Meet Lucy, HealthPost Executive Director, daughter to founder Linley, mum to Isla and Leo, and self-confessed natural product addict! Read along as Lucy shares with us each month exciting happenings at HealthPost, our progress towards creating a better world, and some musings on how she and her family strive towards living a naturally healthy life.
It’s now officially 30 years since Mum started HealthPost back in 1988. From selling her orange VW beetle to raise capital and running the business from the kitchen table, to now – two office locations, one Auckland store, and over 100 staff members! What an incredible journey it’s been, and WOW how we’ve grown.
We’re honoured to have some customers who’ve been with us for the whole ride. This level of trust and loyalty inspires us to continually look for new ways to help people live naturally healthy lives. While our rapidly changing world presents plenty of challenges, it also provides ample opportunities to be better. 2018 has been a year of consolidating and making some great additions to our talented team. This will flow into some exciting improvements in customer experience in the New Year. We’re also really pleased to be currently trialling paperbased packaging. Like many things, the quest for the most sustainable solution proved far more complex than it first appeared. While there’s always compromise, we did our research and feel confident that we’re pursuing the best option currently available. Check out our journey on the back page and let us know what you think. Our boxes are about to take on a bunch more personality too, so stay tuned.
With Conservation Week in September, it’s time for an update on the Wharariki-Onetahua Restoration, a partnership between the Farewell Wharariki HealthPost Nature Trust and the Department of Conservation and iwi to create an eco-sanctuary at the tip of the South Island. Onetahua (Farewell Spit) and Wharariki are iconic tourist destinations, and the area is also home to a number of rare bird, lizard, insect and plant species. Unsurprisingly, predator control is a critical issue. We’ve had remarkable success with our stoat trapping efforts to protect shorebirds in particular. Aotearoa has five of the world’s most endangered shorebirds – quite a responsibility – and the number of stoats caught indicates just how much work there is yet to be done. Planting and protecting habitat has been another focus of the restoration project to date.
Thanks to all who’ve selected the Farewell Wharariki HealthPost Nature Trust after placing an order with us, we’ll keep you posted as this important project develops.
When it comes to our bubs (and Leo, my youngest at 2, now considers himself firmly out of the baby category!) caring for their delicate skin with natural products is really important to me. I go for super-simple products from trusted local companies, like Tui Baby Balm and BioBalance Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. Weleda’s White Mallow range also works wonders and I’ll happily slather any of these products on my own skin too!
With the rigours of parenting small children, your skin is often the least of your worries. On that note, we’re pleased to support Dayspring Maternal Health through our Better World donation programme this month. Dayspring provides specialised parenting support, counselling and life skill programmes to women who need it most.
Keeping mums and babies well has been a theme for us of late. Based on your selections, our May donation to the Himalayan Trust funded much-needed medical equipment and training for maternal and neo-natal health in the remote Nepalese community of Bung. Thank you for making this possible!
Winter is a beautiful season, but moving between cold air and heated offices calls for extra skin nourishment. I’m a fan of using high quality oils and always have a few HealthPost essentials on hand when my skin needs it. One of my favourites for face and hair is BioBalance Certified Organic Argan Oil. This is a pure gem of a product, capable of keeping skin beautiful in the harsh climes of Morocco, where it’s sourced from a women’s cooperative. See ethical business in action – check out the inspiring video.
Antipodes Organic Heavenly Body Oil lives up to its name for winter skin, and BioBalance Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil also makes a great body moisturiser. Weleda Skinfood, Living Nature Night Oil and Hurraw Lip Balm are also some of my winter essentials. I make my own mist toner by brewing up green tea and kawakawa leaves and adding a few drops of hydrating essential oils like geranium and lavender. Spritzing regularly has caught on around the office, keeping faces fresh and stuffiness at bay. Enjoy!
One of our core values is to show we care, for our customers, our planet and each other. Recently, our Collingwood-based Dispatch Team have been tackling the amount of plastic coming into our premises in the form of packaging. They’ve solved the logistical challenge of getting soft plastics recycled in our remote location, and we’re now working with the local supermarket and the Council to make this recycling available to the wider community. The team will also be working with our suppliers to reduce the amount of soft plastics used in the future. Dispatch have been flat-out getting your parcels packed, as always, but improving our environmental performance is seen by the team as integral to what we do, not an optional extra.
We’re stoked that our Good Ingredients Promise has prompted some of our suppliers to commit to removing less-than-ideal ingredients from their formulations. Our Promise also means no micro-beads, of course, and the NZ-wide ban coming into effect this month is most welcome! Small steps, but it is exciting to feel that we can be part of some positive change.
When it comes to digestion, I’m a bit obsessed with fermenting, and will wax lyrical about sourdough if anyone shows an interest (and send them away with some starter culture). My sourdough starter is practically a pet to me – it has lived in my fridge for years, and it sulks if I forget to feed it. My kids get involved in the weekly bread-baking ritual, messy but fun, and if they fight over who gets to stir I remind them that, like all living things, it rises better with a little love.
As more holistic knowledge about hormonal health comes into the mainstream, the conversation moves beyond menstruation and mood swings to reveal the amazing hormonal dance that connects every system in our bodies.
