Good news for coral reefs is good news for Mangawhai sunscreen entrepreneur Jules Bright.
The Earth’s Kitchen founder is poised to enter the sunscreen market in Hawaii now that a ban on most sunscreens has been scheduled. Earth’s Kitchen offers natural sunscreen options for adults, children and babies with the highest sun protection factor (50+). The products are free from oxybenzone, titanium, petrochemicals, artificial colours and fragrances. The adult variety is infused with kawakawa and tamanu while the baby sunscreen is made from moringa and harakeke (flax).
Jules, a former registered surgical nurse and naturopath, has turned her sights to formulating natural therapeutic skincare and specifically sunscreen. Jules is confident Earth’s Kitchen is the world’s first and only Biogro-certified natural sunscreen to balance the SPF50 rating with water resistance, invisibility and natural certification.
Hawaii’s SB 2571 legislation – passed into law in July – states that because chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate have significant harmful impacts on Hawaii’s coral, sunscreen containing those chemicals is to be banned as of January 2021.
As reported in the New York Times earlier this year, just one reef tested at Hanauma Bay in Oahu was found to have 412lb of chemical sunscreen deposited daily by swimmers. The upshot is that resorts, airlines, retailers and healthcare professionals are all supporting reef-friendly alternatives and sales of safe sunscreen are set to explode.
Jules has also been keeping an eye on other markets such as Mexico and Australia where the damage caused by sunscreen is finally being appreciated.
Having visited Hawaii briefly, Jules will in January raise capital for her American venture and look at establishing a base in the fiftieth state. Earth’s Kitchen has already been embraced by over fifty retailers in NZ and has been raising capital at home to become a market leader.
Certified, approved and endorsed within NZ, one of Jules’ upcoming challenges will be getting approval to be retailed in America.
“Sunscreen is considered a pharmaceutical drug in the USA so we’ll need to work with the Federal Drug Administration.”
“We’re selling online, so sending it all over the world, but USA will be the first established overseas market.”
Earth’s Kitchen has already crept across the Pacific, so Hawaii shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. A resort owner based in Fiji wants to distribute the product all over the Pacific Islands, while Earth’s Kitchen has fair trade arrangements with ethical suppliers of sandalwood, coconut and tamanu from Pacific Islands, through a partnership with the NGO OceansWatch.
“We take the sunscreen back to the islands,” Bright says, “We’re growing grassroots economies.”
Earth’s Kitchen has turned into a team effort, with Cushla Leonard and Mark Timmins helping run the company and an advisory board being set up.
On top of the Hawaii project, Jules will be turning her attention to the tattoo industry, launching a range of three products to brighten, protect and highlight tattoos – an ideal time to launch with around 20 percent of New Zealanders having tattoos.
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