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Meet Two Women Who Want to Help Us Live a Little Greener: interviews with the founders of Kaia Naturals and Abeego

Kaia Naturals and Abeego may seem like two very different products (one is an earth-friendly cosmetics remover and the other a green alternative to your average plastic food wrap), but they have more in common than a healthy environmental pedigree. Both are companies founded by passionate women who wanted to find everyday ways to help us live a little greener. We spoke with Mary Futher and Toni Desrosiers about why they decided to take matters into their own entrepreneurial, green-thumbed hands.

Mary Futher is the creator of Kaia Naturals, a natural and healthy alternative to harsh makeup removers.
What inspired Kaia Naturals?
I was a former product developer from Shoppers Drugmart (Quo Cosmetics) and I worked with many cosmetic companies in the past – Yves Saint Laurent, Revlon and Elizabeth Arden. Throughout my career I dreamed of developing my own product one day and using my skills in Research and Development to try something a little different.

How are Kaia bamboo facial cleansing cloths different than other cleansing cloths at conventional drugstores?
They are different in two ways: One: The cloth is made from grasses (bamboo) not trees (rayon is 50-60% wood fibre). Most drugstore wipes
are made from rayon. Two: The ingredients are food grade (not petro chemical based) and the cloth is a cleanser, not just a makeup remover,
so you can actually deep cleanse your skin with the oat protein. They also contain certified organic Canadian honey…as soon as you smell
these cloths you will know why they are not a drugstore cloth!

Why did you choose to make this product using bamboo?
I wanted to find a substrate (cloth) that was ecofriendly, and a friend of mine is an eco fashion designer and was working with bamboo
and suggested I investigate working with it.

I’m a total party animal with a bad habit of not removing my makeup before bed. Can an all natural cleansing cloth handle my makeup laden post–party face?
This is the product for you! You can lay in bed and cleanse your face, remove your mascara (even waterproof) and no toner required as they
are pH balanced… and in the morning you can throw the cloth in your green bin! It does not get any better than that: you will see the difference in your honey kissed skin! No one will ever know you were a party girl the night before and crashed into bed.

Toni Desrosiers is the creator of Abeego food containers, a natural, reusable and eco conscious alternative to toxic plastic.

Why did you choose to make food packaging using hemp and beeswax?
Beeswax is simply amazing. Among many other incredible properties it is anti-bacterial, water-resistant, breathable and humectant. Beeswax
has been used as a preservative forever and is used in your food as one today. I chose to use a high hemp content fiber based on the
anti-fungal properties of the fiber and the incredible sustainable qualities of the plant.

How is Abeego different than Glad wrap or Tupperware?
Abeego is completely plastic free. It is biodegradable and compostable. It is reusable and a life span of a year or longer. The
natural properties of the materials used aid in keeping food fresh, delicious and essentially alive. Many foods stored in plastic are
living organisms; fruits, vegetables, cheese are all alive. Plastic is an air tight environment. There has been a growing interest in
creating breathable packaging to store living food. Abeego is naturally breathable and creates a living environment for living
foods. The humectant qualities of the beeswax help keep food moist and the breathable qualities prevent excess moisture from building in the
package. Abeego is a mailable material and can be formed into many storage options to suit your needs. It is slightly adhesive to it will
adhere to itself or the container you are forming it around. When it is warm it is flexible and as it cools it holds the shape you created.

What can I stash in my Abeego food storage containers?
Abeego is having a mad love affair with all things living. It is the perfect companion for your cheese, all varieties, even the stinky
ones. You can use Abeego to wrap a half cut fruit or vegetable, like the cut end of a cucumber or a half of avocado. You can mould Abeego
into a lid for almost any container so it is perfect for covering that amazing salad until you are ready to serve it. You can use it to
create packages the are ideal for storing fresh herbs. You can also use it to pack your sandwich or veggies for lunch, sans plastic.

~Kait Fowlie

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