'A product needs to be either functional or has a classic design', check and check, plus they are ethically produced and crafted with purpose. What more can we ask for! The team at Coconut Matter has poured their heart and soul into researching and developing their products. Carry on reading to find out how they make sure every step on the way to the making of their product is backed by integrity.
What makes you come up with Coconut Matter?
Coconut Matter came about when I was on garden leave 5 years ago. I had more time with my daughter and got worried the planet we are leaving for her. The fact that we no longer trust the food we consume nor enjoy clear blue ocean - how would it be for my daughter when she becomes a mother, and how would it be for her children.
What kind of change do you wish to see?
I would like consumers to make responsible choices in the way we consume, without limiting the choices of our children tomorrow. As a start, our brand focus on plastic-free consumption. We have seen how our ocean and beach suffered because of plastic waste. We often collect plastic waste on our beach as a family, and when we noticed they were mainly consumable plastic waste, we knew we need to change our lifestyle.
Are there any difficult choices you have to make for your business?
As a business, the most difficult decision was to use paper tubes for our lip balms. Cost of paper tubes is 8 times of plastic tube, and the vulnerability of paper tube made production challenging and time-consuming. Paper time also limit our market as the mass consumers prefer shiny, cute or beautiful looking plastic tube. Another challenge is the paper tube can be stain with colour (for tinted lip balm), and suffer from wear and tear - buyers turn us away because of these reasons.
Of all the personal care product, we strongly believe what we put on our lips, we will lick it or eat it. So 2016, we developed coconut oil based lip balm and we used paper tubes. We are encouraged by the support we have had since. There are so many areas we want to do better. For example, we would like to stop using labels and just print directly on the tube. This would cut down on label waste. However, we need to meet minimum order quantity to do so. Plastic-free takes a lot of baby steps to move forward, along with focus and investment...
Where do your products come from?
Our WILD virgin coconut oil and coconut oil soap come from the Solomon Islands. We work with a private social enterprise based in Canberra, Kokonut Pacific who had helped communities in the Solomon Islands for almost 25 years. We choose to work with the Solomon Islands because they have the best coconut oil, and we love contributing to their community.
We research to trace the source and to understand the process of how products are made and by whom. This includes the ingredients that go into the products we make. Our flagship product - WILD virgin coconut oil took two years to research and test. What actually made me took the leap was meeting the inventor of Direct Micro Processing - Dr Dan Etherington and his family. They are an inspiration.
Any personal favourites?
Our coconut oil soap is special to me because it changed me. I loved the convenience of shower gel. When I wanted to reduce plastic waste from the shower gel container, I did not want to compromise on convenience. So our coconut oil comes with an exfoliating soap mitt. Once the soap is placed in the soap mitt, it prevents slip and also soap can be hung to dry after use.