Meet Othernature | Sala Studio, Auckland, NZ
Hope and Matt started building a brand that they hope will help redefine our relationship with nature. OtherNature, the market's most potent plant medicine.
Jan 14, 2023
From the ashes of London's burnout culture, Hope and Matt started building a brand that they hope will help redefine our relationship with nature, both inside and out. Meet the founders of OtherNature, the market's most potent plant medicine.
Hey, who are you? What do you do and where do you live?
Hello, thanks for having me – My name is Hope - I'm a kiwi girl, born and raised in Christchurch. For the past 10 years, I have been living in Melbourne, Sydney and most recently London working in digital advertising. I moved back to New Zealand this year to spend some time with family and launch my brand, OtherNature, which I have been working on as a side hustle for a few years as I was looking to invest my time in a creative outlet that had purpose. At OtherNature, we design premium mushroom-based supplements for the mind and body. To balance career and work, I love travelling, fashion, fitness, beach days, and I’m a big fan of a long lunch with friends.
Medicinal mushrooms seem to be having a moment. What’s the deal with them?
Yeah, there really is a boom starting to happen, which is incredible to see! They have been used in eastern medicinal practices for over 5,000 years and we’re seeing massive interest in western cultures over the past decade since the science has caught up. Very top-line, medicinal mushrooms are a category of fungi that contain a high density of health-promoting compounds compared to other mushrooms and can provide numerous health benefits when consumed consistently. They have been the subject of substantial laboratory and clinical research, revealing many promising ways to improve both physical and mental wellbeing. They’re all-natural as well, which is a big plus!
What’s the purpose of OtherNature? Where do you see it in five years?
The purpose of OtherNature is to harness the power of fungi to promote personal and planetary health. We want to use the brand to help redefine our relationship with nature. To find balance, challenge norms, solve problems, and provide essential tools for modern life that benefit people and the environment. Fungi have so much untapped potential. Not only are they responsible for everything from bread to beer to antibiotics, but they also have a vital role to play in addressing our environmental crisis, thanks to their ability to sequester carbon and encourage biodiversity. With mushrooms being at the heart of our brand, we want to explore innovative ways to leverage their potential in our business much more as we grow. What you see is only the beginning, we have a range of products planned and a few key ones in development at the moment. There is a lot planned for the future and we haven’t even scratched the surface of where we’d like to take the brand.
What makes OtherNature different to other mushroom-based supplements on the market?
We’ve focused on providing the highest quality products that are clean, potent, and proven. Our medicinal mushrooms are USDA ; EU certified organic, 100% fruiting body with 30% beta-glucans, making our extracts some of the purest and most potent on the market. And although medicinal mushrooms are the hero of our products, their benefits can be amplified with other nutraceutical ingredients (including those from NZ) that work together synergistically. Our proprietary formulations are crafted by our team of naturopaths, mycologists, and industry experts with ingredients that are supported by scientific evidence, using the clinically correct levels of bio-actives for therapeutic results. Design was also a big factor for us – we worked with the amazing team at DDMMYY to create a refill model so that you can look after yourself and help reduce the environmental impact your routine has.
You’re running a subscription model. Why?
Yes, it’s two-fold. One is that with a subscription refill system, the impact on the environment is reduced – as the jar can be washed and reused, and the recyclable refill pouch is lighter meaning fewer materials and fewer carbon emissions when shipping. Secondly, our products have been designed to be taken long-term to experience the full benefits, which is why subscriptions are 15% off plus free shipping. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get the first order in our signature glass jar that’s infinitely recyclable. Every subsequent order comes in our recyclable refill pouch. By refilling the glass jars instead of replacing them, people can help contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions by up to 60% and additional packaging waste by up to 86%.
Who’s / what’s your dream collaboration?
To be honest, after starting a business I'm in admiration of so many brands doing amazing things there are too many to name. If we’re talking dream collabs I would love to collaborate with an amazing fashion designer like Jacquemus – using mycelium as an alternative to leather or a luxury hotel partnership like a Soho House.
How I invest in myself. For me, it’s looking after myself mentally and physically. It's all-encompassing in terms of what I eat, who I spend my time with, how I manage my stress, how I move my body, how I speak to myself, and where I spend my time. I am constantly learning – it is not linear.
If someone was visiting your city, what’s the one thing you’d tell them to do?
Spend a day in the Waipara Valley – there are so many incredible wineries to visit and do some tastings, then finish with a long lunch at Black Estate or Greystone.
What’s a hangover cure you swear by?
Ha! I wish I knew – with age they get worse, so I try to avoid drinking too much as the best solution. If the hangover does kick in - fresh air and drinking lots of water. Also, a swim helps me a lot!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“This too shall pass” has always been one that stuck with me. My Gran and Dad have both always said it me growing up. It reminds me to savour the good times and trust that things will always get better when you’re feeling at a loss.