestructible. Of course, this is also their biggest problem. Plastic sits in landfill and can pollute our planet for thousands of years without decomposing.
Plastic pollution is everywhere and affects everything from marine life to our health. Most of you will have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, said to be three times the size of France, and there are at least four others like this at other locations around the world. 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 their take away cups weren’t 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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep reusable bags in your car or handbag to load your groceries and use paper or reusable produce bags. These can be made out of old pillowcases or tea towels if you’re feeling crafty.
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.
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!
It is calculated that 6000kg of clothing 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.
Choose bar soap, reusable razors rather than disposal and try reusable toothbrushes – prices are coming down as they become more popular.
But some real talk. Making 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.
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.
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.
“I always wanted Sienna to be a beauty brand that gives back. I’m so proud for us to be partnering again with Rafiki Mwema. The kids they love, care and advocate for have gone through so much, it’s just not fair. The work Rafiki does to heal their trauma and keep them safe is so important.”
Danielle, Sienna Founder and Creative Director
Read on to learn more about the work Rafiki does and how the funds raised will make a difference.
We work with families, in the communities, with schools, churches, villages and with government officials to ensure the cycle of abuse is broken and that children are given the chance to live as children should.
Funds from the sale of the Jamii Pack will help Rafiki Mwema keep their doors open. Their running costs are huge, on average about AUD$40,000 per month, and when you see everything they do, you’ll understand why.
Rafiki Mwema supports 70 children under the age of 12 who have experienced sexual abuse. The children live in therapeutic houses – there are two houses for girls and two for the boys – where they can be safe, loved and supported while they heal. Rafiki also supports another 130 children who have left their therapeutic homes via the Rafiki Outreach Team. As if all this wasn’t enough, they have also organised, funded and installed two video links in local courts in Kenya so children can testify against their abusers safely, acquired a farm, then built a school on it, and started a weekly food program in town. Rafiki also runs regular training on topics like Building Attachments and Living with Trauma in the UK, Australia and Kenya.
Unbelievably, all this incredible work is facilitated via fundraising organised by Sarah Rosborg and a small group of wonderful volunteers who are based in the small seaside village of Lennox Head. Sarah’s passion and dedication to making a difference are just extraordinary. You can see why we were moved to help.
We spoke to Sarah about how she keeps going when the work is hard and the children have experienced so much trauma, so young.
There are days when I feel like I physically cannot continue. The sadness can be overwhelming and it can feel like we’re not making a difference. But when I travel to Kenya I can SEE the change with my own eyes. I see that the future for that child HAS changed through our work and you never know where that can lead. We want to break the cycle of abuse so these kids can grow up and be balanced and loving adults… I would like to think someone would fight for Lovisa (Sarah’s daughter) if I was not here. I believe we owe it to the world to honour our good life, but we should also be helping those who are not so lucky.”
Are you crying? We’re crying.
The three colours in Sienna x Jamii Pack are gorgeous, of course, but more than that, Sarah told us these colours – Huruma (Empathy), Upendo (Love) and Upunyaji (Healing) – represent all the children cared for by the Rafiki staff. Pass a tissue, please.
Head to the Rafiki Mwema website to read more about what they do. If their work resonates with you and you want to help Rafiki keep their doors open, they have lots of suggestions about how to help. From writing a letter to a child in Kenya to sponsorship options, there are lots of ways to get involved and everything helps. They also have a couple of really great events coming up with heaps of special guests, including An African Affair on the Gold Coast with Celeste Barber’s infamous Hot Husband.
We’re pretty sure this gorgeous capsule collection will fly off the shelves and we want to say a big thank you to our beautiful customers, who appreciate a good cause as much as they appreciate a good manicure.
With gratitude from all of us at Sienna.
It’s impossible to be 100% chemical-free and 100% organic when developing nail polish. In fact, no matter how hard we try, it just isn’t possible… yet! But we do believe in being as healthy and safe as possible.
‘Our nail polish has always been free from Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Synthetic Camphor, Xylene and Benzophenone -1.
If it’s a brief overview you want, here it is: All of those chemicals we just mentioned are toxic. Some are carcinogenic and linked to causing cancer, others have been attributed to birth defects, and others can cause various other symptoms including dizziness and respiratory problems. While using nail polishes containing these chemicals in small doses and well-ventilated areas may not pose a major health risk, it can be a big concern for those working in nail salons, manufacturing it or those who are exposed to them continuously over the a long period. The thing is, some of the worst offenders are not even necessary to create a great nail polish formula. So rather than take risks with our collective health, we left them out of our formula completely – no compromises for health.