Balancing hormones is a fine art. I’m no expert, but there are a few things I do for hormonal health that don’t have a downside. Looking after my liver by eating loads of green veges and detoxing herbs like dandelion and kawakawa is something I do daily. The young dandelion plants weeded out of the garden are delicious once your palette adjusts!
Avoiding potentially endocrine-disrupting chemical perfumes is made easier by our Good Ingredients Promise, and this makes sense to me. Minimising plastics, by using glass or stainless steel instead, and making food from scratch wherever possible is also something I do for overall self-care and balance. This is obviously a win for the environment too!
Unfortunately, most industries are riddled with plastics, and ours is no exception. As a small step in the right direction, we now have soft plastics and recycling bins available at our New Lynn store for our Auckland customers to recycle their product packaging. It’s great to be part of a team that’s so committed to learning to do things better, together.
Kiwis seem to have an affinity with the humble feijoa, and at this time of year our kids are always wandering up to the orchard, eating loads and getting a great dose of pre-winter vitamin C and some precious sunshine in the process. What a tree – producing a bounty of immune-boosting fruit at the perfect time, on the back of virtual neglect! Stay tuned for a delicious feijoa crumble recipe coming up on the blog, and a bunch of timely natural immunity tips this month.
Empowering positive wellbeing choices is what we’re about, and we so admire the work done by Days for Girls, our April Charity of the Month. This amazing network of volunteers sew reusable menstrual kits for girls in developing countries, so they can continue to attend school and be active in their communities all month long. Super practical and environmentally-friendly, these colourful kits and the accompanying education also help break down the silence and shame surrounding female cycles. Go girls!
Staying up-beat and on-top-of-things seems to depend on working out what really nourishes us and stokes our energy, which is individual and not always obvious.
Diet, exercise and sleep are the well-accepted ‘big three’ for general well-being of course. But to be truly firing, I need to feel a sense of purpose and connectedness that goes beyond the physical.
To have great energy I need to keep a sense of inner connection rather than getting totally caught up in my to-do list. This in turn requires solitude. As grateful as I am for all the wonderful people in my life, without some alone time, everything else seems to lose its shine. So, solitude gets scheduled in the diary twice a week, and it revolutionizes my energy. For you, it might be something completely different. But I do believe that feeling part of something bigger than ourselves, whatever form this takes, is the best stress-buster.
While chronic stress is obviously to be avoided, one-off stressful events can show us a depth of resiliency in ourselves and others that is truly humbling. We were reminded of this recently when ex-Cyclone Gita struck Golden Bay, closing the only road out. What followed was a triumph of teamwork and amazing community spirit which reinforced for us why we love being based in this special place.
With the help of NZ Post and others, we were able to continue getting orders – and our team member, Nick, rushing to the birth of his son in Nelson – out by helicopter, keeping delivery delays to a minimum. Thank you to our caring customers for all the messages of support we received during this time – you helped keep morale high despite the challenges!
As the year ramps up, with work and school routines now back in full swing, I find myself looking for small ways to keep the summer holiday vibe alive.
Lately I’ve been playing with bringing more presence into busy days with some simple practices or rituals. They need to be doable no matter how crammed the day feels, like finishing my morning shower with a minute of cold on full blast. This is apparently great for the circulation, and I certainly feel alive afterwards, but I love it because it reminds me of throwing myself in the ocean on a hot day.
Another practice that I’m enjoying is putting my legs up the wall (any wall, even while reading bedtime stories if necessary!) for five or ten minutes every evening. Calming and restorative, this ends the day on just the right note. My next challenge is to bring more mindfulness to mealtimes, which with small children feels near impossible, but we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted!
One of the broader happenings that fills me with optimism this year is the increasing number of people seeing wellness as a shared journey. While self-care (as above!) is crucial to being able to give our best to the world, wellness is always bigger than the individual. It is integrally connected to the health of our communities and the beautiful planet we all inhabit.
On that note, we are proud to support WWF this month in their efforts to protect one of Aotearoa’s taonga, the Māui dolphin, and ensure that only dolphin-safe fishing takes place in our waters. We are also delighted by the heartening feedback from our customers and business partners on our new Good Ingredients Promise. Thank you for being with us on this journey of learning how to do things better, together.
People flock to Golden Bay at this time of year. Curious campers pull into the HealthPost car park to find out why there is so much activity in a rural area, off a one lane gravel road. While we are always reaching outwards – delivering NZ products globally, and bringing the world’s best to NZ – we do so from a strong sense of our particular place in the world. The blessings, challenges and responsibilities that come with our tūrangawaewae.
Take the pilot whales that pass through our seas in the summer months for example, often stranding en masse at Farewell Spit. Recently, our friends at Project Jonah trained more of our team, myself included, as Marine Mammal Medics. Hopefully the whales will pass safely this summer and we won’t need to put these new skills into practice, but it’s good to know that we can confidently lend a hand.
If I have a personal resolution for 2018 it is to embrace every opportunity to learn, and life never seems to be short of learning. As a family, we’re resolved to continue our process of weeding yet more packaged food from our pantry, to reduce both our plastic waste and our intake of hydrogenated oils and refined carbs. It’s an obvious win-win, but we’ve still got a way to go.
