2020 has taken cleaning and disinfecting to an entirely new level. Unfortunately, the majority of the cleaning products on the market may be causing more harm than good. Regardless of how careful we may be, every day we are breathing in, absorbing or ingesting these toxic chemicals making up these cleaning products in some shape or form. Tired of the headaches from these harsh chemicals, Belinda Everingham decided enough was enough and sought better options. Experimenting in her own kitchen with Australian botanicals and essential oils, Bondi Wash was born. A range of natural products for the home, body, baby and pets that are not only effective on the task at hand, but good for you and our planet.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey.
Born in Melbourne, raised in Canberra by nature-loving, environmentalist, hippy parents, and have lived in Sydney, Boston, London, New York and Melbourne again. I’ve lived in Bondi since 1999 when my first child was born – I love the eclectic community. Professionally I studied Economics and worked in strategic consulting, but tired of it and eventually started thinking about alternatives. Running your own business seemed appealing – little did I know how tough it would be. The challenges are constant and don’t seem to get any easier with time. I’m thankful the business has survived as many don’t – it’s 7 years old now.
What was the motivation to create Bondi Wash, your Australian based organic fragrance range for home, body, baby and dogs?
I’ve always loved fragrance. I travelled to Grasse in my twenties – visiting their fragrance houses. And I always get great pleasure from wafts of natural fragrance – designing our garden so there is something fragrant in it all year round for example.
But the business idea started when I reacted to chemicals in household and body products back in 2008. Spraying a supermarket bought surface spray gave me a nasty headache. And I also reacted to sulphates in shampoos (itchy scalp).
Fast forward a few years and I was holidaying in Far North Queensland, visiting rainforests and fruit farms where I discovered all these native plants I’d not heard of. I was reading the book Perfume set in Paris and Grasse about one man’s mission for the perfect scent. It got me thinking whether here in Australia we could create scents and products from our botanicals just like the French have done. The business came together fairly quickly after that – I discovered all these incredible native oils and extracts that I’ve designed scents and products around for the Bondi Wash range.
We at Ritology are big advocates for zero-waste and organic products, why are these values so important to you and the creation of Bondi Wash?
It’s a cliché but we only have one planet. Every toxic ingredient that doesn’t degrade makes its way down through the drains into the oceans. Once you start researching ingredients it makes you very aware of the damage that can be done both to the planet and to animals and we humans. Because you can’t see or even smell these ingredients, it is so easy to overlook what might be happening.
What is in the near future for Bondi Wash? Any new products, events, exciting collaborations?
We have a Wool & Cashmere Wash and a Baby Detergent in a new scent (Blue Gum & Neroli) launching next week.
We also have some nice accessories arriving in the next few weeks – a body brush, cashmere comb and a ceramic diffuser.
How has Bondi Wash stayed ahead of the COVID crisis? Do you think your brand has been increasingly recognised during this period?
Back in January I realised supply chains were going to be badly affected by COVID, so stocked up. This sustained us through the crazy months here of Feb-April but we still ended up out of stock of many things due to manufacturing capacity which frustrated customers (sorry).
People clearly are more aware of hygiene in general. But I think people are also more aware of ingredients. There are some truly awful hand sanitisers sitting at the entry to shops and restaurants. People are getting nasty rashes and reactions to them. Similarly in the home, when there is more cleaning going on, people start to think about what’s in the products they are using more regularly now. It’s meant the shift to natural is happening faster I believe.
If Bondi Wash didn’t come to be, where would you be and what would you be doing?
I would have loved to have been an architect. The process is not dissimilar to what I am doing now. A lot of hard work and creativity behind the scenes to end up seeing your creations come to life.
What are some key rituals that you incorporate into your daily life to stay grounded and ahead of your busy schedule?
Yoga is a vital element. I do it in the park a few times a week – a COVID benefit is exercising outdoors – so much nicer.
Family always comes first – that’s an easy one.
Having a dog (Roger the spoodle) also forces you to stop and smell the roses – a walk to the park becomes an essential instead of a luxury.
What quote do you live by?
‘Do unto others’ is oldie but a goodie. And ‘honesty is always the best policy’ is another.
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