An interview with Liz Cook, founder of ONE SEED perfumes

Meet Liz Cook, director and head perfumer at ONE SEED. I was blown away by the attention to detail Liz gave when answering my interview questions, but it shouldn’t have been surprising given the beautiful, complex yet well rounded perfume she creates.

For those who aren't familiar with ONE SEED, could you tell us a little about your brand?

ONE SEED is an organic perfume company. We create beautiful original fragrances from 100% natural ingredients with at least 80% organic content. Our products are also vegan friendly and cruelty free.

Tell us about your background. What path led you to making natural, organic perfumes?

I have had an interest in natural health and beauty since I was 13 years old. I was always experimenting with clays, oils, fruits etc and creating my own concoctions for myself and my friends and family, making a good old mess in the bathroom much of the time! I was never a big fragrance person, but I always loved the scents of the world around me. That is really what I am drawn to - the smell of the rain, magnolia blossoms in bloom, fresh cut grass, salt on my skin… I started experimenting with perfume in my mid 20s when founded my first business retailing natural skincare and creating custom-made natural products. I started to see a demand for natural perfume slowly, and I recognised there was a big gap in the market, so when I sold that business in 2007 I began working on ONE SEED.

It’s refreshing to find beautiful perfumes that use wholly natural ingredients. Could you tell us some health benefits for wearing all natural fragrances?

There are many! Commercial fragrances contain so many synthetic ingredients that can have a detrimental affect on your health- some affects are instant, such as headaches, nausea, inability to concentrate, skin rashes - and some may be seen longer term - affects on reproductive organs, cancers, immune disease etc. There is a lot of research available in regards to this topic so I would definitely encourage people to look into it for themselves. Natural perfumes are more biocompatible, and our body recognises them and is less likely to react. Wearing a truly natural perfume should not give you any disease effects or headache etc, but if you have sensitive skin or allergies to plants etc you may have a skin reaction so it is always best to patch test before use.

Also, natural extracts have aromatherapeutic benefits, so wearing a fresh, citrusy scent is likely to make you feel uplifted, calmer and happier, and wearing a woody, deeper natural fragrance will tend to slow your heart rate and make you feel more relaxed and grounded.


What is your favourite ONE SEED perfume to wear and why?

I cant pick - thats like asking me to choose my favourite child! I actually don't wear perfume very often as I work with it nearly every day. If I do wear something its usually a rogue scent that I made for myself in the lab. Mostly, I love to be scent-free and experience the smells of the world around me - that is where I find my fragrance inspiration.

Unlike many other fragrance companies, you've chosen to keep it local: designing, formulating and crafting your fragrances in South Australia. What is it about operating on a local scale that you love?

I think designing and manufacturing in-house keeps the brand creative, accountable and authentic. I don't have anything against outsourcing production - it’s likely we will need to do that at some stage as we are growing really fast and will soon find it difficult to keep up with in-house production - but I think keeping grass roots is vital for connection of a brand to its vision, its customers and its purpose.

What does a typical day working at ONE SEED HQ look like?

I have a small team who operates 4 days a week from HQ, packing orders, organising stock, filling and organising. I work on the road or from my home office (I LOVE working from home) most mornings, and head into the studio twice a week to meet with the team, work on new formulae, keep up with production and meet with clients. Its really low-key at HQ - there is really not a lot of pressure on the team. We keep it real and flexible, and everyone has a role that is autonomous.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about ONE SEED?

We have big things planned for 2018 so keep your eyes peeled!


Thank you for your thoughtful answers Liz, we love stocking your divine perfumes and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings you.

Staff picks: our favourite pieces for spring

We've been doing this spring thing for a month now and daylight saving time has officially begun! Yes, it's slowly getting warmer in Hobart and we’re looking ahead with anticipation. To celebrate all things spring, I thought it would be fun to ask the staff of ecoHaven (myself included) about their favourite pieces for the season.


I love the David Feeds Seagulls Dress made from printed Japanese linen. With a bright and fun print, it's also a really flattering length, cut and fit. I love the attention to detail, especially the piping around the neckline and pockets (deep pockets!). The dress is such a versatile piece to layer and can easily be paired with a multitude of bright cardis or wraps in cooler weather.


For me it's the linen Knack Jacket by Untouched World - it's so classy! With beautiful yet effortless tailoring, it’s an easy way to dress up any outfit. If that wasn't enough, the superfine merino panel under the arms makes it so comfortable to wear.


My current obsession is the Untouched World Long Silk Wrap. I can't go past the feel of silk and it's a piece that makes you look instantly fabulous. I can't wait for a hot day to wear this wrap - I'm going to float down the street!


