4 min read

a list of new zealand-based brands. volume one - botanicals

a list of new zealand-based brands. volume one - botanicals

looking for some local plant-based makers? these independent artists have you covered.

2020 has been a tough year. but one positive that has come from it has been remembering the power in supporting local businesses. we are shopping more thoughtfully now, doing what we can to keep the lights on for locals.

i want to celebrate the makers and artisans, to support the writers and photographers, to help them continue to create such beautiful work.

so to help shine a light on makers in our country, i’m giving some love to new zealand-based creatives. here’s the first volume, containing seven of my personal favourites that are creating wondrous plant-powered potions.

(these are all products i buy and use and do not contain affiliate links.)

image source: plant alchemy on facebook

1. Plant Alchemy

caroline’s handcrafted plant remedies, balms and creams are all made here on waiheke island. all the ingredients are wild harvested, or organically grown, new zealand natives and wild herbs. all of them make use of the emotional, physical and spiritual healing properties of plants. as someone who has long been interested in plant alchemy, but never actually done a whole lot to progress towards better understanding of it, this fits into the “i wish i has done this myself” pile. i’ll just support her work instead.


2. Kaitoke Wilds

i romanticise leaving the city and living off the grid on a remote piece of land, but i don’t know if i would ever summon up the courage to actually do it. so, i’m following kaitoke wilds – a small-batch skincare company based on great barrier island created by felicitas weisbach. she moved from auckland to the island and lives off the grid creating luxurious facial oils, shampoo bars and other natural skincare products. everything is made from natural, organic or sustainably wild-foraged ingredients sourced from around new zealand.

the detox – luxury facial set is a great diy 30-minute facial spa ritual. a perfect and affordable way to give your skin some love and try the products out.


3. Nod Sleep Drops

this magical 100% plant-based elixir was formulated by some of new zealand’s most qualified, experienced and respected medical herbalists and is designed to help you get a better quality sleep.

i don’t know about you, but 2020 has made me even more anxious than normal and i’ll take all the help i can get to relax and recharge.


image source: aotea skincare website

4. Aotea Skincare

this is another lovely skincare company based on great barrier island. the team behind this brand are making functional and healing herbal health products including mānuka honey taking inspiration from both rongoā Māori (traditional healing) and scientific research.


5. Ethique

as someone who has always had an itchy, flaky scalp, i’ve been through all the brands of anti-dandruff shampoo on the market. i’ve been using the ethique heali kiwi bar for six years now and will never use anything else. and to tell you that i love these bars would be an understatement. i love everything this company stands for. everything is cruelty free, vegan and plant-based.

brianne started ethique in 2012 because of the amount of waste created by the cosmetics industry. in particular, the amount of plastic and waste created by our bathroom essentials. ethique has since grown to be an international phenomenon. they plant trees for every order, donate bars to vulnerable communities, have prevented over 8 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of (with a goal of 50 million by 2025).

there’s loads more info on their bars and the company on their website, so if you don’t want to take my word for it, check them out yourself.


image source: ecology& co. website

6. Ecology & Co. Alcohol-Free Distilled Spirits

it’s almost impossible to go into a supermarket or liquor store now without seeing at least one flavour of seedlip’s botanical elixirs for sale. we have been enjoying it a lot recently as an alternative to a traditional gin & tonic, served over ice with a wedge of lemon, a splash of the soda press company‘s organic tonic syrup, topped up with sparkling water.

but wait a minute new zealand friends…. why are we buying seedlip when there’s also a company in devonport, auckland making a similar product? it’s not only a locally made alcohol-free tipple, it’s also free of artificial flavours, aromas, sugar and carbs. winning.


7. Hippie Stick Lip Butters

these lovely lipsticks come in a compostable tube that contains cornflower seeds and is designed to be planted when you’re done with it, transforming it into a food source for bees. how amazing is that?

they come in a range of lovely tints and are made from natural plant based waxes, butters and emollients and are cruelty and palm oil free.



what local makers have you been supporting recently? and how has the pandemic changed your buying habits? i would love to know about your favourites and experiences…