Interview with Sierra Ainsley, Founder of Naked.

In the apparel industry it’s hard to get away from using plastic – here at Cool Your Sweats, part of our mandate is to create effective products that work without the use of petroleum-based plastic. We’re 90% of the way there – our fabric is plastic-free but our packaging and thread are still derived from plastic (polyester-based thread and 100% post consumer recycled plastic packaging). We’re working on better packaging (if you have some suggestions please contact me), and we can’t switch to organic cotton thread until our quantities can justify it.

Plastic is so insidious that avoiding it takes a concerted effort. The Canadian government is introducing a new bill to curb the use of single-use plastic packaging. This is a big step forward and it will be interesting to see if they can actually proceed with this plan. The plastic lobby is sure to have something to say about it.

In the meantime, there are plenty of smaller companies that are doing their part to help consumers cut their plastic consumption by providing plastic-free alternatives (that usually also are safer for you and the environment) to conventional products especially for personal hygiene and home cleaning.

One of those companies is Naked. founded by Sierra Ainsley. It makes zero-waste, plant-based, harmful additive-free personal hygiene and home cleaning products. Sierra and I are going to be collaborating on a project in the next few months so I thought it would be a great idea for you to get to know her.

I interviewed her about her company and why she founded it, and of course, her suggestions for better sleep when you’re going through some stage of menopause! Enjoy!

Cathy:  What do you sell?

Sierra: I make all natural, organic, vegan friendly, cruelty free, fairly traded and zero waste - hair, body and home care products. 

C: What prompted you to get into the cleaning industry?

S: We have only started making cleaning products recently but we see a huge need for them both from a carbon-reduction perspective (specifically with single use plastic waste) as well as reducing our chemical footprint – harmful chemicals that end up in our ground water/oceans and rivers. 

C: Why do you make natural, organic products that are zero waste?

S: There are so many reasons. Years ago (in the 80s) the 3 Rs were introduced (reduce, reuse, recycle). But we now know that over 91% of the world plastics are not being recycled. No longer can we be compliant with reducing or reusing or even recycling. We need to “full stop” stop using. 

Our skin is our largest organ in our body and what we put on our skin has a direct impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health. At Naked. we aim to create healthy living, zero waste, affordable alternatives so people do not have to choose savings over their health. 

C: Is making zero waste products with none of the conventional cleaning chemicals difficult?

S: I wouldn’t say it is difficult, more, fascinating. With every course I take, or plants’ benefits I research, I learn more about how to better my health, as well as that of my friends, clients, family’s and the planet’s. 

The UN released a statement in March saying “our window to save the planet is quickly closing.” I feel the benefits to creating natural, sustainable products far outweighs any challenges. 

C: Which products would you recommend for hot and sweaty women who want to sleep better?

S: Magnesium! I have just started using and making a magnesium body butter, with lavender (of course!)

I had no idea most women are deficient in magnesium and it has such a huge impact on our sleep, muscle cramping and mood. Healthy sleep is so important so we add organic (homegrown) lavender oil to add the extra calming benefits lavender offers. 

C: Is there anything else you would like us to know?

S: I guess just to educate yourself. There is no shame in choosing natural personal body care products over conventional ones. They can be so important to your overall health. They are worth doing the research and learning which chemicals to avoid. 

But when switching to them, you need to be patient. I remember when I first started making/using all-natural deodorant I couldn’t believe how much I stank! I carried deodorant with me all the time and reapplied because I was worried about body odour. When I had almost given up I stated to read that the reason I smelt bad, was my body was detoxing itself. I was literacy shedding all the toxins, parabens, sulphites and aluminum that I had stored for years. 

To me it was well worth the extra reapply (and we now make an armpit detox scrub that helps people going through this process). This lasted two weeks but (for me) but was well worth the impact it made. I have more energy, feel less sluggish and am healthier for it. We didn’t get this way overnight and it takes time for our body to repair the damage we have done. Just like it will take time to repair the damage we have done to our planet so better to start now :) 

Thanks so much for your time, Sierra! 

For more information about Naked., visit their website.

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