Beauty in philanthropy: Meet Sonya Driver, founder of Eco Tan
Sonya Driver, the founder of Eco Tan, lives by this self-guiding philosophy: “No matter how dark your world turns, never give up knowing you are worthy and strong.” Discover how Sonya and her organic skincare brand are blending beauty with philanthropy to help the world’s most vulnerable people.
What are some of the things that make you feel alive?
Starting community projects make me feel the most alive. I helped build a bathroom in Romania for a mum of domestic violence who had six girls. I always feel alive whenever I lead any of our projects in India, Africa and Australia.
What was the initial vision for Eco Tan and has that changed over time?
This year is Eco Tan’s 10th birthday and my vision has never wavered. I have been committed to creating an organic, Australian and cruelty-free range of high-end products without an expensive price tag. I have always trusted my gut and Eco Tan is a company that is founded on authenticity and transparency, which is why our certifications are so important. In 2011 we were Australia’s first certified organic tanning range and we held that honour for more than five years.
What are some of the values that guide you and Eco Tan?
Eco Tan is more than a beauty brand; it is a manifestation of myself in every detail, executing the philanthropy I promised myself after my first volunteer trip to East Timor following my divorce. Eco Tan is about lifting up people who have been discarded by society. I want to positively impact all those in need — humans and animals. That’s my goal.
What does your skincare routine look like?
I do everything fast! If it takes longer than two minutes, then I won’t take the time to do it. I double cleanse in the shower with my absolute favourite Super Citrus Cleanser. Then, to hydrate, I use one pump of Super Fruit Hydrator mixed in with two drops of my golden elixir, Glory Oil. I’ll use Sunscreen if needed but I tend to avoid the sun at all costs. Next, I use Eye Compost Eye Cream and once a week on a Sunday afternoon I’ll have a pamper session where I deeply exfoliate with the Super Acai Exfoliator. I follow that with our brand-new Purple Power Mask. Twice a week, I use Face Tan Water when I feel like I need that added glow.
What does a typical day look like at Eco Tan?
No two days are the same. As an entrepreneur, I am always hustling. I know I distract my team with new ideas and projects and my speed is super-fast. I get so frustrated by “normal pace”. But a usual day looks like meetings, brainstorming, doing podcasts, strategic meetings of projects we are going to start.
“Eco Tan is about lifting up people who have been discarded by society. I want to positively impact all those in need — humans and animals.”
Also, lots of community projects as we are heavily involved with a domestic violence sanctuary for women, children and pets. To date, on our community projects, I’ve sent our team to Africa, twice to Romania and we have many community projects in Australia. We set up a house for a woman who was falsely incarcerated for six years. You will often find someone from my team buying computers, setting up kids for school, buying clothing for domestic violence victims because they usually flee with nothing.
If you were to imagine a better world, how would it look?
Everybody would be vegan. I believe this leads to a more compassionate mind state and there would be equality for all.
What’s next for you personally?
We have just launched the Miracle Made Foundation which is our not-for-profit foundation. I like to call it our “Poverty Buster”, both overseas and right here in Australia. I have a few not-for-profit products up my sleeve that will fund it.
I’m also driven by simple things like the nightly meal for the homeless in Northern Rivers I recently organised. I want to create jobs, opportunities and purpose for the less fortunate, whether this be paying for homeless people’s shelters or creating jobs in third world countries.
What’s next for Eco Tan?
We have a big community project in the works that will give many people employment opportunities. Plus, we always have new products in development that I cannot wait to share!
For more, visit ecotan.com.au