I love the Kowtow Long Player Skirt. It has beautiful pleating across the front which adds character to the vertical stripe wrap skirt. Made from organic cotton, it's so comfy on and has pockets! Ideally I'd want to wear this skirt with the ecoHaven Essentials white organic cotton t shirt and linen Knack Jacket by Untouched World.


Two words: Imperial Pants. These vertical striped, high waisted, wide-legged pants do all the hard work for you by defining the waist, skimming over and elongating the leg, no gym membership required. Made by Kindling, the beautiful tailoring of the pant works so well with the
linen fabric and vertical stripe.

Is there a favourite piece in our spring range that has you weak at the knees? Do let us know 😊.

An interview with Kirstan Long, owner and manager at ecoHaven

If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably heard that ecoHaven is 10 years old! This big birthday occasion gave me a good excuse to interview Kirstan Long, the lovely manager and owner of ecoHaven. We got talking about how ecoHaven has evolved over time and about her love of sustainable fashion.

Can you describe ecoHaven in 3 words?
Beautiful, ethical, sustainable. I know I'm cheating a bit because that's the tag line for ecoHaven, but I couldn't sum it up any other way.

How has ecoHaven evolved as a business over time?
My husband Joss and I have owned ecoHaven for seven years now and ecoHaven has changed dramatically since I first took it on. We started out as a warehouse-style shop where we stocked everything under the sun that was ethical or sustainable. We tried to be all things eco to everybody but over time I've found my passion for sustainable fashion and have pared ecoHaven back to a small and lovely little boutique which focuses on ethical, slow and sustainable fashion.

Why sustainable fashion?
Everyone wears clothes and sustainable fashion has been an easy way to get people interested. Some customers buy our products because they are beautiful and comfortable (not just because they're sustainable) and it's been a really lovely opportunity to start those sustainability conversations with people who might not otherwise be thinking that way. It's also been exciting watching sustainable fashion evolve over the last seven years. Initially sustainable fashion was quite a fringe concept and if you wanted to dress sustainably, your options were very limited. Now there are so many gorgeous sustainable options and it's exciting to be a part of this change.

What is the biggest challenge of running your own business?
Balancing it all is the biggest challenge, particularly with a young family. When I first took this business on, my youngest was only one and I used to joke that ecoHaven was my third baby. In a way it still is. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing anything properly: I'm not running the shop properly, I'm not doing the mum-thing properly and I have guilt in every direction. However, having the right people around me has been fantastic and life has a way of sorting itself out. My husband Joss helps out a lot with the kids and gives me business guidance and support (he's the director of 4 Business and Community so he's been a great resource) and I'm very lucky to have an amazing team of employees who all bring their own skills, passion and enthusiasm and help me out immensely.

What do you love most about ecoHaven?
I love choosing new products and getting excited about new design and fabric. Watching the evolution of sustainable fashion is really exciting but I also enjoy the interaction with customers. It feels like we’ve slowly built a little community around us and we’re lucky to have so many wonderful people that support us.

Do you have any future plans for ecoHaven?
Yes! EcoHaven is going to be launching its own label featuring some beautiful basics for every day, for example some lovely organic cotton t-shirts. We hope to get these pieces on the shelves from late September to early October and we’re very excited to share them with our customers soon.

To celebrate ecoHaven's 10 year journey, we'll be hosting a giveaway over the next 4 weeks, so make sure you're following us on Facebook and Instagram so you don't miss out.

An interview with the good people at Graine: leather accessory label with a difference

I recently had the joy of interviewing Kerryn from Graine, a family-run, local-industry loving leather accessory label. Graine make beautiful, functional and durable handbags for us here at ecoHaven and it was fun learning some behind-the-scenes info from these hardworking crafters. 
Tell us a little about your background. How did you get into creating leather goods?
Graine began in 2012. We are a family owned and operated leather company which has been operating in Melbourne, Victoria for over 30 years. Just over 5 years ago we felt there was a gap in the market for quality made, unique and locally-made leather goods which is when we decided to create Graine right here in our Brunswick East factory. Our combined years of experience working in the leather industry has helped us design and create beautiful leather accessories that go ‘against the grain'.

We originally designed a collection for online distribution only and 5 years later Graine has grown with new designs, leathers and colours, which has been an amazing and challenging journey. Along the way many retail outlets throughout Australia have made direct contact in order to stock Graine. We have selected the best retailers that have the same visions as us and as such, our products blend in well with their other brands.

How would you describe Graine. What makes your brand so unique?
Each Graine piece we design and craft is unique with a subtle point of difference and with an emphasis on materials, functionality and durability. We spend hours product testing each to piece to ensure they survive life’s many adventures.

