Following a mid-life crisis, a love of nature and a school project, three mums came together to create Honeywrap, a natural, reusable food wrap which reduces plastic use. The organic fabric inspired by a school project has received an overwhelming response and moved from being sold at local fairs into a dedicated website with multiple stockists. Tara McQuinn, one of the founders, took us through how the business began and where it is heading.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
"A school activity led us initially to the exciting discovery of beeswax covered fabric being used as an alternative to plastic wrap. Inspired by a love for the environment and an easy way to solve waste free lunches, we set about developing our own. Made with organic fabric and colourful designs Honeywrap appeals to a wider audience rather than just those already environmentally minded."
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
"Honeywrap comes in four different sizes and a kitchen starter pack; because once are converted one is never enough.
Each Honeywrap has been cut to size for the purpose, small for crackers, cucumbers, avocados and all those little bits and bobs of food left over in the fridge. A medium wrap is perfect for school lunches and is the most versatile size. A large Honeywrap fits your salad bowl, a bigger sandwich and block of cheddar. The extra-large covers your artisan bread and barbeque salads. And finally, the Kitchen starter pack is made up of a small, medium and large, your basic kitchen essential.
Honeywrap stands out in the market for its gorgeous prints on organic cotton, quality of the product, and its commitment to the environment. Made with organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil; natural preservatives which help keep your food fresh for longer and add to the effectiveness of the wrap.
A dedication to using organic cotton came about after research into non-organic cotton which is one of the most pesticide loaded crops in the world. Chemicals run-off from factories and farms are contaminating water supplies resulting in huge health problems for local populations and harming wildlife. Honeywraps are made from Organic cotton with natural ingredients, providing confidence to families that it is a safe product and will do no harm. They are compostable at the end of their life. Each Honeywrap also contains a piece of wildflower seeded paper. When planted this will provide a food source for bees and get people thinking about how we can help the declining bee population."
Has there been any recent company news?
"Our new fabrics will tell more of a story. We recently launched Seascape designed by local artist Cathy Hansby. The illustrations of albatrosses, whales and turtles represent the marine life most affected by plastic in our oceans. We hope by telling a story it will get customers thinking and talking about the environment and our impact on it.
We also have an exciting collaboration with a well-known artist, Flox, in the pipeline. This will be timed for Christmas and provide a fabulous stocking filler, gift for foodies, eco-minded sorts or those difficult to buy for people."
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
"We will continue to expand our retail locations throughout New Zealand and abroad encouraging people to join the movement to reduce plastic.
We have had interest from many countries abroad so will also be looking at additional export opportunities and improving our production processes so we can keep up with demand. At present each Honeywrap is still made by us here in Auckland."
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
"Honeywraps are available on our website honeywrap.co.nz and in over one hundred selected retail stores throughout New Zealand. The majority of these are gift and eco stores.
As our core purpose is to reduce plastic we want to have Honeywrap available where customers shop daily, therefore we have begun initial discussions to develop an exclusive family range for supermarkets. We would like to see it located in the deli near cheeses and also next to the traditional food wrapping so that customers can choose an affordable, sustainable solution that also looks great."