Ditching plastic for a sweet alternative: the Auckland business minding their own beeswax

Auckland friends Tara, Jo and Amy share a love for the environment and a desire to create positive change. Three years ago they came up with a business plan that could change the face of packed lunches, picnics, and barbeques around the country – Jo shares the story and philosophy behind their business, Honeywrap.

Honeywrap natural reusable food wrap

What do you make?
We make reusable food wraps. Honeywraps are 100% organic cotton covered with beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil. This perfect combination makes the cloth tacky which can then be shaped over your food and dishes designed to keep your food fresh and your conscience free! Honeywrap is great for wrapping cheeses, lunches, leftovers, salads, snacks on the run and much more.

How did you get into your craft?
Three years ago a school project and a midlife crisis prompted the beginnings of Honeywrap. We were all ready for a career change and over a few wines decided we’d start our own business focusing on something that was good for the planet. The idea we were all immediately drawn to was a school project one of our kids had been involved in, using beeswax covered fabric as an alternative to plastic foodwrap.

We have always tried to do our bit for the environment so it was exciting to find something that was easy to use, reduced waste, was functional and we all believed could make a difference. When we couldn’t find anywhere in NZ to buy them, we decided to make them ourselves. After months researching, testing, failing and many laughs, Honeywrap was born.

Honeywrap natural reuseable food wrap

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Nope, we just did a lot of research and called on 5th form science to get the right combo of ingredients then after months of trial and error, came up with the magic formula!

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
We love the organic fabric and the beeswax as they are both natural materials which is great when we are surrounded by so much plastic in our lives. We felt strongly about using organic cotton as we didn’t want the fabric we used to be laden with pesticides and then covering food. The aroma of beeswax wafting through our workspace is an added bonus.

Tell us a bit about the techniques involved in producing your wraps
Our mix is sticky and hot when it goes on the fabric, so the main skill required is being quick so that the right amount of wax goes on – not too much and not too little!

Leaving the planet in better shape for our kids underlies everything we do and is really important to us.

What inspires you?
We love being in nature and keeping our planet pristine is the whole reason we do this, so I guess nature inspires us. We have just got some new designers on board for our next fabric range and their designs are strongly influenced by nature. We gave a broad brief of ocean, forest and city garden and can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Leaving the planet in better shape for our kids underlies everything we do and is really important to us.

Describe your workspace:
Cluttered, and slightly hectic! But we work from home, there’s lots of natural light and big windows looking out to the garden, which makes for a lovely calm vibe.

Honeywrap packaging design in the workshop

Tara at work in the Honeywrap workshop

Five words that describe your mind:
There are three of us, and our minds are all really different in some ways but we are all idealistic dreamers who are sure we can change the way people live.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Lots of people email us or message us to say that they have ditched plastic wrap for good, which we always love hearing.

What are you currently listening to?
Weekend Hangouts on Spotify always has super cruisey tunes.

Recommend an album:
London Grammar “If you wait” is great.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
“The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton I was forever climbing trees as a kid, and I think I was always half expecting to find another world the higher I climbed.

Honeywrap Natural Reusable Food Wrap

What are you reading now?
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern – it is such a great escape into an entirely different, magical world. So imaginative and well written.

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
Leonardo DiCaprio produced a great documentary called “Before the Flood” on climate change – so he’s a bit of a hero is our eyes. We also follow a lot of ordinary people on Instagram who live these amazing simple, waste free, organic lives – always inspiring.

Share a favourite quote:
“Each one of us can make a difference, together we make change” – Barbara Mihulski

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Do something or make something you love. That way it all feels worthwhile when it gets ridiculously busy and chaotic!

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A beautiful brass and wooden triple candle holder by Nannestad & Sons. I loved the simplicity of it and had to have it!

What’s in store for 2017?
We’ve just teamed up with a couple of very talented designers/artists who are currently designing a new range for us that celebrates the beauty of the planet we live on…more details will be released soon!

Tara, Jo and Amy have set up a special offer for Felt fans! Until the end of March, use the code FELT17 at checkout, and for every 3 pack (small, medium, large) purchased you’ll receive a free medium Honeywrap worth $12.

And for one lucky reader, they have a Honeywrap 3 Pack to give away! To be in to win this eco-friendly prize, leave a comment telling us what appeals to you about the Honeywrap story. The draw will be made on Friday 10 March and is open to New Zealand residents only.

Honeywrap natural reusable food wrap

 

Order your Honeywrap now »

 

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20 Responses to “Ditching plastic for a sweet alternative: the Auckland business minding their own beeswax”

  1. Jillian says:

    What could be better than beeswax and organic cotton….and no plastic wrap!
    Wonderful foundation for this natural product.

  2. Lisa says:

    I lover the idea of not using plastic wrap. We use compartment lunchboxes but these wraps would be perfect as an alternative for the times we use plastic wrap.

