New Zealand-Made March
There’s a great way of celebrating all the cool things made here in Aotearoa. New Zealand-made March is a campaign started in 2012 by Kiwi clothing company Kilt. Created to encourage New Zealanders to support home-grown products, the campaign calls Kiwis to buy as many New Zealand products in the month of March as possible.
Buy New Zealand made
At Earthwise, we are big supporters of New Zealand-Made March. Not only do we believe in sourcing products locally because it is better for the environment but, as a Kiwi company ourselves, we are proud of our humble roots. We join a large group of companies — from well-known brands like Barkers, Sanitarium and RJ’s Licorice to smaller businesses like Zee Zee Merino and New Zealand design company Toodles Noodles — in asking our customers to join in the fun and support Kiwi businesses to continue providing products and jobs to New Zealanders.
For Earthwise, it all started in a shed in a Waikato orchard in the 1960’s. Our founder, Tom Robinson, started by turning his hand to making natural and chemical based fertilisers. As he saw the early demand for more natural products, Tom then diversified into farm and household cleaners, laundry and personal care products. In contrast to the popular new wave of mass-produced chemical products (many of them off-shoots from the petrochemical industry) Tom’s products offered his customers a locally-made alternative.
With his two young sons alongside him after school and on weekends: Tom hand-blended orders for customers who either couldn’t or wouldn’t use petrochemical-based products on their skin and clothing.
“I remember staying up all night trying to make up one-off blends, thinking ‘Why are we doing this, I could be out fishing!’” laughed Jeremy Robinson, now supervisor at the Earthwise factory in St Johns, Auckland. “Dad would just say, ‘It’s what we do’ and that would be that.” Tom’s philosophy was strongly-held: You don’t let your customers down.
Earthwise fought to create a range of affordable, environmentally-friendly products at a time when eco-products were expensive, niche items. These days Earthwise products can be found on every supermarket shelf but our philosophy remains unchanged. Even though the team has grown from the original three members to thirty, we still hand-blend products —just on a slightly larger scale these days.
So why not help us to support Kiwi products and local jobs this month by checking the origin of your favourite products. We have got a fantastic country full of creative, talented and skilled workers – here’s to buying Kiwi!
(photo credit: Amber Lawrence)
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