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Babies, bottoms, sleep and self-care

If you love buying organic natural products you really want the packaging to be just as thoughtful as the product inside.

Yet not every beautifully packaged organic product is packaged sustainably. More often than not plastic lined pouches, plastic soft tubes or labels made with vinyl mean the packaging can’t be recycled. So the only choice is landfill. This really defeats the purpose of choosing a brand that supports natural and organic products in my opinion.

At Honestly Store we do things differently…ensuring our packaging is as non-toxic as our products

How does Honestly Store Package our products?

When developing each of our products I took the time to research different sustainable packaging options. That meant our products could be:

  • used by parents without stress
  • kept fresh
  • shipped safely and in a cost-effective manner

Let me introduce you to the different packaging options I chose…


Palm Leaf Clamshell – Baby Lotion Bar

The Baby Lotion Bar is a solid moisturiser. And so it needs a container to keep the bar safe from being squished. At Honestly we use unique Palm Leaf Clamshells.

Made from naturally shed palm sheaths of the Betel Nut Palm in South India. The leaf litter sheaths are collected off the forest floor, cleaned with water and pressed into a heated mould.

Each sheath produces multiple moulds. And the process is chemical free. The resulting palm leaf dishes are rigid, heatproof, liquid and greaseproof. Perfect for our little bars! We modify them to create our distinctive clamshells. And the best feature is that they are 100% biodegradable and compostable!

Sustainable packaging of the Baby Lotion Bar Solid Moisturiser

Within the clamshell, our bars are wrapped in a natural greaseproof paper. All labels are printed on paper and can be recycled.


Bio-foil lined Pouch – Bath Fizzles and Nude Bath Salts

Bath products need to be kept dry. Especially Bath Fizzles, because well, they fizzle on contact with water! They also have a lovely scent that can waft away if they aren’t sealed into something. And we don’t want our bath salts becoming hard salt rocks either!

Honestly Store uses Bio-foil bags to package up our bath products. These are the first and best biodegradable packaging bags on the market!

Made of biodegradable brown kraft paper on the outside and Bio Foil on the inside. This ensures all the goodness stays inside the pouch! All the materials are classified as biodegradable under the EN 13432 European Standard, including the adhesives and the zip closure. So unlike regular plastic or foil-lined pouches you can choose to compost them at home if you want to!

Both the Bath Fizzles and Nude Bath Salts are labelled using unlaminated paper labels. Making them recyclable and compostable too!


Amber Glass and PET Lids – Essential Oil Blends and Nappy Balm

Unlike plastic glass can be recycled again, and again, and again. It is also inert, so it doesn’t react to the essential oils we use in our products, unlike metal tins. We chose to use glass jars and bottles over plastic ones as we know they are much better for the environment. Amber glass is wonderful for protecting our products against sunlight, which can speed up the oxidisation of the oils and butters. We don’t need to use potentially harmful preservatives or commercial stabilisers to ensure our products stay fresh. Hurrah!

A necessary evil when using glass vessels is plastic lids. These make sure our products don’t leak and help you to get the product out using the dripolators. While they aren’t ideal, they CAN be recycled. Just make sure you remove the lids from the glass bottles when you recycle them as this will make it easier for sorting at the recycling plant later on!

  • An aromatherapy sleep blend created to help you fall asleep gently and naturally. Perfect for use on the skin, on pillows and in vaporisers
  • Organic diaper rash cream to heal and sooth baby's bottom all night long
  • Help support yourself through miscarriage, pregnancy loss and grief with our essential oil blend
  • An aromatherapy blend created to help you fall asleep gently and naturally. Perfect for use on the skin, on pillows and in vaporisers

As these glass containers contain some magical oils they need labels that withstand an oil drip or two. We chose not to use vinyl labels as they aren’t recyclable. Instead we chose to use synthetic PET labels which ARE recyclable. Like most labels, these babies will come off the glass during the recycling process and can be re-directed to plastic recycling. Meaning even our labels get another chance at life. #winning


Sugarcane Bagasse – Baby Love Sample Pack

Mini toiletry bags, calico bags and plastic washbags are all the rage for travel or sample packs. But what do you do with them once you’ve used all the products inside? If you are like me, they collect in a drawer somewhere until you decide to give them away or donate them to the Op shop. We decided that rather than committing our mums to bags that they may or may not use again we would package our Sample packs into a container made as a by-product.

The Baby Love Sample Pack is made from a sugarcane bagasse container. Bagasse is a residue fibre after sugarcane juice extraction. A by-product of the sugarcane industry. The container is compostable and biodegradable and will compost in 30-90 days!