  3. Rebekah says:

    I love how the honeywrap team want to leave the world in a better place for their kids. This is something I am passionate about as a Mum too. I love the smell of beeswax too – my Mum used to make candles and every time that wonderful smell takes me back to watching her rolling and colouring them.

  4. Sarah Ball says:

    This is brilliant and beautiful! Sharing with my mum. She would be so keen to try these. Both of us are always looking for small ways to make positive changes around the home that the rest of the family will adopt. Honeywraps sound so easy, convenient and yummy! I love the choice of ingredients and how your project came into being. Mm yes please, beeswax covers in my kitchen!

  5. Natalie Wright says:

    I love reading about these kind of products! Just this week I read about an Auckland company producing concrete out of waste plastics!!

  6. Anna Crowe says:

    Our family loves your products – my kids are so proud of their honey-wrapped school lunches.

    I loved reading your ‘Honeywrap’ story…The Magic Faraway Tree was my favourite book as a child too – I must have read it 100 times or more! And now my daughter loves it just as much. It wasn’t until I introduced it to her that I found out that there are THREE Magic Faraway Tree books! I still feel quite ripped off that I only had one of them as a child!

    Keep up the great work ladies – from a fan in Marlborough :-)

  7. sarah says:

    A favourite part of the honeywrap story for me was the Q&A section; Q: Five words that describe your mind: A: “We are all idealistic dreamers who are sure we can change the way people live”.

    A friend of mine was enthusiastically telling me about these honeywraps and how you mould them to the shape of the dish. When in the fridge they cool and “set” in that position, retaining it’s shape. Well try as she might, and as awesome as the product sounded, I just could not envision what on earth she was on about!!

    3 months later and I discovered what my friend was talking about…in Mossop’s Honey shop, Tauranga. I loved the bright colours of some, and the vintage look of others. I was hard pressed to choose one. I also brought a smaller one for my Mum – who very nearly didn’t receive it! She hadn’t heard about them either & was delighted to try out something new. One of my daughters just can’t get enough of they way smell. As soon as you pick them up, there is no mistaking that distinctive beeswax smell.

    An added bonus to this feature, is that I now have my next book picked out!!! (I’m always on the look-out for new reading material).

    Thanks for such an awesome product. P.S , I have a friend in the UK who would be very interested in this product…would you consider expanding outside of NZ at some stage? X

  8. Liz says:

    I love the colours and ability to reuse, and protect our beautiful world with such a natural item.

  9. Theresia Kavermann says:

    As an Enviroschools kindergarten, we have just discovered these (A couple of children used Honey wraps) and would love to find out more and promote them among our children. Even though our kids lunch boxes are prtty good, we are still trying to get rid of the plastic packaging, especially gladwrap in their lunch boxes .

  10. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the kind words, yes we would love to expand to the UK, tell your friend to email us some time. Jo x

  11. Jo says:

    Anna Crowe – don’t worry the Faraway Tree was definitely the best of the 3!

  12. Amanda says:

    Ever thought of making some vegan ones? Perhaps using candelilla wax or carnauba wax instead of beeswax? I am all for environmentally friendly products but would prefer the option of a 100% plant-based product.

  13. Izabel Santiago-McIlveen says:

    I love NZ and the Kiwi philosophy of “what can we do to make a difference in this world?”
    I believe the

  14. Izabel Santiago-McIlveen says:

    Sorry, my msg was incompleted…
    I believe the team of honeywrap is making a big difference in introducing an alternative to plastic. I hope this brilliant idea reach more Kiwis. Well done guys!

  15. Hesta says:

    I love this product, I have several wraps and use them for absolutely everything, particularly good for my sourdough bread fresh and I adore the beeswax smell in my kitchen (without attracting the bees!). Nice job girls

  16. Penny Clarke says:

    Bought my 1st Honeywrap at the Grey Lynn Market
    Found it excellent for wrapping my 1kg blocks of cheese
    Have recommended this planet friendly product
    to many of my friends, makes a great gift as well.

  17. Tara says:

    Wow!
    Thanks for all the lovely comments from fans that have used, to those yet to try. Love it, motivates us more to keep going!

    Slowly people are becoming more aware of better alternatives. Yay! Thanks to all you stars for helping spread the word.

    And if you are interested in school fundraisers we do have a school deal so get in touch at info@honeywrap.co.nz

  18. trish says:

    Your product sounds great. Haven’t tried it yet but maybe one day soon. I really like your photos in this interview. Someone clever has your marketing in the bag!

  19. Alyssa sills says:

    I love the smell of honey wraps and the facts they are keeping unnecessary plastic out of landfills

  20. Amy says:

    Smart but simple idea, women doing something that will bring about change…what’s not to like about this story!

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