When we first started The Waste-Free Home, we had a clear vision. We wanted to help those who wanted to reduce waste (as the name might suggest!). We saw a huge amount of interest and were hugely encouraged, not only by the fact we were actually making sales, but also by the comments and questions we started to receive. It became clear that this wasn’t niche. People really wanted a better way of consuming. And so began our journey of discovery into more and more sustainable products.
Before long, we realised it wasn’t just that people were turning away from plastic packaging and toxic ingredients. It was that there was a desire for a less frivolous and throw away world. People wanted products that would last, and that could be repaired rather than discarded. Fast fashion is dead. Long live the thrift shop! There was a desire to change not just the products we buy, but the way in which we own them. There is a term for this: Slow Living. And the more we delved into it, the richer and more rewarding it became.
Slow Living is a lifestyle. It’s a philosophy. It’s a choice we can all make. Whether it’s grow your own, make your own, or build your own. Reuse, recycle, or repurpose. Whether it’s arts and crafts and forgotten skills. Or all of the above. The pursuit of Slow Living has evolved our offering and introduced us to an amazing community of New Zealand artisans that we find hugely energising and rewarding.
Let us introduce you to some of the amazingly talented folk we love working with. Their wonderful products are all available at www.thewastefreehome.co.nz.
Firstly, there’s my dad.
My parents have always been an inspiration to me. Their love of Slow Living has always been present in my life as it was in theirs. We’ve always had vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and Mum has always loved her chickens. We grew up making preserves and bottling them as currency. (Dad tells a beautiful story about his mum putting huge quantities of pears under his bed as a child to ripen before preserving. And as a kid he used to sit under the passionfruit vine eating them one after the other.)
Dad has always been a maker and a fixer and he’s also a dab hand at wood turning. When he sold his landscaping business and retired in 2020, he suddenly had time to play on his wood lathe again. His work is beautiful and utilises reclaimed native wood that would otherwise go to waste. When he started turning out bowls that were the envy of all my friends, I saw a way of working with my dad in a manner that could propel the business forward and give him purpose in his retirement. I helped him set up Pete&Co (run from his shed, draped in passion fruit vines, under their house). He is now a much-loved supplier. As well as a much-loved Dad. Pete&Co makes an ever-expanding range of beautifully turned wooden items, a range that never stays on the shelf very long. It was this beautifully symbiotic relationship with my dad that started my search for other craftspeople who could enjoy a similar mutually beneficial relationship.
Cast iron pans
Designed by a local friend and cast in New Zealand (the only cast iron pans made here), Iron Clad Pans is an amazing company. Their various sized, cast-iron skillets come with an incredible 3 generation guarantee (a document well worth a read over a cup of your favorite tea). Show these pans a little love after every cook and they will serve you well for 100 years. They cook savory and sweet dishes to perfection and are gorgeous enough to go from oven to table.
Wooden drying, knife, and peg racks. Oh, and Christmas trees
This father and daughter duo are making all sorts of beautiful wooden racks. As they are made to order, they can be made to measure. That goes for their beautiful drying racks, magnetic knife racks, and their peg racks, which come in various woods. It’s these guys who make our top selling sustainable Christmas trees too. They are busy little elves come Christmas.