As you well know by now, we absolutely LOVE supporting local brands. It’s everything we’re about; supporting locally owned Aus + NZ brands that have an aligned vision of improving people’s lives in one way or another - whether that be through sustainability, high quality ingredients, removing nasties from their products, or creating things that will just better your life.
We love that we can connect you with businesses who are just doing GOOD too. We want nothing more than for you to find products and brands that you truly connect with, that actually offer products that improve your quality of life.
The thing I find coolest, and one of my favourite parts about running this business, is finding out about the stories behind the brands. How did they start? What are their values, their ethics, their vision? Just hearing their stories of where they’ve come from is so inspiring and heartwarming.
So I wanted to take a moment to celebrate each of the brands featured inside, and tell you a little more about their story, the people behind them and what their brand is about.
I love how hearing these stories humanises these brands, and makes us understand that they’ve been started by good-doing humans who just wanted to make a change in the world.
I hope you enjoy!
Kate, Founder of Retreat Yourself
Antipodes was created by the amazing Elizabeth Barbalich, many moons ago. The Antipodes team told us that Elizabeth wanted to create a natural skincare range that had the same benefits as more 'conventional' skincare. Today, Antipodes are a world-class green beauty brand, who have created an incredible range of scientifically backed, clinically proven and award winning skincare products, and we feel SO proud that we get to share the Antipodes story with you and support them by having our RY community try one of their amazing products. We've had the chance to try many of the Antipodes products and we can - hand on heart - say they are ground breaking and incredibly effective and luxurious.
It has now been a couple of years since we first formed a relationship with our now very-good-friends at Freshwater Farm. If you didn't already know, Freshwater Farm actually grow many of their own ingredients on their own farm (on the mid-north coast of NSW), and they are completely involved in every single stage of the lifecycle of all of their products - which is something that you don't often see. They are also incredibly transparent about their ingredients, including having an ingredient listing on their website, and from multiple conversations with the Freshwater Farm team, we know they are incredibly passionate and work hard to make choices that are good for us all, as consumers.
Christian Burkhardt is the mastermind behind the COMA Organics brand, which many, many of our community members have gone crazy for since we first connected with the absolutely incredibly well researched Christian and his team a couple of years go. Through many chats with Christian, we have learned that he studied naturopathy, then devoted years to researching the psychological influence of physical health. In all, Christian spent 20 years researching and perfecting his craft before creating the incredible COMA Organics products, which incorporate and consider the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Quantum Physics and ancient knowledge. Since then, COMA Organics products have helped many, many people with emotional imbalances and common ailments.
Sophie Cooper - behind the innovative brand that is anihana, has been popping up all over the place lately (you might have seen her feature in a few news articles after anihana products exploded into Australia from New Zealand over the past year or two). anihana's products are incredible in that they combine a dose of self-care, sustainability in product packaging and manufacturing, safe ingredients and are delivered in ready to use bath or shower products that deliver an incredible scent experience - shower steamers, bath bombs, shower bars, bath salts and more. Sophie has also always been incredibly passionate about giving back to her local community through her business, and just wants people to feel good when using her products.
Jane Allen is the genius behind Finery Cocktails (who, by the way, create both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the 0% cocktails that you've seen us recently talk about). Jane was raised on the Sunshine Coast and is currently residing in NZ, but it made sense for Jane to bring her cocktails back to her home country so we here in Australia could enjoy them (thanks Jane!). Finery have some fairly important values that we want to make mention of however - they are striving to lead innovation with recyclable packaging, a lean manufacturing process and also sourcing ingredients locally, plus their drinks have clean ingredients when it comes to flavour.
Georgie Skin was started by the incredibly lovely Tanya Georgie. Some of our RY community members might remember Georgie Skin due to receiving the amazing Georgie Skin 100% Raw Silk Exfoliating Cloths from one of our Mystery Boxes last year (tip: they are absolutely worth the hype). Tanya is super passionate about empowering women and honouring our divine feminine, and started her brand to help other women on their wellness journey by offering luxury self-care products. Tanya also shares some simple yet powerful wellness tips and recommendations via her email list. If you've connected with Tanya before, you'll understand her beautiful energy and how this filters all the way through Georgie Skin.
A pretty cool fact about Tilley Soaps: they are the oldest, 100% Australian-owned soap manufacturer! In fact, the Tilleys team tell us they will celebrate their 157-year anniversary this year. Arthur Tilley was absolutely onto something back in 1865. We bet you've seen Tilleys around many times since then, perhaps without even realising it. Do you recall walking into a gift store, seeing shelves full of beautifully coloured and scented body soaps? There's a high chance they were Tilleys. The Tilleys brand have expanded since those days, and many of you have experienced a few of their beautiful products now. We've been so lucky to test many of the Tilley products over the past couple of years - including their candles, reed diffusers and of course their essential oils - they really do create beautifully crafted products with some incredible scents.
We've been great friends with the Blue Dinosaur team since the very early days of Retreat Yourself! Which means - just as importantly - we've been very proud testers of Blue Dinosaur bars for years. These guys make incredible products. Essentially, the masterminds behind the Blue Dinosaur brand started making delicious and nutritious bars in their own kitchen, essentially finding tasty yet highly nutritious ingredients, baking them like a cake, and taking them on the go. Their friends cottoned on and started stealing these said snacks, so Blue Dinosaur was eventually born. Many, many delicious bars have been created in this time, and more recently, Blue Dinosaur have started to take steps towards fully home compostable packaging (which their new vegan protein bars are housed in) - very cool, might we add.
Hey Bud Skincare
We're sure you'll quickly notice there is very much a hero ingredient that the Hey Bud team celebrate through their skincare range - hemp. And for pretty good reason! The Hey Bud team told us that when they initially set out to create really good, effective skincare which harnessed the power of natural ingredients, they continued to come across the magical powers of hemp seed oil. They Hey Bud team are also super fun - we've loved getting to know them, and it's important to them that your skincare routine is super enjoyable!
Naked Life are also long-term friends of ours, and some of our longest subscribers will remember trying some of Naked Life's sodas many, many moons ago now! They've been pretty hard at work since then - so many different, better-for-you yet delicious drinks, most recently including their brand new Drinking Chocolates. We love them as their drinks are naturally sweetened and contain no artificial flavours, colours or high sugar content - all so important. In saying that, they've also always been very strong on achieving an incredibly tasty product, which we know many of you can back up with the taste of their Drinking Chocolates.
We first connected with the Cel team back in 2021, and we were incredibly impressed by the research that went into the creation of their range of thickening/strengthening haircare products, and the amazing reviews they'd received. Cel's products feel truly luxurious to use and their results speak for themselves (if you've tried them, you'll know what we are talking about!). But more so, their commitment to finding ingredients that have been scientifically proven, and where possible, sourced from nature, and always with zero animal testing was also really impressive to us.