Meet Tony and Tracy, the geniuses behind New Zealand grown Au Natural Skinfood.
Tony and Tracy created the Au Natural Skinfood range with the consumer and the environment in mind. Not only was this dynamic duo extremely aware of the nasties that hide in the conventional skincare products so readily available on the market but also of the devastating effects plastic pollution has on our planet. So, they decided to do things a bit differently.
What made you start Au Natural Skinfood?
Founders Tony and Tracy have an extensive background in beauty and skincare and, before even thinking about creating Au Natural, they were already working on some pretty beautiful skincare formulations. While working hard to eliminate everything harmful within the products, they recognised the need to do something about what was harmful on the outside. Skincare and beauty packaging contributes to the devastating plastic pollution threatening our planet, and the carbon footprint linked to its production is high. Other skincare companies have largely ignored the packaging challenge, though Au Natural saw this as an opportunity for innovation with the chance to make a difference. The Au Natural focus was quickly refined, the team was extended, and the #AuNaturalRevolution for a more conscious concept of skincare began. Au’s focus is to craft beautiful, highly effective skincare formulations using only the best New Zealand natural ingredients in a packaging that respects the planet.
Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I personally cleanse my face every morning with the Remove gentle cleanser. This helps me get rid of all the dead skin cells and make up residue. I then spritz some Prepare toner to brighten my skin, and squeeze some drops of Dr. Au Anti-Ageing Face Oil on my face to moisturise and pamper it. I end my routine with a small amount of AM Day Serum – this gives me some extra moisture and it works as an amazing foundation primer. I never skip my morning fruit smoothie—healthy skin starts from within!
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
The toughest challenge for us is being able to cut through the noise of mainstream advertising and to come across as a genuine company that wants to do good. Consumers have often been fooled by companies and corporations that claim to be sustainable, but they are not. So people have their guard up. Also, convincing people to change their habits and to embrace a new lifestyle is not always easy!
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Au Natural, who made your skincare? Can you tell us a bit about them?
Sure! Almost all of our ingredients are sourced in New Zealand, and most of our suppliers use organic ingredients and are BIOGRO certified.
Our honey comes from a sustainable apiary in the North Island of New Zealand where bees can freely live and thrive. It goes without saying that across all companies we work with, workers are treated and paid fairly. The choice of a new supplier is never taken lightly by the Au Natural team. Sustainability and ethical practices are always at the forefront of our minds, and we try to select local companies where possible.
Why did you pick the ingredients that you have chosen to work with? Are they all NZ sourced ingredients?
We chose premium ingredients such as Manuka Honey, Bee Venom and Kiwifruit Extract because of their scientifically proven power. We craft natural skincare that respects the planet and the skin, but that also delivers noticeable and durable results. We are lucky enough to live in a country that naturally provides ingredients with incredible properties. There are two ingredients though that are not found naturally in New Zealand so, instead of choosing a chemical alternative, we source the natural ingredient elsewhere.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Someone told me one day that if you do something for the greater good, something to help other people, and you put 100% of yourself into it, good things are going to come your way.
What’s next for you and Au?
We are looking to create compostable packaging for our products. We are currently working with a European company on this, so stay tuned.
One book everyone should read? Why?
We love Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. It’s full of tips on reducing the clutter in your home that even the busiest people can integrate into their lives.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers our there in your world that you think people should know about?
We are working closely with the Jane Goodall Institute of New Zealand. They are doing so much to raise awareness and to educate people about environmental threats. They are a continuous inspiration for us.