About Kester Black

Established in 2014 by Anna Ross, Kester Black designs and produces ethical, sustainable cosmetics and skincare. Our products are the first in the world to obtain a vast suite of accreditations such as Choose Cruelty Free, International Cruelty Free, Vegan Society, Australian Made and B Corporation.

We aim to redefine the industry standard for ethical cosmetics by making beautiful, quality products that have a positive social and environmental footprint.

Kester Black are committed to donating 2% of revenue including in-kind donations to registered charities every year.

Sustainable Practice

We consider our environmental footprint in every decision we make. Our company is formed by our core values and sustainability is at the top of the list. Here are a few ways we put our commitment to sustainability into practice.

Ingredients
All Kester Black nail polishes are 10-Free; free from toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, or any ingredient derived from animals. Kester Black has also never used ingredients ethyl tosylamide or triphenyl phosphate.

None of our skincare contains any nasties like palm oil, parabens, sulfates or petrochemicals. Our skincare range is made using certified organic ingredients and contain 97% + natural ingredients.

Energy
We use 100% renewable and certified carbon neutral energy. Our energy supplier, Power Shop, has been certified carbon neutral against the requirements of the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) by the Australian Government and is the first power company to be accredited in Australia.

Manufacturing Practices
Driven to minimise our environmental impact and maximise the quality of our cosmetics, we use sustainable production methods that utilise recyclable materials and small batch manufacturing to minimise wastage. Our entire product line is Australian made, vegan, and cruelty free.

Supplier Standards
When choosing our manufacturers we screen rigorously for negative environmental, social and ethical practices. Each year we conduct an on site inspection and renew our legally binding supplier agreements. We only work with companies who are cruelty free.

Recycling
We design with the end life of our products in mind and use as much recyclable packaging as possible. We also have a recycling system in place at our office and have special bins for staff to bring in old electrical goods where we dispose of them properly. Paper, cardboard, and plastics are separated and recycled.

Office
In our office, we only use earth friendly cleaning products. Our office has floor to ceiling windows so most days we don’t even need to switch on the lights. Our windows are double glazed so we hardly have to use the heater and we have UV blocking window shades so we stay cool all summer long.

Innovation
We are always on the lookout as to how to improve our formulations. We were one of the first nail polish companies in the world to bring out a water based nail polish remover, and have just switched our entire range of polishes over to a new breathable formulation. This makes your manicure much healthier, last longer and has also made our products available to Muslim women who choose to wear nail polish.

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Prohibition of child and forced labor
Kester Black does not employ anyone under the legal working age. Kester Black also does not use any suppliers who employ anyone under the legal working age. We also enforce the prohibition of any type of forced labour. All production is completed in Australia and our manufacturer adheres to the legal guidelines for employees in Australia.

Local
We only use local manufacturers as we believe strongly in supporting the local economy and small businesses. All products are made right here in Australia and we always source as many ingredients as possible from local suppliers.

Packaging
All of our packaging is made in Australia to minimise our carbon footprint. Our shipping boxes are made from recycled cardboard and we use biodegradable bubble wrap when necessary. We even make the labels on our nail polish remover bottles from HDPE (the most recyclable plastic on the planet) so the entire bottle can be recycled.

Paperless office
We are working towards becoming a paperless office. We keep all files digital where possible, send e-receipts and opt for all of our mail to be sent to us electronically.

Workplace

Kester Black aims to create a harmonious and supportive company culture and encourage a healthy work/life balance. In order to achieve this we incorporate the following benefits:

Wages and Hours
All of our staff are paid above minimum wage. Staff are able to choose their preferred working hours.

Benefits
Staff receive disability coverage/accident insurance (Work Cover) as well as an additional $1000AUD paid towards their choice of private health insurance on the anniversary of their employment.

Staff Development
All staff accrue an education allowance of $2.50 on top of their standard wage specifically to spend on courses for personal and professional development.

Staff Birthdays
Staff receive a paid day off for their birthdays because we don’t think you should have to work on your birthday. The staff member gets to book dinner at a restaurant of their choice to celebrate together during their birthday week.

Parental Leave
Employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or adopted child get up to 18 weeks (90 days) leave paid at the national minimum wage through the Australian Government scheme. Kester Black also provides 6 weeks (30 days) full wage for normal hours worked paid maternity and paternity leave on top of the government scheme to all employees, full time, part time and casual per child.

