Good: How did the concept for Raw Nature come about, and when did it all start?
Nicky Jagger: About six years ago I became really concerned about all the chemicals and additives being put into our food and other products. I didn’t want to expose my young family to potentially harmful toxins so I started researching healthier lifestyle options. This led to not only a better diet with more wholefoods, but I wanted to use natural body products too. Unfortunately, all the ones I tried just didn’t work or were hard to use. So I started making natural body products for me and my daughters. They were so good my husband and extended family and friends started using them so we decided to see if there was a business in it. We started Raw Nature [in] August 2017.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your team?
I have always been handy — love to cook, make clothes and I even designed jewellery. But my career started as a property valuer. Currently, I am addicted to finding the best natural makeup. I love using the app 'Think Dirty’ when I am shopping for makeup as a lot of ’natural’ products aren’t that clean, and this app helps me make more informed decisions. There is currently only myself in the team but I do have lots of testing help.
Your products are 100 per cent natural. Can you explain what sorts of ingredients you’ve found that work on the nasties’ places?
I love that we only use simple ingredients that are mostly edible, that you can pronounce and are easily understood in all of our products. Here are some nasties we have swapped out.
We do not use water in our products so we don’t need preservatives (parabens) to make them stable. If you look at the first ingredient on most conventional cosmetic/body products it will read water or aqua and this is where the use of preservatives are needed. Parabens are toxic chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs and more. They are thought to mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells. These toxic preservatives extend the life of the product so they can sit on the shelves for years.
Our deodorants don’t contain any aluminium salts, which block the pores in your armpits making you stop sweating. Our bodies are designed to sweat so toxins can be released but let’s face it nobody wants to be embarrassed by body odour which is why we put baking soda in our deodorants. This has detoxifying properties, which help neutralise acidic or alkaline properties in the armpit absorbing any bacteria causing odours.
Describe your range – you have a whole array of beautiful products! Which tend to be the most popular, and what are new products?
Our deodorants and lip balms are the most popular products we sell. We have two new collections that are becoming more popular. These are:
- Dry shampoo powder. This comes in two colour options. We use natural ingredients that have been used for thousands of years to clean hair and bodies. The main ingredients are kaolin clay, which removes dirt from the scalp by absorbing impurities, dead skin cells and oil, and tapioca starch is a silky textured, highly absorbent powder making it perfect for dry shampoo.
- Lotion sticks. These come in four scents and are an unconventional solution to the plastic hand cream tube typically kept at the bottom of your handbag. They are a unique balm, which is solid at room temperature but as soon as applied to skin, the balm melts, instantly leaving your skin feeling nourished and glowing.
Are you dreaming up new additions to the range at the moment?
I am constantly coming up with healthy alternatives to items we need in our lives, and I make my family and friends try them out before they get introduced into the line-up.
You align with Sustainable Coastlines. Can you explain why you love working with them, and how you support them with your sales?
We are all really aware of the damage plastic use is doing to our environment. I see this every day when I walk my dog on the beach and it’s really scary. I wanted to make a difference in how we offered our products to the market, which is why we are really passionate about being plastic-free. We are so passionate about this we spent a year of research finding the best way to bring the dry shampoo powder to market as other competitors either use total plastic containers or a paper tube but plastic top. We are really proud of our plastic-free powder container.
Providing plastic-free products wasn’t enough for us, we also wanted to support a charity that aligned with our ideals, and the NZ Sustainable Coastlines does that. They help and protect our seas, coastlines and wildlife, which is why we donate 50 cents from each item sold to them.