Want to use more organic or natural products, but never know what works best? We chatted to Faithful to Nature’s owner, Robyn Smith, about her amazing business brand and asked her to give us a few of her favourite picks. Healthy online shopping has never been this easy!
∇ Tell us about yourself…
I live in Kommetjie with my family whom I just adore – hubby Greg, 4 year old son Cassian and much loved dog Zara. I believe I have all the right qualities for changing the world – I am a dreamer, a natural rebel, very enthusiastic, curious, open minded and as much as it scares the sh*t out of me, I will always default to doing what I believe is the right thing (no matter how unpopular it makes me!) I go out of balance very quickly if I don’t spend a good deal of my time outdoors in nature. I keep fit by dancing and surfing; am a terrible cook and is an aspiring painter. The most life-changing thing that has happened to me is learning that none of us are victims but rather master creators.
∇ Tell us about Faithful To Nature…
Faithful to Nature is South Africa’s largest green online shop with the vision of becoming ‘Africa’s Green Amazon’. We were one of the first companies worldwide to create and implement a very strict ingredient policy that determines which products we sell and which ones not. This policy is our DNA and is designed to empower our customers on their journey towards ethical consumption and a healthier and greener life. We offer over 11 000 carefully selected products in the food, beauty, lifestyle, cleaning, home, garden and pet categories . Whether you are looking for a top quality cruelty-free lipstick, gluten-free flour or a certified organic body wash for your baby: we have you covered!
Skip the car ride to the supermarkets and take a walk in nature instead – we deliver right to your doorstep, nationwide and if your orders exceeds R350, we’ll cover the shipping costs.
∇ How did you get into the business of selling online?
When I started the business, way back in 2007, the organic community was very niche and so it seemed wiser to be able to reach and serve all of South Africa and not just the community around us, as would happen with a physical store. The initial start-up costs of selling online were also more affordable and since we had so little seed capital, it was a no-brainer. My ex-husband was able to help me build the website and we had both already been dabbling in affiliate marketing so our skill set suited this move as well.
∇ Have you always been an organic person or was there a trigger event that made you rethink how you consume?
I was standing in a Boots chemist in 2005 in London determined to buy the best night cream. With a background in marketing I knew that packaging, language and price did not make a product better and for the first time in my life realised that it was what was in the product that was the deciding factor. It was then that I actually began to read the ingredient lists on the “natural” creams that I was interested in buying and was totally disappointed to see that none of these creams actually contained a single botanical. This was the start of a very radical and passionate change in my purchasing behaviour, where ingredients and certification become the deciding factors in what I would buy. I was already very environmentally conscious (given the state of our planet, concerned is probably a more accurate description) and was naturally inspired to see how I could convert as much as my house-hold as possible to products that has less of a negative impact on me and my environment. The thing that enabled me to be a more ethical consumer was the realization that I needed to become an ingredient detective.
∇ Do you also eat organic? If so where do you get your produce?
Yes, absolutely. Once you know how full of toxins non-organic produce is, it is very difficult to eat anything else. I obviously get all of my non-perishable food products from Faithful to Nature. I grow some of my own food as well. I usually support a local food box scheme called Bees in Boots as well since moving to Kommetjie and before that I relied heavily on the Oranjezicht market every Saturday morning. When I have my off-weeks and have not planned my food properly I creep into Woolies to find the organic produce I can there (which never makes me feel great due to all the unnecessary packaging).
∇ What is the ethos of your company?
At Faithful to Nature we believe with all our hearts that everyone deserves to know exactly what they are buying to empower us all to become more ethical consumers. This means that honesty, transparency and kindness are cornerstones to how we do business, treat our customers and treat each other.
Your guide to the best organic and natural products - HOME CLEANER
These kitchen cloths are infused with natural silver ions, and last for over 300 washes dramatically reducing the need for chemical cleaning detergents. What’s not to love!
So many kids suffer from issues that stem from a weak digestive system and this high quality probiotic is actually seen as a sweet by my son – a complete win-win for me.
This is first completely natural aqueous cream and the market and the whole family will love using it. It is especially useful to use in the bath for baby’s first few weeks as it is so gentle.
My baby carrier was the most important product I bought for the arrival of my son Cassian. Baby-wearing fosters such a smooth transition for your baby into the world and for you into motherhood