Nudi Goods started in a cabin in the Marin Headlands in 2017 where scientists, researchers, interns, and students live while studying and working with marine mammals. Nudi Goods’ founder started developing plastic-free goods as a creative outlet while working for a wildlife hospital and ocean conservation nonprofit. After living plastic-free for a year and nearing zero waste living, she found it difficult to find alternatives to certain products, even in the most environmentally conscious area of the United States. Nudi Goods believes in ocean friendly, plastic-free living inspired by our natural world and accessible to all. Nudi products are made with love, plastic-free packaging, and very few ingredients for a simple, honest approach to undefined beauty.
Jaime is a photographer who has lived and worked all over the country, from NY to LA with sustainable brands, environmental agencies, magazines, and everything between. She is a certified California Naturalist, rescuer of marine mammals (when permitted, let’s not forget they’re federally protected… keep your distance!), activist, bad surfer, and 5 Gyres Ambassador/anti-plastic human. After seeing firsthand how much plastic pollution is in our oceans and how much plastic is on our store shelves, she created Nudi Goods. We contacted her for our Footprint column, to tell her story.
How did the idea for this project come about? How is the project structured?
Jaime: «Nudi Goods started due to a need for something that was missing. I was looking for affordable, plastic-free products, and at the time I was living in San Francisco. If I would have been able to find environmentally friendly products anywhere, it would have been in San Francisco. But the few options I found at the time were incredibly expensive and unrealistic for the average person to regularly be able to afford».
What is your relationship with the beauty world?
Jaime: «I personally have very little relationship with the beauty world. I’m not someone who spends time doing makeup every morning. I put on sunscreen if I’m going to be out and about, a little bit of lip tint, and some mascara, and that’s about all. When I started Nudi Goods, I was designing products that I knew I would use everyday. The reality is, most of us don’t have time to spend hours on our face each morning. We have to get to work, go to school, get kids ready, help our families, and so much more. So I wanted to create useful basics that everyone can use/that everyone needs without having to learn how to use them.
I call it makeup for minimalists. There is a huge trend of makeup styles right now that’s full-coverage. And perhaps that’s because of how social media filters are so normalized, or how celebrities don’t disclose all their plastic surgery or the amount of time and money they put into their appearance, but it’s just not realistic for everyday people. I think one day we’ll look back at the trend and think we looked like clowns with all that makeup on. So I choose to continue to highlight the natural beauty we all have».
What can we do in our own small way to improve our beauty routine and become more mindful?
Jaime: «I think the best thing everyone can do is learn to love their flaws. I don’t feel it’s my place to tell anyone what to do in terms of what products they use/purchase. Because it’s all so personal in ways that are more than just makeup or beauty. Many people don’t have access to sustainable products, and many people don’t have the budget for high-end products. So it becomes more than just a suggestion on what to change or purchase… it becomes a statement about someone’s income, livelihood, class, social status, etc.
While it would be great for more people to vote with their dollar and choose sustainable brands, or brands that use more natural ingredients, I’m not going to judge someone for not doing that because I don’t know their story. So I think the best thing that absolutely everyone can do to improve their beauty routine, is to learn to love their flaws – and their best features too!»
Was it difficult to start the production?
Jaime: «It has had difficult moments, but it grew very naturally as the brand became more popular. I never took out a loan or anything, I just started with a small amount of money set aside and let the brand grow organically, and I think that was the best decision. Everything thus far has been able to grow at a rate that we can keep up with and maintain».
Why should people start to buy your products?
Jaime: «We make everything in-house, so we’re overseeing every aspect of production and have a lot more control that way. We can inspect everything, we make all the decisions about production, and as a small brand, the purchases customers make directly affect real people and our community. For example, it’s finally been getting a little busier since the slower-months due to the pandemic, so I was able to afford to hire more, and schedule a much needed surgery at a local veterinarian for my pet.
Outside of being able to spend money in our community and boost business for everyone, we do our best to donate to local non-profits whenever possible, and we shop from our local community and uplift other local brands.
Lastly, we do our best to produce as little waste as possible in production (we fill one small litter bin that’s just under knee-height once every 2-3 months – that’s all! The rest goes into compost or reuse) which is an effort you’re not going to see when you purchase from large corporations. We make all out decisions for the brand with the environment-first in mind».
Will it be possible to find your products in supermarkets in the future?
Jaime: «As much as I wish, I don’t foresee it within the next few years. We wouldn’t be able to produce as much as that market would require and still be able to maintain quality and a healthy, relaxed, and fun work atmosphere. For the time being we plan to continue to make everything by hand and taking a more artisanal approach to our products. It might be possible if things were automated, but with the biodegradable packaging, that’s not possible at the moment».
What would you suggest to people who want to be more environmentally conscious?
Jaime: «Take small actions in your everyday life that cut back on waste and carbon emissions, whether that’s taking public transport or bring reusable items everyday instead of using single-use items. But most importantly, we all need to put pressure on our elected officials to make drastic change. We can only do so much, we need sweeping policy reform to change the trajectory of climate change».