Nurturer Products – Ticking All the Boxes
As many of you know, last year my husband and I moved to the tiny town of Hoedspruit in the Lowveld. While there is a little health/green shop in town, they do not have the widest range of eco-friendly products on offer, and they are not the best value for money. This means that I now rely much more heavily on online options to buy eco-friendly products. You would be impressed at how quickly courier companies can make their way to Hoedspruit – usually within a day or two!
A month or two ago I was browsing through Takealot.com looking for products to help bump up my order (so I didn’t have to pay a delivery cost) and on a whim searched for eco-friendly laundry powder – something I REALLY struggle to source. I was pleasantly surprised when a new product called Nurturer, with the slogan “100% profits for charity”, popped up. Intrigued I clicked on the laundry powder to find out more. Turns out, Nurturer produce eco-friendly products and use the profits they make to help fund an NGO based in Cape Town that works on youth empowerment. How cool!! So, I added the laundry powder to my cart (R185 for 2kg) and went back to see what else they produce. I was even more excited when I discovered that they also sell an eco-friendly bleach alternative! I added the bleach to my cart and decided to leave it at that for now and to wait and give Nurturer products a try before buying anymore.
While waiting for my order to arrive, I contacted Matthew Fisher from Nurturer to find out some more information about their products and cause. Matthew kindly agreed to a Q&A session with us and this is what he had to say:
1. Who and how did you come up with this novel concept and what has the public’s reaction been so far?
The idea of Nurturer Products came through an intensive ‘business incubation’ process with New Ventures Studio, an income-generating arm of Salesian Life Choices. We had several business ideas in our portfolio, but decided Nurturer had a strong brand identity and the potential for a lean business model, which was important. After some careful introspection and several focus groups, we rebranded to focus on communicating “100% Profits for Charity”, while maintaining earth-friendly products as the core offering.
So far, the public have reacted really well to our angle, and our zero-returns indicate a product range that works. We also stock a few items that are currently in limited supply in the RSA market. Our hope is that people choose us over competitors – who we believe we can match in terms of product – simply because of where our profits end up.
2. What made you decide on making eco-friendly products, and not just regular products, as this must be a more complicated process?
Our vision for this company is to contribute to the long-term self-sustainability of our parent organisation, Salesian Life Choices. When talking about self-sustainability, it just made sense to focus on a product offering that nurtures the planet, as much as the people we serve.
3. How environmentally friendly are your products? Do you only use natural ingredients?
Our personal care and baby ranges are made from 100% natural ingredients, and are proudly associated with Eco-Cert and Beauty Without Cruelty.
Our cleaning product range also consists of some 100% natural based products, but a few have a small chemical composition in the preservatives. These are in such small doses however that the entire range is safely formulated and remains 100% biodegradable.
4. What is your favourite product that you produce and why?
That is a tough one as we love them all! If we HAD to choose though, the Eco-Dishwashing Liquid from the cleaning range probably just edges out our O2 Washing Powder – it was our first ever product and has always been a top-seller. From the personal care range, our SLS and Fragrance Free Anti-Frizz Shampoo is worth every penny!
5. Nurturer is a social enterprise owned by an NPO, Salesian Life Choices, which has been around since 2005. What funds did the NPO rely on in the past?
Salesian Life Choices continues to rely on a traditional donor based model, with a mix of funding sourced from international foundations, individual givers, local government and corporates. We are hoping that one day Nurturer’s profits allow some of current donors to invest their money to other organisations in need!
6. In a nutshell, what exactly does Salesian Life Choices do for youth in Cape Town? If we buy Nurturer products what are the profits used for?
Salesian Life Choices provides youth-friendly services in low-income communities that focus on Family Stability, Health, Education, Leadership Skills and Employment. We identified these critical building blocks that youth need in order to thrive. Professionals in each relevant field deliver these services either in the communities and schools we work with, or at our premises in Lansdowne, Cape Town.
Nurturer is contributing to a reserve fund that when big enough, will enable the organisation to live off the interest gained each year. With your support, we are able to empower youth to attend school, express their voices, gain employment and become pro-active citizens.
Since 2005, Life Choices has impacted over 200,000 lives with CHOICES and NOT CHARITY.
7. How else can people get involved or find out more about the NPO you support?
8. We love that your products tick all the boxes – eco-friendly, locally made, biodegradable, not tested on animals and vegan. Is there anything else you would like us/ our readers to know about your products?
We sell in bulk to reduce the amount of plastic used per litre, and encourage users to return their containers and keep them in our supply chain. We’re also always looking for new products that can grow our portfolio – so if you have a great idea, or product, let us know!
9. At the moment we can order your products through Take-A-Lot. Are there any future plans to supply other stores?
Yes – we are aiming to grow our presence on as many relevant online marketplaces that South Africa has available. Watch this space!
We are busy reviewing some of the Nurturer products we have been using – so keep a look out for future blogs to find out more.