Taking care of your health while taking care of the planet doesn’t have to be hard. One of the most impactful ways you can support the environment as a consumer is to make conscious choices about the brands you back.

Every day is an important reminder to celebrate Earth Day, that’s why we’re sharing with you our favourite planet friendly brands. From your pantry essentials to beauty bars and health supplements, these Mindful Brands look after our planet.

We spoke to some of our Mindful Brands who are leading the way in Eco Packaging. Get to know how they’re taking care of our planet, why eco-friendly packaging is important to them, and some of the learnings and challenges they’ve faced along the way.

Good Cube Natural 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner bars

Good Cube: 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner bars

What makes your packaging eco?
Our packing is made from natural Kraft board and printed with nontoxic inks. Kraft board is bleach free and very absorbent making it ideal for home composting. What makes our product and packaging even more appealing for the planet, is that the bar inside our largest compostable Kraft board box is equivalent to 8 plastic bottles! 1 box = 8 bottles!

Why is eco packaging important to you?
With plastic waste being a huge issue around the world today, the main driver behind starting the Good Cube brand was to 100% replace plastic bottles that are traditionally used for packing shampoo and conditioner. These hair products are used in almost every household on a daily basis, so replacing the plastic bottles with eco packaging seemed like a no-brainer. 

More and more people are trying their best to reduce plastic use, which is great. When contemplating the Good Cube brand, it was a key driver for us to be able to help consumers minimise plastic use within their home. Eco packaging does not just reduce plastic, it replaces plastic, so using Eco packaging makes plastic elimination in the home easy.

Our tagline says it all - ‘Raise the bar, ditch the plastic.

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AWWA period proof underwear

AWWA: period proof underwear

Why is eco packaging important for you?
It took us longer to decide on how we would package our underwear than it did for us to invent and produce the actual underwear! 

AWWA has always been focused on reducing our footprint and making improvements to our packaging and products so we have been committed to our eco packaging journey from the day we started AWWA.

The envelopes that our underwear come packaged in are made from FSC certified cardboard. This means that from the forest to the factory floor, the paper sourced for our packaging is responsibly managed at every stage of the supply chain. 

This includes respecting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local forest communities from which lumber is harvested.

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Chantal Organics Organic wholefoods

Chantal Organics: Organic wholefoods

When did your eco packaging journey begin and what drove this decision?
Supporting sustainable farming practice is only one way we're committed to protecting our earth. We consistently review our processes and products to discover new opportunities to reduce our ecological footprint. Often, these small changes can add up to big effects. There’s still so much work to be done, but we’ll be there every step of the way, helping inspire other companies, communities and individuals to do their part.

Why is eco packaging important for you?
Part of our commitment to the environment includes taking a closer look at how we package our products. Currently, our glass jars and bottles, metal lids and BPA free cans are recyclable in your kerbside recycling. Our outer boxes are made with 50% recycled materials, while the remainder is from sustainably certified forests.  

In July 2020 we started to transition all dry goods pouches to a soft plastics recyclable pouch. When consumers join our movement and recycle these soft plastic bags, together we will divert over 290,000 plastics pouches from landfill annually. This packaging is made from 25% recycled plastic to reduce overall impact on the environment.

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Misty Day Plant Potions Mushroom Powders & Tonic Herbs

Misty Day Plant Potions: Mushroom Powders & Tonic Herbs

Why is eco packaging important for you?
I never even entertained the idea of using anything for our packaging that was not friendly to the environment. We follow a low waste lifestyle. We grow our own herbs and vegetables, shop at markets, minimise packaged goods and always choose reusable over single use every time. It makes sense to bring this ethos over into my business.

What makes your packaging planet friendly?
The nature of our product means that it needs a very good barrier function as the powders we use are very hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the air. For this reason we use glass jars and aluminium lids which have a high barrier to moisture and which can be reused and recycled endlessly.  We also use recycled boxes for shipping to our lovely wholesale clients and use corn starch pop starch to keep the jars safe in transit. These are made in NZ from corn and are certified sustainable, compostable and biodegradable.

