CANVAS MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH BELINDA
Interview Questions from Canvas Magazine for Belinda Everingham CEO & Founder of Bondi Wash
Why did you want to make the Bondi Wash?
A few years ago I was using a conventional surface spray in the kitchen and got a headache. I wondered what the product would be doing to our kids and the environment if it did this to me. So I started looking for more natural alternatives to all products in the home and was disappointed with what I found. Not long after I was at a friend’s and she was using eucalyptus oil to wash the kitchen surfaces. The idea started brewing then that maybe we could use Australian botanicals to create functional products for the home. Finally, I was in Far North Queensland on holiday, and reading the novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind. Being surrounded there by a whole raft of native plants I had never heard of, the thought struck me that Australia could create fragrant products from our botanicals, just like the French have been doing for centuries. Returning home to Sydney I quickly discovered beautiful oils and extracts from Australian natives that I started working with to create natural fragrances and products. That was July 2012 and the business launched officially November 2013 with 3 scents and 3 products – now we have 9 scents across around 25 products with many more in development.
For products of Bondi Wash, What kind of plants do you use?
For each fragrance we develop, we select an Australian native plant, and then we combine it with beautiful oils from around the world to create a balanced scent – just like a perfume.
We also add other ingredients that are not scented but have lovely properties – like banksia seed oil which is in our dog range helps detangle and condition the fur or hair, or lilly pilly extract which is in our hand lotion which has very high levels of vitamin C and anti-oxidants to nourish and smooth the skin. All our products are 99%-100% derived from plants, so even the surfactants and preservatives we use are plant-derived, and what is not plant-derived is food-grade. We choose our ingredients very carefully and choose organic when we can.
Bondi Wash is a natural origin of the product, In your life, Do you choose items (food,clothes and so on…) of natural materials?
Yes I try to. We get a box of organic fruit and vegetables delivered every week and you can often taste the difference. Living right near our local shops means we can buy fresh food daily so we eat very little processed or packaged food, except chocolate – one of life’s pleasures.
I try to buy clothes that are made from natural materials like cotton, linen, wool and cashmere which is not always easy these days. For the surfaces in our home we have chosen natural materials like timber, stone, linen and cotton.
And for decorating I love to display vintage items which have sentimental feeling like my grandfather’s brass clock and my grandmother’s cut crystal. I also love modern art and have pieces from Australian artists including Stephen Ormandy, Robert Hollingworth, Gemma Smith and my mother Jan Weir.
At your home, What kind of botanicals do you have?
Our garden is full of scented plants and contains a mix of native and non-natives including lilly pilly, frangipani, gardenia, wattle, star jasmine, cardamom, banksia, michelia alba and ginger lily. We also have fragrant herbs to cook with including parsley, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, sage, chives and coriander. I love to display Australian natives around the house, so often bring cuttings inside. The shapes of the leaves, flowers, buds and nuts are very sculptural and beautiful.
In Sydney, Do you think that it is easy to live with nature?
If you say “yes”, Please tell me about the reason of it.
It is surprisingly easy. Despite being only 10 minutes from the city, there are many parks around us and native street trees that attract wildlife and birds. The fact that we get huntsmen and red back spiders in our garden (and sometimes inside the home which isn’t so pleasant) is a sign the natural environment is strong. Bondi beach itself is also very clean so that the sea life you see when swimming is really vibrant.