I hope that this new year brings us all plenty of opportunities to be alive in our senses, celebrating and connecting with the land that nourishes us and supports everything we do.
It is around now that I start dreaming of spontaneous weekend camping trips, picnics, travel and the other adventures that the summer has in store. And I do a quick stock-take of our summer first aid kit to make sure that the natural products I rely on to keep us comfortable in the outdoors and on the road, are ready to go.
Here are some of my perennial favourites, plus some great newbies I’ve been sampling from our range recently:
First up, I make sure the sunscreen is sorted (always a good idea to check the expiry on last summer’s tube). We try to keep the kids covered up or in the shade during fierce sun rather than constantly slathering them in sunblock but when we hit the beach, sunscreen is a must.
My go-to for the littlies has traditionally been the Badger SPF30 Baby. Even if it’s a little sticky, I know it’s safe. For my face I’m loving the light, fresh feel of the newly added Coola Face SPF30 Cucumber Sunscreen.
We always have a tub of Tui Bug Balm on hand. This is a totally natural, essential oil based product by another Golden Bay company with heaps of integrity. I have great associations with the smell from summers past! You need to re-apply regularly but I’d rather choose that over the chemicals any day.
A new addition this summer will be the Woohoo Deodorant Paste we’ve just discovered. This stuff is seriously effective and won’t leak in your luggage. I won’t be going anywhere without it!
Here’s to a happy and relaxed summer just around the corner.
We hope you’re enjoying an upsurge of fresh spring energy powering you through all that you want to accomplish this season.
Here at HealthPost, we see individual wellness as integrally connected to the health of the natural environment and the broader community. As Plato observed: “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” And we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. One of the ways we put this belief into action is through our Better World donation program, which has given more than $800,000 to a range of worthy causes in Aotearoa and beyond.
You may have noticed that a new charity has appeared in the Better World donation selection recently. The Farewell Spit HealthPost Nature Trust is a long-term conservation partnership between HealthPost and the Department of Conservation to restore and enhance the biodiversity of the extraordinary Farewell Spit region of Golden Bay.
Farewell Spit is an internationally recognised area for red knots, godwits and other wading birds. The Trust aims, through fencing, trapping and restoration, to create a haven where threatened species such as the Little Spotted Kiwi and Nelson Green Gecko can ultimately be re-established. Our shared vision is to create a wondrous, accessible eco-sanctuary where people can experience this unique landform as the thriving and diverse eco-system it would once have been.
Work has already begun, with our initial team planting effort at Triangle Flat in August. Farewell Spit is both physically close to our Collingwood premises and close to our hearts. We can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in this amazing environment.
One thing that keeps us fired up and true to our purpose of helping people lead naturally healthier lives is reading your customer reviews.
Your reviews keep us connected to why what we’re doing matters: the difference that finding the right natural solution at the right time can make in someone’s life. They also tip us off to when a product isn’t living up to your expectations, and give us a chance to do something about it.
My mother Linley started HealthPost almost 30 years ago, because she truly believed in natural remedies and wanted to make them more accessible. Now retired, Mum remains one of our biggest customers. I share her passion for our products (I prefer not to look at how much of my wage goes on my staff account!), and I always check out customer reviews if I’m trying something new.
Of course, one person’s experience is simply that, and isn’t necessarily representative. We love that reviews are authentically unique, and often amazingly candid, offered in the spirit of creating a shared wealth of knowledge.
Positive or otherwise, your reviews paint an inspiring picture of a community proactively engaged in being well. Because when it comes to health, no one has all the answers, and we’re all learning from each other.
So, thank you, for sharing so generously of your own experiences, and for keeping us connected to the ‘why’ of what we do.
Winter is a fine time for musing and planning, quietly laying the foundation for good things to come. Here at HealthPost we’ve been challenging ourselves to dig deep and find more creative ways to put our values into action.
Here are just a few things, large and small, that are warming up our winter:
We’re stoked to support Habitat for Humanity New Zealand through our Better World donation programme. Because everyone in New Zealand and beyond deserves a decent roof over their heads, and these folks know how to make it happen.
We’ve done it forever, but Rhoda, our Collingwood General Manager, is taking it to the next level by establishing a proper two-bay compost from old packing crates. I’m looking forward to seeing the HealthPost orchard thriving this summer as a result of all that recycled goodness.
The sea is every bit as beautiful in winter, and we’re lucky enough to be right beside it. Project Jonah, our partners through Better World, won the Supreme Award at the Trustpower Community Awards recently for their amazing efforts at the mass whale stranding on Farewell Spit in February, where several HealthPost staff also lent a hand. Congrats guys!
You might have noticed that several Shark-based products have recently disappeared from our range. Understanding the vulnerability of some shark species, and the potential impact of shark fishing on dolphins and other at risk species, we want to err on the side of caution.
We are currently working through our whole 5000+ product range to make sure we continue to bring you only the best, healthiest and most sustainable natural products available anywhere.
As always, we welcome your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
HealthPost Executive Director