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An interview with Koala Eco

Who we are: Koala Eco is a family owned business, started on Gadigal land in Sydney by Jess Bragdon and Paul Davidson, who are partners, and have two sons.

What we do: Koala Eco makes safe, powerful plant-based products for a clean home, body and mind.

Our range is planet-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable, and vegan, and never tested on animals.  But what really sets us apart are the 100% natural essential oils we use from Australian native botanicals like eucalyptus, lemon myrtle, peppermint and rosemary. The oils are the ‘essence’ of the plant, they’re the highly concentrated compounds secreted in the bark, leaf or fruit. They’re not only amazing at killing bacteria and banishing microbes, they’re also celebrated for their health and mood-enhancing properties. So the aromas they release mean you’re literally breathing in the healing power of nature.    

To these essential oils we add ingredients like vinegar, sugar-based biodegradable alcohol and bicarbonate soda, plant-derived solubilisers and surfactants, and purified water. Our products meet rigorous safety standards. We are certified toxic-free, made-safe, allergy-certified, vegan and cruelty-free. Unlike conventional cleaners laden with harsh toxins, our products are free from sulphates (SLS, SLES, SCS), triclosan, parabens, phosphates, formaldehyde, MEA, DEA, TEA, chlorine, petrochemicals, animal by-products, allergens, dyes, caustics, and synthetic fragrances and perfumes.

Why connection to nature is so important to what we do: our mantra is More Nature, Feel Better, and our purpose is to help people bring more nature into their everyday lives. Humanity’s connection to nature is one of the most precious things we have, and we need to nurture that connection for our own physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. This something that First Nations Peoples all over the world have always understood, and shared through their stories and cultures. Connecting with nature is one of the easiest, cheapest and most meaningful ways to invest in our personal wellbeing. It’s medicine. And it’s a reciprocal thing: if we care for nature, nature cares for us.

One easy way is to use household and personal care products that not only are made from nature, but are also environmentally friendly, and don’t harm nature. And nothing beats a daily walk through trees or a park. If that’s not possible, try growing some herbs on a windowsill, bringing a little greenery indoors.

We try to work as sustainably as possible: we try our hardest to contribute to making a cleaner and greener world. All our products are locally made, and bottled and shipped in recyclable packaging. Thanks to our use of rPET plastic—something we worked hard to achieve—we don’t cause any new plastic to be made. To date, we’ve prevented over 3 million new plastic bottles from entering circulation thanks to Koala Eco’s use of recycled and recyclable bottles, and we’ve stopped over 2.3 million litres of toxic liquids from entering homes and waterways.

We give back as often as we can: we give a percentage from each product sold to 1% for the Planet, an environmental group committed to protecting land, forests, rivers and oceans, and which encourages sustainable methods of energy. We’re also proud sponsors of WWF Australia, and the People and Parks Foundation’s NaturePact initiative. We also sponsor the Oceanic Society’s Critter Scholars Program, which helps disadvantaged teenagers get up close to and learn about marine wildlife in the Bay area.

Our tips for reducing harm to the planet: do an audit on the house cleaners you already use. Ditch anything with artificial fragrances or unpronounceable ingredients. Seek out products containing 100% pure organic essential oils, combined with vinegar, sugar-based biodegradable alcohol and bicarbonate (baking) soda. These are just such great alternatives to caustic cleaning products. 

Some of your best friends in home cleaning care could be in your pantry, like vinegar, lemon juice and olive or coconut oil. Put a few drops of essential oil in the toilet to give it a fresh aroma. Try orange or eucalyptus.

Choose natural and sustainably made furnishings whenever possible, keep dust under control and never forget the power of fresh air through an open window.

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