A Q&A with Eco Tan
When beauty leads to philanthropy
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.
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?
2020 is Eco Tan’s 10th birthday since 2010 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 the first volunteer trip to East Timor after 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 is your favourite product and why?
That’s like asking me to choose a favourite child! I create each product with a specific purpose in mind; I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I came up with each and every one of my products. But if I had to choose one right now, it would be our Glory Oil. I created this product after my own personal experience with skin cancer and the horrific scar I was left with in the middle of my face. I worked with my organic chemist and asked: “What is the most miraculous healing, certified organic oil in the world?” We worked together and came up with Glory Oil and it is truly changing people’s skin for the better.
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. 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.
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.
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