We take our commitment to providing a clean nail polish formula seriously. We know that most people want transparency when they are looking at beauty products, that’s why we list every ingredient of our all our products on our website. So when we say ‘no nasties’, these are the chemicals we are talking about. Read on for a fully referenced breakdown of all the ingredients Sienna has never used, and never will.
This one is the source of much controversy. Many 7-free, 10-free and ‘non-toxic’ nail polish brands still use Benzophenone-1 in their formulas. Benzophenone -1 is a UV blocker that is used in sunscreens as well as cosmetics to stop discolouration of products. Just to be clear, there are some studies that show it is relatively harmless in small quantities, however it has also been linked to breast cancer9, ovarian cancer10, prostate cancer11, and has been found in human placental tissue12. We have never used Benzophenone-1 and never will. Even though exposure in small quantities may be deemed harmless, the research speaks for itself.
A known human carcinogenic. The long-term effects of formaldehyde exposure have been evaluated in epidemiological studies, and have been found to link with leukaemia, brain and other cancers.1 Formaldehyde was listed as a Schedule 6 poison by the Australian Government in the 2012 Poison Standard, which means it is a substance with a moderate potential for causing harm, the extent of which can be reduced with distinctive packaging with strong warnings for safety. However, Appendix C of the Poison Standard notes formaldehyde concentrations of 5% or more in nail hardener and of 0.05% or more in any other cosmetic preparations should be prohibited because of their known dangerous properties. We’re going to stick to our formaldehyde-free polish.
Otherwise known as DBP. Typically used as a plasticiser in nail polishes, DBP poses major health risks, particularly for pregnant women and unborn children. In a 2012 report by the FDA, Guidance to the Industry Limiting the Use of Certain Phalates, it is stated “the Agency has determined that there is evidence that exposure to DBP and DEHP from pharmaceuticals presents a potential risk of developmental and reproductive toxicity”3. The European Commission has identified DBP as a reproductive toxicant and the European Union prohibits the use of DBP in all cosmetics. You can see why we stay away from it.
Toluene is a commonly used solvent that creates a smooth finish across the nail and keeps the pigment from separating in the bottle. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)4 states: Toluene can cause headaches, dizziness, cracked skin, irritated eyes, nose and throat. It also states over time, exposure to high concentrations, day after day, may lead to female reproductive system damage and pregnancy loss. If swallowed, toluene can cause liver and kidney damage.
This is a polymer used in nail enamels to form a tough, shiny and durable film on the nails. Although it’s considered much safer than formaldehyde, there is strong evidence of tosylamide/formaldehyde resin being a human toxicant or allergen5. There are cases of nail polish dermatitis of allergen origin, attributed to tosylamide/formaldehyde resin6.
Synthetic Camphor functions as a fragrance, denaturant and plasticizer in nail products. Synthetic Camphor poisoning in humans can occur from swallowing, breathing or dermal contact with preparations containing camphor. It can result in nervous system and kidney effects, or other symptoms including colic, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anxiety, delirium, convulsions and seizures7.
Xylene is a solvent used to keep nail polishes smooth and liquid consistency. Xylene has carcinogenic properties with exposure leading to cancer potential. It is an endocrine disrupter, can have reproductive effects, birth and developmental effects and is toxic to specific organs such as the liver, lungs, heart and gut8.
We’ve forgone all these dodgy chemicals from the get-go and have created a nail polish that is as healthy as possible while still giving you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the best.
We believe in transparency and you can find a full list of the ingredients we use on our website. None of the ingredients we use are linked to negative or long-term health effects. A safe option for you, your family and your health: Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Polyethylmethacrylate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Etocrylene, Silica, Diacetone Alcohol, N-Butyl Alcohol, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Mica.
May Contain +/-:
Ci 15850 Red 7 Lake, Ci 15850 Red 6 Lake, Ci 77499 Black Iron Oxide, Ci 77891 Titanium Dioxide, Ci 15880 Red 34 Lake, Ci 77163 Bismuth Oxychloride, Ci 77491 Iron Oxide, Ci 77510 Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ci 19140 Yellow 5 Lake, Ci 77000 Aluminium Powder, Ci 60725 Violet 2, Ci 47005 Yellow 10, Ci 77007 Ultramarine Blue
What’s important to us at Sienna? We’re so glad you asked. Alongside making the best nail polish, probably the same kind of things that are important to you too – people and planet, sustainability and ethics. We’re not saying we know everything or that we are all the way there yet… but we’re committed to always learning more and trying to raise the bar so we can do better. Read on to learn more about what keeps us motivated and how a value-driven business like Sienna gets it done.
