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Growing demand in 2020 for sustainable and ethical products

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Munch and it’s sister brand Nil have been empowering Kiwi’s to be more eco friendly for over five years, with their wide range of plastic free and sustainably made essential products. Considering the environmental impacts isn’t new for founder Anna Bordignon, who says the whole product lifecycle needs to be looked at to be sustainable and ethical.

Bordignon says a lot has changed since they started. Back in 2015, eco and sustainable product categories didn’t exist in mainstream supermarkets. Fast forward to 2020, single use plastic bags are gone and waste reduction and sustainable reporting is expected of businesses.

Munch are proud to be playing a part in changing behaviour in consumer buying and sustainable manufacturing. They have seen an increase in consumer knowledge about sustainable and ethical production.

"Shoppers are seeking out natural and sustainable products which are also ethically made. It’s about how they’re made and how we dispose of them," Bordignon says.

"People are intelligently thinking through all the steps of the product they're choosing and they want nil harm for the planet and for people."

The company has a strong team of New Zealand textile designers, sewists and makers producing many of their core product lines. While fair trade manufacturing teams make other products for them offshore using sustainable materials such as bamboo.

New products and a new premises

Kiwi shoppers are loving the Munch and nil brands. With steady growth over five years their customers enjoy the high quality useful essentials and identify with the company’s mission - to empower families to change the world.

The Munch product range is well established, with sustainable items for the kitchen and for families with young children. Think reusable food wraps, compostable dish cloths, adults and kids lunchboxes and safe baby feeding items. Nil is the sister brand with stylish and sustainable reusables for on the go and at home.

This year the Nil beauty range was launched, with a new innovative product that is getting rave reviews on social media. Nil beauty organic wool makeup remover pads made with NZ wool. Wool is traditionally non absorbent but the way that these wipes are innovatively felted makes them extremely absorbable. Using one of New Zealand’s key natural resources in a new innovative way makes this product very exciting. The wool wipes are gentle and effective without the need for cleanser - simply use water. They can be washed and reused and at the end of life they can be composted.

The business had recently grown too big for the home office and workshop. And, this month Munch and Nil have a new premises on Adelaide Road in Wellington - with a celebratory launch event on the evening of Thursday 12 November. The move has brought together the wholesale, e-commerce and management all under one roof, with a small showroom space in the front.

Bordignon says it feels amazing to have this business success in such a tumultuous year as 2020.

"To not only make it through this year but to now be in a position to grow - I feel very grateful."

"We can invest in our new premises, product development, and strengthen our team which includes our NZ home based workforce," she adds.

At the new Wellington premises Munch will also recycle old products their customers drop off - such as used blades from their stylish stainless steel razors and old beeswax wraps and bamboo toothbrushes.

Out work production team throughout NZ

Munch is well known for it’s beeswax food wraps and snack bags - and for leading the way with education and events that empower people to be plastic free every day. The way these products are made are just as important as the role they play in caring for the planet.

Early on, Bordignon made a decision to ensure their New Zealand made product lines were made sustainably and ethically - and to do this, the work could be shared with those in need. The sustainable beeswax and vegan kitchen wraps and other fabric products are produced by their Home Workforce. This is re-inventing the Outwork Model, popular in the early 20th century. Munch has built up a passionate collective of ‘makers’ who work from home. The Munch and Nil brands now have an army of women nationwide who each week receive a box from HQ to make the products in their homes. These are packed and shipped all over the world. Over 800,000 beeswax wraps (it now includes knitted and sewn goods) have been made in this way. In turn this means Anna’s companies have also saved over 800,000 units of plastic rubbish alone.

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