Interview with Warren LaRey, Faithful to Nature

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Interview with Warren LaRey, Faithful to Nature

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This month we chat to Warren LaRey, Head of Marketing at Faithful to Nature, an online retailer with a deep passion for all things ethical and organic, and one of the first companies in the world to have created a strict ingredient policy. He shares some of his experiences and insights on leading the marketing charge for an eco-conscious business with a big heart.

I cannot start my day without…

Some sort of outdoor activity like surfing, kayaking or a simple walk on the beach. It is a great way to clear my head and create focus for the day, and then good coffee, NOTHING starts until there is coffee.

I love my job because…

I love business and have a passion for nature and sustainability, although often those two things don’t go hand-in-hand. Working at Faithful to Nature marries both passions. Being able to work for and market a company that is truly trying to make a difference is incredibly inspiring. We consider ourselves market leaders in our space, which gives us, as a company and a marketing team, the ability to innovate and try unique campaigns to spread the word. This type of creative environment makes it a great place to work.

Describe the typical Faithful to Nature customer

Our consumer base can be divided into two types of people. 1. The hard-core greenie: people that know a lot about treading lightly on our planet and have built their lifestyle around this. Our products support their lifestyle and they trust what we sell will help them lead that life. 2. We have the every-day person wanting to make a difference, wanting to lead a more eco-friendly, toxin-free life, but doesn’t have the time or fully understand where to start. We do the hard work of researching and finding the right products to start and live a more conscious life.

How is Faithful to Nature different from other eco-friendly product sites?

We are an online ethical shopping destination, and the first in Africa to offer such a wide range of eco-friendly, natural and sustainable products to help anyone live a more sustainable life. We have over 11,000 products across a wide range of categories such as Food, Home, Kids, Beauty and Gifts. What is most notable in our product selection and what we offer (what truly sets us apart) is that ALL 11,000 products we sell have been checked, to ensure they comply with our world first ingredient policy: which is a safe, toxin-free and sustainable option from every single product. We also have world-class customer service with a strong focus on creating a consistently good experience, which includes quick and open lines of communication, fast delivery, free product samples and handwritten notes with each order.

What does being an eco- and ethics-conscious business mean?

To us this means creating a sustainable business that can service our clients with the most viable eco/natural and sustainable products we can source. We have to take into account that ethical shopping might mean different things to different people; one person is very conscious about plastic-free living, another wants cruelty free makeup, someone else only wants vegan products or certified organic food items. So, we don’t dictate what ethical shopping means, rather we want to offer a platform where you can access the ethical products that cater for your lifestyle.

What marketing channels do you mainly use to promote the Faithful to Nature brand?

We promote ourselves mainly across online channels such as Google, email, affiliate networks and social media. We also have a strong influencer marketing program and are making a move into live events to reach and educate a wider audience on the benefits on shopping online.

Packaging in an eco-conscious way is an area that many retailers still need to address. How has Faithful to Nature dealt with this?

All our own packaging and labels are recyclable and compostable, we have also switched from plastic tap to paper tap to seal our boxes. We also use recycled paper in our boxes to reduce the need for bubble wrap, as well as offer a filter on our site so customers can shop for 100% plastic free products, this of course includes the packaging that it comes in. Again, we are enabling our customers to make conscious consumer decisions with ease – it also adds to their “footprint” and empowers them to make small changes with a big positive impact on our planet.

How does Faithful to Nature work with Affiliate Marketing?

We work with AdMarula to run our affiliate marketing program, this gives us access to a wide network of sites that receive traffic and audiences that we would not have access too, without a very large marketing budget. Supporting affiliates also helps them grow their audiences in their niche divisions. We then have access to that network and can offer those audiences the opportunity to join our database as well. Working with AdMarula also means that we can shorten our lead times on running promotions because the digital assets can be uploaded and set out to a wide network relatively quickly.

Your five favourite sustainable products?

  • Triple Orange cleaning products are amazing, works better than any other “commercial” chemical-based product I have used.
  • Love my Steely Stainless Streel water bottle so I don’t have to buy water in plastic bottles.
  • There is always a packet of Native chocolate covered cranberries at my desk.
  • Wazoogles protein powders, the product is really great for morning smoothies.
  • Greenlite Fire lighters is a simple product, but I think is just a great eco-friendly way to start a braai or fire, works great and is yet another example of making a small change that can make a big difference.

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