This article is brought to you in collaboration with Ecoriginals.
Earth Collective’s ‘Interviews with the Collective’ series is a collection of interviews with likeminded souls from around the globe, who are working towards a better future for the planet and people in it. Today, we chat with Janice Clarke, Managing Director of Ecoriginals – the brand that is well on its way to becoming the world’s first baby company with all-natural nappies, wipes and packaging.
What was your catalyst to diving into the world of sustainability?
Becoming a mum in 2005 and suddenly realising the future of my children – the world they would grow up in, and have children of their own in is so precious and deserves to be respected, valued and protected. The concept of climate change, and images of overflowing landfills is so horrific and saddening, that it takes brave strong individuals to motivate others to be the change and create change.
Tell us about your business journey so far.
Ecoriginals was first introduced to Byron Bay Australia in 2011 by a husband and wife team who as parents themselves found the lack of eco options frustrating and unacceptable. This first truly eco disposable nappy was a world first milestone and marked the start of a new era of environmental choice for parents.
Fast forward to today, and through significant research and product development, and use on more than 5 million babies bottoms, Ecoriginals nappies continue to evolve. They are now made of an unrivalled 90%+ plant-based ingredients with performance exceeding traditional disposable nappies, and available in multiple markets around the world from New Zealand, to the Middle East, the UK, the US and Australia.
What has been your proudest achievement to date for Ecoriginals?
Seeing our nappies and wipes go on sale around the world, and being welcomed from parents in all these new countries as a genuine eco alternative, which allows them to feel better about their choices and make a significant reduction to wastage over the lifetime of their child’s nappy usage.
Receiving pictures of happy children in our nappies, and feedback from parents now all round the world are still my favourite emails to read and cherish.
One of my favourite quotes recently from a mom in the US simply said: “ How did I not put an ounce of consideration into the one thing that touches his skin all day, everyday?! I am so thankful I have come across Ecoriginals and want to share this message”. This makes all the hard work worthwhile!
What do you think is the biggest threat to our planet and the people on it today?
Ignorance, or worse putting our heads in the sand and hoping the problems will go away by themselves. We have seen enough evidence of the detrimental impacts humans can have on the planet, and the man-made destruction which is devastating communities and damaging ecosystems. We do still have time to change our ways, but this will require effort and a loud consistent message from brands with sustainability at the heart.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My children and my dog! With a busy house and a very busy job there is no such time as too early to get started and I love being out on a walk at sunrise to start the day right and if time allows, a swim.
Who/what has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mum without question. Her values, her kindness, the good she looked for in everyone and the simplistic lifestyle she chose to live, treasuring memories over material possessions.
What book(s) are you reading and/or podcast(s) are you listening to right now?
A book my mum got for me for Christmas, our last Christmas together, called Mindfulness – The Art Of Finding Peace In A Frantic World. Ironically I haven’t had time to finish it, but it will stay on my bedside table until I do – and serves as a great daily reminder to just breathe.
What does the word ‘community’ mean to you?
An environment where beliefs and values are shared and respected, where people and nature can live happily and harmoniously side by side.
The team at Ecoriginals is dedicated and passionate, and whilst we wholeheartedly believe we have the very best nappies and wipes for babies and the environment alike, there is nothing better than meeting parents and children who feel this way too – this is why we talk of community a lot within Ecoriginals, it is a shared mindset, and a coming together of like-minded individuals with the same desires and values to strive for better.
What are your five top tips for new Mummas who are working towards a more sustainable lifestyle?
To remember that little things very quickly add up to big things. The choices we all make everyday have the ability to contribute positively (and negatively) to the health and future of our world for future generations. My top five tips are:
- Question the brands you use and don’t be afraid to ask for evidence of claims to ensure you are not being “greenwashed”.
- Support businesses with open values that match your own.
- Recycle and reuse. Op shops and charity shops are gold mines for new outfits.
- Avoid food with excess or plastic packaging.
- Walking is the best exercise and beats car journeys every day where possible.
Where are you heading next in your journey?
To design out the <10% non-natural materials entirely in our product range by 2023. This will make Ecoriginals the world’s first baby company with all-natural nappies, all-natural wipes and compostable product packaging, which can all biodegrade and return to earth with little impact and minimal trace with all manufacturing carbon impacts offset and entirely plastic free throughout.
We are very close – and we are determined!
Is there anything else you would like our audience to know?
We are always on the lookout for likeminded eco-conscious parents to contribute to our blog pages, and we love hearing from parents on their sustainable parenting journeys. I would love to hear from anyone reading this article who has ideas for our nappies and wipes or would like to get involved with Team Ecoriginals.
Janice Clarke is the Managing Director at Ecoriginals, having joined the company in March 2021. After 17 years working with global B2B companies in the UK, Europe and Asia, holding Senior Director roles throughout Europe and APAC running large multi-territory outsourced marketing teams for brands such as Sony, Shell, Philips, P&G, Heineken, Diageo, and Coca Cola, Janice was looking to work with a brand with sustainable values as formidable as her own, and immediately fell in love with Ecoriginals and its mission.
A mum of three girls, Janice admits that before joining Ecoriginals, she didn’t have any idea about the plastics, dyes and chemicals hat are found in standard disposable diapers (nappies).
Ecoriginals was founded in Byron Bay, Australia over ten years ago by a husband/wife team who were looking for real eco-friendly nappies. The founders made the decision to exit and sold the company to Think Better Group, a global platform for sustainable brands with a leading focus on environmental and sustainability initiatives.
You can connect with Janice and Ecoriginals on Instagram, Facebook, or at each country’s website below: