As conscientious consumers, investing in our bodies and the planet is second nature. Canadian clean beauty brand Birch Babe is redefining skincare by creating premium everyday skincare and beauty essentials that are certified all-natural and plastic-free.
The team at Birch Babe is all about little changes, minimal ingredients, and less packaging and is inspired by living sustainably, being curious, and having fun. All of their products are carefully handcrafted and environmentally packaged in Ontario, Canada.
We were honoured to connect with these ladies and learn more about the origins of their product line.
First, some background! We’d love to hear how you got into this space.
Kelsey: We love telling the story about how Birch Babe started! It all began four years ago after our mom, Debbie – who has always been passionate about the environment and what she puts in and on her body – embarked on a 6-month hike from Patagonia to Chile. On this trip, she noticed that everyone was super conscientious about their waste because they were remote.
The trip inspired Debbie to do more for our planet. She came home, quit her job and immediately dove into creating cleaner skin and body care. First for herself, then friends and eventually festivals.
During the pandemic in 2020, we – Debbie’s daughters, Kelsey, an Oscar-Nominated Producer and Lindsay, a Manager of one of Toronto’s busiest restaurants/nightclubs – decided to join forces with Debbie and rebrand Birch Babe.
We launched our new rebrand in October 2020 on a shoestring with a lot of blind faith! A year and a half later, we can now be found in over 200 stores across North America and have been featured in various articles, including CNN and CTV’s The Social, and have a growing consumer base.
Love the name – who came up with Birch Babe?
Our family’s cottage is surrounded by incredible forests. There are 60km of trails delicately hand-carved into the land by a local, and only a few people hike them, our mom included.
One of her favourite trees is the birch tree, and over dinner one night, when we were trying to think of a name for her soaps, Birch Babe came up.
What was your first product?
There were three first products actually! They are our award-winning Shampoo & Body Bar in Spearmint & Rosemary, the Whipped Body Butter in Warm Vanilla Essence and our award-winning Lip & Cheek Tint in Absolutely Fabulous.
The really cool thing to know is that each of these recipes has stayed the same. Once our mom has a recipe down (and it takes hundreds of iterations), it usually becomes a staple!
How did you come up with the mascara packaging? It’s genius.
That’s such a great question! Debbie was trying to find a way to make mascara plastic-free, so it actually started as a dare to herself. She didn’t think making the mascara into a paste would work and spent six months of iterations testing and redoing the recipe.
When we launched the All Natural Mascara, we originally thought it would be a small part of our sustainable clean beauty collection, and surprisingly it became one of our best sellers and most loved items on social media and still is today!
We recently worked with a local Canadian designer to update the packaging, so our All Natural Mascara and plastic-free Reusable Travel Wand come together in a cute kit.
What have been the most challenging aspects of design and/or production?
Our mission is to help as many people as possible make easy lifestyle choices for the better health of their bodies and our planet.
With this always at the top of our minds, we’re continuously pushing to ensure our packaging and designs are as equally ethically sourced and sustainably made as the ingredients in our products. This is a welcome challenge our team is super proud of tackling.
For example, everything we package is 100% plastic-free wherever possible. The small percentage of products we offer that do have some plastic (a spray nozzle or dropper) now come with the option to opt-in for a plastic-free option which is a metal lid, perfect for refills or those looking to be 100% plastic-free.
Another example is our All Natural Deodorants which are made in FSC packaging. We also use recycled paper to shred and pack our boxes and have named our paper shredder Rex (who’s a bit famous on Tik Tok!).
What’s next for Birch Babe?
So much! Later this year, we are excited to be launching a few new products, including an organic Face Oil, a new Lip & Cheek Tint colour (that we’re all obsessed with!) and some more clean beauty additions to elevate and complete the full toxin-free makeup and clean beauty routine. There also may be something for the younger generation coming soon (hush hush, hint hint).