What have you learnt along the way?
I think for us, the biggest learning is that you need to make sacrifices if you want to protect the environment for our future generations.  Our packaging is expensive compared to plastic bottles or plastic lined pouches and they are also heavy so we make a financial commitment when we choose these options.

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Wild Dispensary Herbal Tonics

Wild Dispensary: Herbal Tonics

When did your eco packaging journey begin and what drove this decision?
The planet cannot carry on with business as usual. For us that’s means as consumers and producers we all need to change how to do things and think outside the square. 

Eco packaging in business was always important to us as that’s how we roll in our personal lives. It would be a contradiction to our values to act differently as a business. 

We have always offered bottle returns and are trying to encourage this scheme across New Zealand to increase awareness of the packaging dilemma as well as our return scheme.  

We are very conscious of packaging across our whole production process and operations. We seek to minimise this through communicating with our suppliers, returning containers for refill (rather than getting new 20L every time), composting 100% of our organic matter, and doing waste audits to see where we can do better. Also Wild Harvesting (and buying off local organic growers) comes without packaging – and has the added benefit of being high potency and premium quality.

Have you faced any challenges during your eco packaging journey?
Yes. That’s it’s really hard to get it right! But for us as long as we are always seeking better options for the planet, and our customers that eventually we can transform the way we package our goods in Aotearoa!

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Ethique Zero-waste beauty bars

Ethique: Zero-waste beauty bars

What makes your packaging planet friendly?
No plastic, no laminate, no chlorines. Our packaging goes to the very heart of what Ethique stands for. Our solid bars are designed to do away with water, and with it, the plastic bottles.

  • No landfills needed – our packaging is free from laminates and plastic, which means they can go straight into the home compost and will disappear in a matter of months.
  • Made in NZ from renewable forests – no ancient rainforests were harmed in the making of these boxes. They’re made in NZ from PEFC-certified paper stock from sustainably sourced forestry.
  • Free of chlorine and acid – it takes water to make paper, so when the wastewater gets pumped out, we want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. Even trace chlorine in water can pollute waterways and make fish sick.

Have you faced any challenges during your eco packaging journey?
In the early days, I went through four packaging providers, all who told me that what I wanted wouldn’t work. The boxes would break down on the shelves, they wouldn’t survive shipment and that it was impossible to guarantee sustainable stock. It was apparent they didn’t understand the need for boxes that were free of laminates, coatings and chlorines and weren’t prepared to experiment. Now we work with two incredible New Zealand packaging providers who exceed my requirements.

What has worked for us, has been getting our partners to understand why we require our products to be plastic free in every way. Because when they get it, they then look to change the way they do business and expand their environmental actions beyond just our products.

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Radiance high-quality supplements and superfoods

Radiance: high-quality supplements and superfoods

When did your eco packaging journey begin and what drove this decision?
When Radiance decided to freshen up our look, we had a chance to make a packaging change that defined not only us as a brand, but allowed us to become more eco-friendly. We assessed and investigated many alternatives, but we kept coming back to aluminium, not only for its look and durability, but for its endless recyclability and reusability. Changing to more eco-friendly packaging allows us to stay true to our values.

What makes your packaging planet friendly?
Our packaging is made from 100% high grade food safe aluminium. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely and is the most cost-effective material to recycle – one recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for 3 hours. Each year we save over 480,000 plastic bottles from being manufactured and entering the environment. 

Have you had any interesting discoveries about eco packaging along the way?
I think the most interesting discovery along the packaging journey was realising how recyclable aluminium really is. Nearly 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today!

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Whether you’re already backing these brands, or starting to make the switch to sustainable options, learn more about our ethical shopping initiative,  Mindful Brands, and make conscious choices every day. 

Shop all Eco Packaging brands →

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