Both the PET lid and the paper labels are suitable for recycling.

Try all our organic baby skin care products in tester size

Each product mini inside the Baby Love Sample Pack is encased in recyclable packagings, such as plastic jars, glass bottles or paper wrappers.


Cardboard Tray and plastic lid – Gift Packs

The gift packs we create use a brown cardboard outer tray and clear plastic PET lid. Both of these are recyclable, with the cardboard tray also being biodegradable and suitable for composting.

We also use wood wool to snuggle our products in the gift packs. Wood wool is manufactured from untreated pine or poplar sourced from a sustainable forest in New Zealand, it’s air-dried and processed without chemicals. It is recyclable, biodegradable, compostable and completely reusable for other gifts, animal bedding or on the garden!

Completed with Hemp string to secure them and make them look pretty, the gift packs are finished either with a paper sticker, congratulations kraft card or wooden plaque. Aaaah, what a lovely thoughtful gift!


Other Packaging

Depending on what you’ve ordered and how much we use a variety of packing materials to ship your products to you. These could be plastic satchels, cardboard boxes or padded mailers.

Plastic satchels are not ideal. So we are moving over to compostable satchels from our friends at Hero Packaging. An Australian company providing 100% biodegradable mailers made mainly from corn starch and cassava roots. These will break down within 90 days even in your home compost. We can’t wait for these to arrive at Honestly Store HQ!

Packaging that's not an afterthought

As for padded mailers, made from paper and plastic bubble wrap, they can be recycled with soft plastics at your local supermarket. However, we are waiting for a more sustainable option to come on the market like compostable padded mailers so we can make the switch. If you know of any, please let us know!

If your order gets delivered with green bubble wrap protecting the contents, this is oxo-eco bubble wrap engineered to biodegrade when discarded.

All of the other packaging used is reused from our own suppliers. When we receive deliveries, or from our local shops. Think cardboard boxes destined for recycling and biodegradable packing pellets made from corn starch.


And that’s a wrap…

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

I hope this gives you more information about the packaging we use at Honestly Store. For me it’s not just about the product inside the packaging. It’s about the whole experience of being as sustainable and thoughtful as possible. I’m so proud of how our products are packaged and I can’t wait to see how packaging continues to evolve as we look for more environmentally friendly ways to package!

If you have any questions or feedback I’d love to chat so please get in contact!

Aromatherapy expert, scientist and mum, Adele, owner of Honestly Store

Director

Honestly. good. clean. fun


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Find the joy in celebrating your pregnancy journey

Sometimes when we get pregnant we forget to actually celebrate and honour the miracle that we are experiencing. When I was pregnant with Eve I was still working full-time and I didn’t want to be perceived as THAT pregnant lady. The one who only talked about her pregnancy, who complained or was always sick. We forget that whilst pregnancy is not an ‘illness’ it takes a massive toll on our body. Some of us are lucky enough to have pregnancies that pass easily, without much discomfort, while others suffer on a daily basis.

So instead of judging our journies and feeling like we need to just ‘keep calm and carry on’ let’s actually enjoy what we can and celebrate these momentary 9 months. Because let’s face it when bubs comes along life will be very different!

1. Take long baths with your bump

Soaking in the warm water not only soothes all those aches in your muscles that appear during pregnancy, but it also gives you some time to sit and reflect on the changes in your body. I always feel a little lighter in the water, though it can be difficult to get into a comfortable position. Sometimes I enjoy lowering the lights and playing some relaxation music, or even pregnancy meditations.

In the bath, I’ve discovered adding salts like dead sea salts or epsom salts help relax my muscles, combined with a good sprinkling of Sleep Oil my mind follows suit. If I’m feeling lavish some natural bubbles really make bathtime lavish.

Enjoying a natural bubble bath with my growing baby bump

2. Massage your growing Belly

Massage your growing bump with the Baby Lotion Bar

As your belly grows the skin will start to feel tight. Sometimes it will itch. All throughout pregnancy whether you feel that your skin needs it or not spending a few minutes massaging your belly really helps you to connect with baby. Give it your full intention and make it a few moments of mindfulness as you feel the shape of your belly. Over the weeks you will notice how it changes and how baby responds to this gentle touch.

You can use oils like coconut oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil. I prefer using the Baby Lotion Bar as I find the scent delicate and it sinks into my skin well, though still providing a rich layer of moisture.

