Natassia Nicolao, Founder and Director of Australia’s first waterless beauty brand, Conserving Beauty took out the top honour at the 9th Annual Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future Awards presented on October 5th at a lunch ceremony at 12-Micron in Barangaroo, Sydney.
A biochemist and entrepreneur, 28-year-old Natassia from Victoria was awarded for revolutionising skincare, creating beautiful products that use no water and leave no waste.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the resources going into creating beauty products. The US$700 billion industry is estimated to produce 120 billion units of mostly one-time-use containers every year with water being a huge part of the manufacturing process.
Natassia Nicolao said: “It was just so obvious that water is involved in every stage of a product life cycle. It’s involved when we grow our ingredients, harvest, extract, manufacture, and process. Everything we do has a huge water footprint – everything we use, buy, sell and make. On top of that, the beauty industry adds water, typically as the main ingredient in its products, despite it not actually having a direct benefit to our skin. With the help of the Women of the Future prize money, I plan to purchase a machine that will streamline the fabrication of the wipes and mask fabrics. The publicity, meanwhile, will help spread the message central to Conserving Beauty’s existence: that beauty must do better.”
The Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly, Nicole Byers, said: “Women of the Future celebrates some of the country’s most extraordinary young women every year and we are committed to supporting their ambitions. Congratulations to this year’s winner Natassia – her innovative brand is a game changer for the industry.”
The event, hosted by Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr, featured a thought-provoking panel discussion, this year for the first time featuring a male champion of change. The panel included Independent politician and businesswoman Allegra Spender, The Man Cave CEO and Young Australian of the Year finalist Hunter Johnson, Co-chair of the Uluru Youth Dialogue Allira Davis, and 2021 Women of the Future finalist, writer, and disability activist Hannah Diviney.
The panel covered various topics from managing comments on social media to the power of community when it comes to getting a First Nations voice embedded into the Constitution to “comeback culture” as opposed to “cancel culture” as well as the continued crusade for equality across all forums.
The six Women of the Future finalists aged 18-34 include Sophie Li from SignHow, Gemma Lloyd founder of WORK180, Stephanie Trethewey from Motherland, Brigette McDowell of Cheeditha Energy, and Nikita Fernandes of Ally Assist (now known as Fora Therapy).
The Women of the Future winner will appear in The Australian Women’s Weekly December issue, on sale November 3.