Natural Matters was launched in 2005 and from slow beginnings has now grown to be a leading UK resource for people looking to live more naturally in everything they do.
From green living to complementary practitioners and everything in between, the site is a one stop web portal that visitors find themselves returning to time and time again.
Earlier this week, I managed to stop the lovely Fleur, founder and GM of Natural Matters, in her tracks long enough to pose a few green questions; here are her responses.
It seems as though there are lots more eco-conscious consumers these days. Do you think the rise of Internet shops and retailers is a direct reflection of the reality of what’s happening, or is it just wishful thinking that there will be enough buyers to go around?
There has been a real, and lasting shift in the thinking of UK consumers. It is driven by a genuine desire to protect the world we live in, but also by a growing realisation that living in an eco friendly manner, is not only good for the environment, but good for the soul, and lets not forget that green living offers numerous health benefits! Basically, it’s just plain old common sense!
This shift is growing in momentum all the time, and of course, there has been the inevitable boom in eco retailers. This is reflected in that TV favourite Dragons Den, where we have seen a growing number of green entrepreneurs each series, and a growing number are successfully securing investment. Those companies flying the flag for green living may be in the minority at the moment, but we strongly feel that the companies trading with a weaker ethical foundation are going to have to change their ways if they want to compete.
It is a growing market, and we don’t see it slowing any time soon! Early adopters of green product ranges, economic gloom or not, are securing themselves considerable competitive advantage for years to come. Some of the biggest businesses the world has ever seen were born during the very worst economic times in history; there is considerable scope right now for eco products, initiatives and companies to really run with the opportunities presented by the current economic challenges.
How important is it that we connect this wave of new and ethical consumers to their local and global environments?
So many ways to interpret this question! But in short, absolutely essential! Just this week we saw the release of a report proving that green spaces increase life span; there is a simple message, individuals, governments and businesses needs to firmly grasp the importance of environmental issues both locally and on a worldwide level.
At Natural Matters we have a local charity and group directory in order that people can connect with local projects, and again, we feel getting in this way involved yields tremendous benefits on so many levels. Government simply has to recognise the significance of investing in green spaces, and develop ways to get people out into these spaces, this is particularly important in poor, inner city areas.
What do you see the future for complementary therapists is in our busy lives?
Complementary practitioners are in a unique position in these challenging times. People are stressed and overworked, and this has inevitable repercussions on health and well being. Health practitioners are able to provide natural, life changing solutions to the problems being faced. Over £600 million is spent every year on complementary therapies, and it is growing all the time, people enjoy real benefits and can blend complementary therapies into their busy lives simply and easily and it helps to free them up mentally and physically to deal with the challenges of modern living.
What single product would you advise rubbish reducers to start with on their quest to live a simpler, greener life?
Gosh, Tracey, that’s a tough one; there are so many places to go with this question too! But I think the plastic bag issue has to be one that everyone needs to grasp. We are in Cornwall, but in neighbouring Devon, lies the town of Totnes who some time ago launched a fantastic initiative to be the largest town to be plastic bag free, I am sure you and your readers have read news pieces about it.
Totnes has always had a wonderful reputation for being very holistic, but I am sure this could be replicated nation-wide. I am pleased to see more and more of us with our natural bags in the supermarkets, but its still a minority, and I think this is a simple step we can all take that will have impressive repercussions.
And switching to growing your own veg too, or if that’s a step too far, signing up for the local veg box scheme has to be one of the very best things we can all do. Cut out those food miles, cut out those pesticides and chemicals from shop bought veg and get real with your weekly veg intake. Folks that can set aside a spot in the garden, or get to their local allotment can save a fortune, do their bit for the environment, and enjoy top quality fruit and veg naturally packed with those vitamins and minerals we all need in our busy lifestyles!
Thanks for taking the time to pose these questions Tracey, it’s been fun! And we hope your readers will stop by and pay www.naturalmatters.net a visit, they will certainly be met with a warm welcome. There is a free newsletter available and newsletter readers also receive a whole page full of special offers not available on the site itself.
Fleur – Founder
No problem there Fleur – Natural Matters gets a full thumbs up from me and thanks again for your time and comprehensive answers.
With an extensive directory, thousands of news and article pages, an events diary, exclusive offers and competitions from some of the best natural businesses in the UK, Natural Matters is well worthy of a visit, but be sure to have a nice cuppa close to hand and at least 15 minutes to spare!