3. Make a pregnancy diary

Once you have your darling bundle of joy your pregnancy journey will feel like a lifetime ago. Just jotting down a few words each day or week will help you remember how you were feeling at the time, what you were experiencing physically and maybe help you to express your fears and dreams for your baby.

Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time, with so many physical changes affecting our daily lives – no, you can’t wear 80% of your wardrobe anymore and you might just have to purchase larger knickers. Honour those thoughts and feelings is another way to celebrate your pregnancy. It’s also a wonderful memory to look back on with your child once they are older.

4. Enjoy your tea

Herbal teas can help in pregnancy with insomnia and indigestion

Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, insomnia, vitamin levels, anaemia and blood pressure. All these things affect our daily lives when pregnant. After the first 3 months of nausea, and developing insomnia I decided to invest in some specialist herbal teas, especially to replace the numerous cups of black tea I normally have when not pregnant. I treated myself to a tea just for me.

Every time I have a cup I acknowledge where I’m at in my pregnancy journey. And as I fight with indigestion and reflux I turn to Masala Chai. I love Jade Walker’s non caffeinated version, created by a naturopath.

5. Take LOTS of pictures

You probably don’t feel photogenic. Nor are you impressed with the size of your thighs right now, but believe me you need to take lots of photos. Your body changes so quickly and even your baby bump will change shape rapidly that if you blink you’ll miss it. Take as many photos as you can. In your finery, in the nude. One day you will be glad you took them.

If you have the budget I would also suggest you splash out on a professional pregnancy photo shoot. Be spoiled, feel your best and have some gorgeous prints to memorialise those few months you lovingly carried your child in your body. Alternatively, get yourself an app like CineMama to take pregnancy photos on a regular basis and watch that belly grow!

6. Cast your belly

Enlist a girlfriend to make a cast of your belly. I was gifted a Baby Made DIY Belly Casting Kit when I was pregnant with Eve and it was so much fun. It is also a lifelong keepsake of my pregnancy. I can see how my body changed, and it’s a physical reminder of the time Eve was growing inside me. It’s something I would love to hang on my wall in future…the question is what to paint on it?

Cast your pregnancy belly for a lifelong reminder of your pregnancy

7. Paint yourself

Whether it’s for your baby shower or blessing or just for a fun afternoon of photos get a Body Artist or super talented face painter to adorn your belly with body art. You can go for non-toxic face paints that wash off, or if you really trust your artist, organic Henna which will last for a few weeks. It’s such a fun way to decorate and celebrate your baby bump!

8. Have a Baby Shower/Blessing

Having a party with your besties is always a wonderful way to welcome this new era of your life. Having a baby shower is a fun traditional way of celebrating your impending arrival and a good opportunity for your friends to spoil you. I was lucky enough to have a number of generous gifts that helped us prepare for Eve’s arrival. From clothes and nappies to items like car mirrors and shades. It’s shame Honestly wasn’t around then as I would have gifted myself one of our gift packs for sure!

This time around I’m hoping to organise a Baby Blessing. I’ve already got most things I’ll need for baby but having all my girls around to wish me well and bring good vibes to the house is a gift in itself. There are so many exciting ways to celebrate the end of your pregnancy journey with your friends. Choose something that resonates with you. Remember they want only the best for you and to celebrate with you.

Baby Shower party cake, celebrate your baby with a baby shower or blessing

Even if you don’t find time to celebrate your pregnancy with these 8 suggestions, I hope you find your own way to honour the 9 months of carrying your child. They start off slowly but are ofetn gone before you know it. Nine months is nothing in the scheme of things and so if you feel like you need to devote some time to honouring these short months then do it!

Remember you are special and pregnancy is no ride in the park. So go on Mama treat yourself to some pregnancy celebrations!

Aromatherapy expert, scientist and mum, Adele, owner of Honestly Store

Director

Honestly. good. clean. fun


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Far Eastern Magic

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is one of those oils that everybody has heard about. Maybe you’ve gotten a smell of it and thought that’s not for me. I was the same. Until I realised just how versatile the oil was.

It’s has a very distinctive smell, earthy, arid and sweet all at once. I find the aroma ‘intoxicating’ on its own but blended it can add an earthy deep tone to an essential oil blend. In fact it’s the earthy base note you can smell in our Nappy Balm.

At Honestly we strongly believe that what we put on our baby’s skin is just as important as what we put in our baby’s bodies.

Grown in tropical climes the patchouli plant is actually native to the Philippines. It was first grown in China in the 11th Century. In India Indian Patchouli (Pogostemon heyneanus) was used until P. cablin was introduced in 1846. At around the same time, Patchouli also found its way to the West via trade in Far Eastern silks and fabrics.

