Mānuka Essentials is a social enterprise on a mission to help bring native forests back to New Zealand.
By creating fantastic personal care products that use powerful plant extracts such as East Cape mānuka oil as key ingredients, our intention is to empower you to become the best version of yourself while using our business to help regenerate native forests.
Meet our founder Callum Armstrong, who established Mānuka Essentials at the beginning of 2018 with a clear goal in mind: to bring native forest back to New Zealand’s farmland in a way that will continue to serve our people and environment for generations to come.
“Trees are the lungs of this earth. But unfortunately, they are being chopped down at an alarming rate. If we want our children to grow up in a world where the environment prospers, we are going to need more forests.”
The Problem: Our Native Ecosystems Are Under Threat
New Zealand (otherwise known as Aotearoa) was covered in forest until humans arrived. These plants nourished the land, provided homes for a diverse range of bird life and supported healthy ecosystems.
As our population grew over time, many of the native forests were cleared to make way for farming, settlements and industry. Despite New Zealand having a 'clean green' image, the health of our land and waterways often leaves much to be desired.
Throughout many parts of the country, we are experiencing significant land erosion, polluted streams and biodiversity loss that threatens our ecosystems.
Which got us thinking - what if there was a way that we could use business to help bring native forest back to New Zealand?
The Solution: Sharing The Goodness Of Our Native Plants With The World
This led us to discovering mānuka and its role in the environment:
- Here in New Zealand, mānuka is often the first plant to grow in a regenerating native forest.
- It creates a nursery environment that helps other native plants to flourish.
- Mānuka grows deep and flexible root systems which bind the soil, prevent erosion and have positive effects on the health of our waterways.
But here’s the kicker - East Cape mānuka essential oil provides an extraordinary range of health benefits that aren’t widely known:
- Antibacterial - 20-30 times more antibacterial against gram positive bacteria than tea tree oil and effective against MRSA.
- Anti-fungal - mānuka oil kills a wide range of nasty fungi and prevents them from spreading.
- Anti-inflammatory - mānuka oil reduces inflammation and swelling, helping to calm your sensitive skin.
- Beats dandruff - mānuka oil is the perfect hair care additive to keep your locks free from flakes.
- Vulnerary - helps wounds and damaged skin to heal faster.
- And so much more!
By using East Cape mānuka oil as a key ingredient in our products, we are able to pass these benefits on so that you get to enjoy The Ultimate Grooming Experience while knowing that your actions are improving the environment.
Mānuka is a phenomenal plant, with an important role to play in turning our land back into forest. However, that’s just the start. There are so many other native plants that can be used to enrich and improve the products we consume on a daily basis.
As we grow larger, our plan is to embrace these other plants as well as mānuka, and share the treasures of New Zealand’s forests with the world.
The Vision: A Sustainable Future For Aotearoa
Imagine driving down a peaceful country road, somewhere in New Zealand.
Something feels different, there's more forest everywhere. You can drink water from the streams and hear birds singing as they fly through the surrounding woodlands. Native plants are being sustainably farmed, providing valuable income and jobs for the local community.
Imagine a future where our farms are returned to forest, our native plant extracts are among New Zealand’s largest exports, our culture is cherished through a renewed sense of connection with the land, and we all prosper as a result.
This is the future that we want our children to experience. But that’s only going to happen if farmers and landowners can make more money from planting native trees than any other type of agriculture.
So that’s where we fit in - creating demand for native plant extracts (in particular, East Cape mānuka oil) and championing the reforestation movement by sharing the wonders of New Zealand’s forests with the world.
So how does personal care relate to reforestation?
Becoming the best version of yourself starts with taking care of your body.
In the same way that our physical health is an indication of how we look after ourselves, the health of our planet is a great indication of how we look after the environment.
When you use Mānuka Essentials products, you can feel good about yourself knowing that you’re helping to bring native forests back to New Zealand.
The Reforestation Fund
We started The Reforestation Fund to help accelerate the reforestation movement in New Zealand by co-funding high impact projects that result in more native trees being planted and supporting volunteer groups that look after our existing forests.
50 cents from every Mānuka Essentials product sold is contributed to this fund.
Be Part Of The Journey Towards Reforestation
Do you like the sound of what we’re all about? If so, we would love to share this journey with you!
Feel free to get in touch with us, connect on Facebook or Instagram, or shop our fantastic product range to get involved!
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”
- Dr. Jane Goodall