Daily Routine
We practice yoga in the morning and meditate for 20 mins every afternoon. We also have a daily gratitude practice where we discuss 5 things that made us feel great from the day before.

Team Building Activities
The Kester Black team have monthly team lunches to celebrate achievements and talk about future goals.

Transparency
Our company has an open book policy for all staff. We believe in equality in the workplace and engage in 360 employee and director reviews. We are transparent about our product and company operations. Our ingredients and accreditations are detailed on our website as public information.

Service and Community

We wouldn’t be anywhere without the help and support of our community so we thought it was about time we gave something back. Here is how we go about giving back:

Volunteering
All staff are encouraged to take a paid day off work to volunteer for a charity of their choice. Every staff member receives 10 days per year to do this.

Charity Donations
We believe it’s important to give back, so $1 from every online order is donated to one of our four charity partners; Animals Asia, Bush Heritage, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Water Aid. We haven’t increased our prices, all donations made come directly from our profit and go straight into the hands of your chosen organisation. We’ve spent hours researching hundreds of charities, and believe that these four are truly exceptional. Every dollar makes a difference, so we’ll pass yours on.

Formal Donation Commitment
Kester Black is committed to donating 2% of revenue including in-kind donations to registered charities every year. We are proud to announce that last financial year we donated 3.5% of our revenue to different charity initiatives. This year we are on track to donating over 15% of our total revenue.

Matching Staff Donations
When any of our staff donate to any registered charity, Kester Black matches their donation dollar for dollar.

Inclusion
Kester Black has created a water permeable and breathable nail polish which is healthier for the customer and also makes it available for Muslim women to wear. Our products are vegan and cruelty free which makes them available for vegans and environmentally conscious consumers. Kester Black is a non-discriminatory, gender-neutral brand. We use non-gender specific campaign imagery and branding.

Collaborations
We often collaborate with local charities to drive some of their outstanding campaigns.

Our most recent collaboration has been with YGAP for their Polished Man campaign, aimed at ending violence against children globally. In total we donated $68,000 worth of cash and in-kind donations.

Last Christmas we also worked with The Berry Street Foundation where we put together $14,000 worth of nail art gift packs for vulnerable children otherwise not receiving gifts at Christmas.

Accreditations

We believe in ethical manufacturing and to ensure transparency and accountability we have strived to obtain these relevant accreditations.

B Corp
We’re B Corp certified! B Corporations represent an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate a shared and durable prosperity for all. Certification is a rigorous assessment that explores a company’s governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas. Together, B Corps redefine success in business by competing not to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.

Choose Cruelty Free
Kester Black is accredited by Choose Cruelty Free Australia. This accreditation means that our products have not been tested on animals, do not include any ingredients that have been tested on animals and do not include any ingredients derived from animals.

Vegan Society
Vegan products are products which have not been tested on animals which also do not contain ingredients derived from or that have been tested on animals. To gain vegan accreditation all of our products must have no animal testing of ingredients or finished product by the supplier, producer, manufacturer or independent party. Supplier verification must be provided that animal products were not used in the manufacturing of ingredients. They cannot contain known animal-derived GMOs or genes used to manufacture ingredients or finished products.

International Cruelty Free
All of our products are approved under the Cruelty Free International Humane Cosmetics Standard, symbolised by the Leaping Bunny logo. We monitor our suppliers and undergo independent audits to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria.

Australian Made
The Australian Made logo verifies that our products have been manufactured within Australia (not just packaged or assembled) and 50% or more of the cost of making it can be attributed to Australian materials and/or production processes.

About the Founder

Anna Ross is a Melbourne based design enthusiast and businesswoman. In 2012, she founded Kester Black, as a project to redefine the industry standard for ethically produced cosmetics by providing Australian made, professional quality, environmentally produced and cruelty free products that are inspired by beautiful design.

I have always believed in ethical purchasing and when I was looking for nail polish that was ethically produced and environmentally friendly I was disappointed with what was available. I realised there needed to be a better option for consumers who care about both the ethics and design of their products.
— Anna Ross, Founder and Director of Kester Black

Kester Black is the result of Anna’s innovative and tireless approach to business, her love for beautiful design and her social and environmental values.