San Francisco may have been the unofficial capital of all-natural living, but a spate of clean beauty brands is setting up Brooklyn to take the title.
If New York is the city that never sleeps, Brooklyn is the borough that gets its eight hours, followed by morning meditation and a tofu breakfast scramble. Ah, wellness: Although originally introduced in 1979, the term really picked up steam in the early aughts, and perhaps nowhere more readily than in Brooklyn. So it’s no wonder that increasingly more green beauty brands—the most recent industry to be hit with the organic, all-natural, Fair Trade trend—are setting up shop in the city’s most populated (and maybe its most forward-thinking) borough.
“California spearheaded that movement,” says Janna Felix, manager of Credo Brooklyn, the fourth outpost of the green beauty shop that opened in San Francisco in 2015. But New York is now marching in step. “Everyone is really in tune with their health in Brooklyn,” Felix says. “It’s here to stay.”
Jessica Richards, founder of seven-year-old clean-beauty boutique Shen Beauty, agrees: “People in California have always been more health-conscious, but New Yorkers get shit done.”
Founder: Bjarke Ballisager and Holly McWhorter
Beauty MO: Creating organic beauty and shower products with the help of BKLYN UNLTD, a nonprofit workshop that hires disabled adults to work in production and distribution
On Going Natural: “If there was some justifiable reason for the presence of poisons in our skincare, it would be one thing. But there are affordable, natural ingredients available, and using them just seems to be the right thing to do.”
The Brooklyn Way: “Brooklynites of a certain demographic—youngish, financially comfortable, curious—are the perfect audience for green beauty.”
Green Living: “Environmental awareness, a [yearning] for simplicity, and an appreciation for small businesses all come together in Brooklyn.”
Can't Live Without: “Our Superfacial oil moisturizer. Every time I go without it, I notice the difference. For Bjarke it’s our Wake Up body wash.”