Since 2003, Biome’s founder Tracey Bailey has been obsessed with finding solutions to environmental problems. In particular, Tracey is on a mission to uncover green-washing and scrutinises products for hidden toxins and dubious ingredients. It’s a journey that began 20 years ago with a visit to Indonesia.
Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most rich and biodiverse rainforest, as well as some of the planet’s most endangered species, like the orangutan. In South-East Asia, 300 football fields of precious rainforest are destroyed every hour to make room for palm oil plantations. This reduces the natural habitat of many species, including the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger, both of which are now critically endangered. When their habitat is so vastly reduced, these species either starve to death, are killed by palm oil plantation workers or die in the fires set to clear land.
Palm oil is found in over half all packaged items on our supermarket shelves and is especially prevalent in beauty products. When Biome’s founder, Tracey, visited orangutans in Indonesia she pledged to be part of the change needed to protect them. She later set about establishing a business with a mission to stand up for the natural world by selling products that are good for both people and the planet.
But shortly after opening her Biome first store in Paddington, Tracey was given another reason to dedicate her life to her mission when her mother developed a terminal brain tumour. This loss further ignited her passion to avoid and educate people on the unsafe industrial chemicals that brands hide from us.
Going further for the planet
Now with six physical stores and an online marketplace, Biome employs over 100 people and has provided a space for hundreds of ethical suppliers, most of which are small Australian businesses. Biome goes further than most to ensure the environmental integrity of the products it sells. They were the first store in Australia to require truth in labelling and have a list of over 30 toxins and harmful ingredients you will never find in any of the products they stock.
They are still at the forefront of avoiding anything harmful to you or the planet – they have been vegetarian from day one and are 98% vegan. Biome also avoids products made overseas, where there is an adequate Australian-made alternative.
At Biome, attention to detail goes further than just the products stocked, the design and fit out of each storefront has been completed with sustainable and natural materials, including sustainable Australian timbers, cork cladding and light shades made from upcycled glass bottles and cardboard.
The Power of One
The belief that the collective power of individual actions can change our world is a concept that Biome holds strong, and it’s easy to see why. In just one year, Biome customers have saved over 10.2 million single use products from being made, transported, wasted, or ending up in our rivers, oceans and landfill.
Although they have an engaged community of thousands across Australia, Biome is committed to continuing its eco-friendly influence by engaging as many people as possible. At their Gold Coast and Paddington stores, they host community events which allow them to extend their impact by teaching customers sustainable living skills, including natural beauty workshops, sustainability talks and sewing classes.
Really, if you’re committed to your health and the planet, there’s no better place to shop.