Meet Hannah Martin, the eco-conscious mumma behind Salt Trading Co.
Mass-production of their beautiful products was never a driving factor behind Salt Trading Co, but crafting an environmentally and socially responsible business was. Hannah hand-crafts her candles with completely safe and biodegradable materials, and she proves that ethically and sustainably minded businesses do not skimp on luxury or quality.
What made you start Salt Trading Co?
I actually took over Salt Trading Co. It was a friends’ business – she’d just had a baby and was moving back to NZ and was just going to close, but I saw potential and she offered it to me and I’ve shaped it to what it is today. So grateful for the opportunity.
What has been the most challenging thing you have uncovered since the beginning?
The most challenging thing has definitely been time management. I have two young girls, plus another side hustle (@saltyhangs) so trying to organise my time over each part of my life has been most challenging, but I’m learning and growing.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Salt Trading Co, who made your candles? Can you tell us a bit about them?
I’m so big on this! ME! I make the candles! All the wax I use is a plant based soy wax, it is completely natural and free from anything yuck, GMOs, etc. All of our ceramic vessels are handmade right here on the Sunshine Coast by the most beautiful ceramicist.
Why did you pick the materials that you have chosen to work with?
I chose to work with these ingredients because I believe in them, they are safe for the earth, they are biodegradable and safe for your home, and completely reusable. I don’t believe in order to become more environmentally friendly you need to lose your sense of luxury. I’m all about the luxe life, I just like to live it lighter.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Just do you. Don’t worry about anyone else’s race, just run your own.
Why was it important to you to make your brand ethical?
With the way the world is going, it seems more important than ever to go down this path.
What is something others wouldn’t know about starting an ethical business that you think they should?
That it’s actually not that difficult. Sourcing ethical and responsible products within your own country is surprisingly plentiful—it may be a bit more expensive, but for me it’s not about the money, it’s about the choice. I would rather produce a more expensive eco friendly product than a cheap and nasty one.
One tip you’d give to others who are wanting to start their own business?
Research the shit out of it, and if your heart is in it, do it.
Where do you envision Salt Trading Co in the future?
I’d like to eventually have one or two stockists. I’d certainly never mass produce, slow works for me.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
The ocean and the Australian bush are my absolute biggest inspirations.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I wish I could say I roll out of bed straight on to my yoga mat and then drink a green smoothie but truthfully I get pulled out of bed onto lego pieces to go make coffee and try and keep everyone alive.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Oh my goodness my absolute favourite book that I tell EVERYONE to read is Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. It’s an intense, beautiful story from beginning to end.
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
Blue Planet for sure. David Attenborough is so incredibly passionate about the earth, and ‘Bunyip Dreaming’ for no other reason than it’s my favourite surfing film/doco.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
YES! The Sunshine Coast has some of the best talent around!
Pam – Reed Ceramics (she makes all the ceramics we use)
Jodie – Creative Bowerbird
Sarah – Five Seedlings
Ash – Garzie and May
Ali – Citizens of the Sun
Telena – Salty sea photos
Stacey – Feather and Oak