Times are changing and we think companies need to change too. Companies should be accountable for more than just profits. People expect the brands they support and shop with to go beyond providing a product and be a force for good – and rightly so. Businesses should be advocates, live their values and provide evidence of it. Put simply, it’s about walking your talk.
“We get accredited by third-party auditors like BCorp as part of the dialogue with our customers. The trust our customers put in us to be ethical and do the right thing is so important to us, and one way we can show them that is by doing the work and becoming certified.” – Danielle, Sienna Founder
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do here and it has been that way from the very beginning. Way-back when Sienna was just a twinkle in the eye of Founder, Danielle, she imagined a ‘wheel’ of ethical standards to meet before she would even consider launching. The ‘wheel’ on which Sienna is based includes the polish being vegan and cruelty free, low carbon production, 100% recyclable packaging, working to regenerate local rainforest areas through utilising non-native weed wood in packaging, renewable energy at the warehouse and head office, supply chain traceability to ensure raw ingredients come from sources that are child labour free, community partnerships and fair wages for all employees.
You can see all our certifications on the Sustainability and Ethics page of our website.
In the immortal words of author and artist, Oliver Jeffers. “Well, that is Planet Earth. Make sure you look after it, as it’s all we’ve got”. Never has this been more apparent than during these terrible, terrible bushfires that are still burning in Australia. It’s easy to feel powerless and wonder what we can do as individuals, but we’re not alone. If we all take steps together we can be the change. We want to share our progress and the things we learn on our sustainability journey so others in businesses can see it’s possible to do the right thing and be a success. We say this not to ‘toot our own horn’, but because we want environmental stewardship to be the new business as usual. People like you show there is a real demand for products and companies who prioritise the environment. The time is now, the future is here.
We believe in investing in the people who are bringing the change in our communities. Sienna is privileged to have a platform and a fantastic, caring community (that’s you lovely lot!), so we can amplify the voices of other organisations who are doing great work. So far we have partnered with Future Dreamers, Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation and Rafiki Mwema to help raise funds and get the word out about their vital work. We have an exciting project in the works at the moment, so keep your eyes peeled. We can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, you can read more about our commitment to respecting all the people involved in bring Sienna to you thought fair wages, a clean supply chain and inclusive approach on our website.
We couldn’t do any of this with the support, feedback and inspiration from all the people who have bought polish, sent us emails with ideas or to have come to say hello at one of our pop-ups. So thank you for being part of the revolution.
Our much-loved Conscience Gift Set is back! It is full of all the Sienna nail care essentials you know and love and, for the first time, we are pleased to welcome a new addition to the Gift Set Family: The lovely Care bag. As ever, each of these are the perfect size for travel or your handbag. Give the gift of ethical, eco-friendly, clean beauty.
We are very proud to support the vital work of Freeset Global, who has once again created our 100% Organic Cotton drawstring bag. Freeset Global upskill and employ women who would otherwise be vulnerable to sex trafficking in Kolkata (India).
If you’re giving this as a gift, (aren’t you lovely!), we recommend a Base Coat, Top Coat and either Ambrosia, Stone or Honour. These best-selling colours suit most people.
– Nourishing Water Based Nail Polish Remover Wipes with Soy and Vitamin E.
– Nourishing Cuticle Oil in our classic vintage style bottle with gold dropper. Choose either Freesia with its divine scent or naturally unscented.
– NEW Everlasting Mini Glass Nail File. These never, ever go blunt. You’ll have this baby for life!
– 100% Organic Cotton Bag
Our products are Vegan and Cruelty Free Accredited, handmade with love and produced with the community and the planet in mind. Sienna Byron Bay is a company that focuses on ethics and sustainability in ALL of its products.
You can read more about Freeset Global’s impact and ethics on their website.
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.
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.
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.
Nail polish has something of a dubious reputation when it comes to the ingredients list. A lot of conventional nail polish still contains some pretty dodgy stuff. Formaldehyde, anyone? Us neither.
When non-toxic nail polish arrived to support our health, planet and our manis, the X-free branding of nail polish was developed to show people the number of chemicals a polish is free from. But over time, this has turned into something of a marketing arms race. With no cosmetic governing body, the X-free labelling got out of hand very quickly, with some companies even including animal products in their ‘free from’ list.
We decided to step back from the brouhaha and let our formula do all the talking. We are confident our polish is the cleanest AND will give you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the cleanest.
In the name of our commitment to full transparency, we list all the ingredients in our products on our FAQ’s.
It is worth mentioning that Sienna polish has never contained Benzophenone-1, a known endocrine disrupter. Some of the polishes labelled X-free still include it in their formulas, so when in doubt, check the ingredients list.
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.
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.
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