It was trading of fabrics that made Patchouli well-known in the West. As it is recognised to protect fabric from moths, a few leaves of Patchouli would be put in every shipment of fabrics. Thus imported textiles from India would arrive in Europe smelling of Patchouli.

It was because of the Patchouli that fabric buyers could authenticate Far Eastern silks – from the smell! Patchouli became such a commodity that it would be traded pound for pound with gold. And at that time it became a symbol of wealth – to have imported fabric and the exotic fragrance of patchouli on your clothes meant you could afford the finer things in life. Fancy.

Drawing of Patchouli Pogostemon cablin Essential Oil amazing for nappy rash and dermatitis

And now to the Hippies…

Of course in the 1960’s that all changed when Patchouli became synonymous with hippies and travellers to India. More of circumstance, the hippies couldn’t avoid Patchouli as it is so widely used as an insecticide in fabrics and in incense as a prophylactic (preventing spread of disease).

Yet I’m sure they also discovered its strong qualities as an aphrodisiac during the era of free love. Yes! Patchouli is an insecticide and has great qualities for preventing infection but it’s also wonderful for increasing libido and as an aphrodisiac. Oh la la!

A versatile oil for all the family

So what properties does Patchouli have? What can it be used for?

Against Infections: Patchouli is prophylactic, preventing infections. It is also antimicrobial, antitoxin, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal and fungicidal. It also helps wounds heal, brings down fevers and reduces nausea.

Skin Care: Anti-inflammatory, astringent, tonic for the body and heal skin breaks. Renowned for its abilities to heal eczema.

Digestive: Brings down fevers, prevents vomiting, calms the digestive system, decreases flatulence, is a tonic for the body and fights infections.

Emotionally: Anti-depressant, grounding, meditative, calms and strengthens the nerves.

When I was developing Honestly Store’s Nappy Balm I knew I needed to create a blend that packed a good punch for keeping skin clean and infection free. Especially when baby’s skin is easily irritated. Patchouli helps keep the nappy area clean and infection free. Without using harsh medicines that can affect baby’s immune system or help microbes develop resistance.

I also wanted an essential oil that would work against fungi as Candida skin infections are common, especially if you use cloth nappies. Patchouli is not only anti-microbial its fungicidal meaning it kills fungi and their spores, preventing re-infection. If you’ve ever had to get rid of Candida infection from your baby and cloth nappies, you will definitely appreciate a nappy balm that prevents re-infection!

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Patchouli is a base oil, meaning it is a thick oil that evaporates slowly, it is also grounding and calming. This is ideal for helping baby to feel calm and relaxed when having their nappy changed. Particularly if they are suffering from a bad nappy rash that has caused them discomfort. Having an essential oil to help them calm down and feel less stressed is essential for any Nappy Balm blend!

Chemical Profile

The chemical profile of Patchouli is an important reference to ensure you are purchasing a pure essential oil (EO) and not one adulterated with fragrances or other cheaper EOs. It can also be a way to ensure that the EO you want to use is safe for you.

Patchouli EO is composed of the following main components:

Patchouli alcohol                   17–32%

a-Bulnesene (d-guaiene)       9–21%

a-Guaiene                              9–15%

Seychellene                           0–10%

b-Patchoulene                       5–9%

a-Patchoulene                       5–9%

g-Patchoulene                       0–7%

( )-allo-Aromadendrene         0–5%

1(10)-Aromadendrene           0–4%

Pogostone                              0–4%

b-Caryophyllene                    2–3%

Pogostol                                 0–2%

b-Elemene                              0–1%

Taken from Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), pg.382.

Steam Distilled

Like all essential oils Patchouli is steam distilled and it’s the leaves that give us the essential oil. The uppermost leaves are found to give the freshest smelling oil, and it’s the smaller leaves that have the most potent oil for extraction.

Unlike other essential oils which remain active only 2-3 years, Patchouli oil gets better with age. Patchouli oil can be kept for 4-8 years so there’s no rush to use up that bottle of Patchouli you just bought!

Patchouli oil is safe to use on babies, children, pregnant and lactating women. As with all essential oils, always dilute essential oils before use with a suitable carrier oil.

At the moment I’m experimenting with Patchouli oil personally and how we can use it as mums. Do you think you need a little something to help relax you in the evenings, maybe something to help you get in the mood after running around after the kids all day?

Or even a face mask to help brighten the skin, moisturize rough and chapped skin, and reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars?

Oh and don’t forget to pick up a jar of Nappy Balm to keep those little cheeks sweet!

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