Graine items are made carefully one at a time allowing our craftsmen to give the required care and attention to each piece. We also work closely with our leather artisan and together we produce new design ideas and processes for our range. We now develop close to 100% of all our Graine leathers with a Victorian tannery. We work very closely with this tannery and have done so for many years; in fact our parent company was this tannery's first ever customer.

What influences the design of the leather goods you create at Graine?
We are inspired by our current designs and being located in Brunswick East, we are surrounded by a lot of diverse culture which assists with the creative side of things.
We also are influenced by what we feel our customer would like and find practical for every day. Although having something that is aesthetically beautiful is important, it’s imperative that functionality is first in mind.

What is your favourite Graine piece?
Currently my favourite piece would be the East of Brunswick bag as it’s our first bucket bag that we designed. It took a long time trying to get the design just right, from the draw string closure to the adjustable should strap and finding just the right leather for the handles. Even though it was challenging at the time, it was worth it in the end with positive feedback from happy customers.

Can you tell us what a typical day working at Graine looks like?
A typical day at Graine begins with coffee from our espresso machine, followed by checking emails. Product development, meetings, marketing which includes working on our social media pages, discussing product development with our team and craftsmen comes next, followed by more coffee and processing orders. Afterwards we get to working on product design, which I love before finishing up with planning and preparing for the next day ahead.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Be sure to check out our locally made Graine leather good which are available in ecoHaven.
Thanks for a great interview Kerryn! You can find our collection of Graine bags in our Hobart store or online.

An interview with Marion O'Leary of Mokosh


When I approached Mokosh's director Dr Marion O'Leary about answering some questions, I was blown away by her warmth, her attention to detail and by the philosophy she's created for her business. Marion has built a skincare label that she can stand behind and be 100% proud of, which is self-evident when you read what she's got to say about Mokosh.

For those who aren't familiar with Mokosh, could you tell us a little about your brand?

Mokosh skin care products are formulated with the idea that the best way to take care of our skin is to use only 100% natural ingredients. Despite what you may read in advertising material, skin care contains a large range of synthetic ingredients, including preservatives, emulsifiers, surfactants, thickeners and so on. These synthetic ingredients do not always sit well with our skin - some of them are known toxins, while others disrupt the skin’s all-important barrier function, or block our skin’s glands and disrupt natural excretory processes. Our products are unique in that they are made without water - in contrast to the average moisturiser which contains 85% water. This means our moisturisers are up to 5 times more concentrated than standard skin care and can be used in tiny amounts. We have used the latest scientific research and sourced the best certified organic botanical ingredients from around the world to create our range. Our products are balanced blends that are rich in nutrients, restore and protect the skin and work with its natural growth and regenerative processes.  

Tell us a little about your background. What path led you to making organic skincare?

I worked as a veterinary surgeon, pathologist and medical researcher for some years before I stumbled upon the idea of making skin care. I took a career break when my children were young and started dabbling with making skin care in my kitchen. It began a slow process of discovery where I learned how conventional skin care is made, and it wasn’t long before I was researching the commonly used preservatives and synthetic ingredients and the risks associated with using them. What I learned scared me - I did not like the fact that so many people were using skin care products that contain ingredients that are potentially harmful. I decided there had to be a better way -  not only better for our health, but better for the planet and the poorest people in the world who frequently grow and harvest the key ingredients. We are one of the few companies world-wide that produces skin care that is free of palm oil and its derivatives. We also use fair trade ingredients where we can. 

The full range of Mokosh products are 100% certified organic. Why are organic ingredients so important when it comes to skincare?

Using certified organic ingredients is part of our philosophy of making the purest skin care we can, free of potentially harmful ingredients. It is also part of our commitment to making products that tread lightly on the earth, because support for organic produce is support for a sustainable ecosystem. We are delighted to find that so many of our customers see such a dramatic change in the health and appearance of their skin when they switch from their synthetic-laden skincare to our 100% natural certified organic skin care.  

What is your personal skincare ritual?

In a word - fast, because like nearly everyone else I know there seems to be too much to do in a day. However, without fail I use our Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator and Mask and massage it over my face before rinsing it off in the shower, followed by our Pure Hydrosol Toner and one of our moisturisers, which will depend on how my skin feels that day. I would use one of our Beauty Serums if I want something light, or one of our Face Creams if I feel my skin needs something richer. I then use one of our body moisturisers, once again based on how my skin feels. In winter I like to use our Frankincense & Orange Body Cream because it is so nourishing for drier winter skin. In summer I usually go with the lighter Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil. The fragrance of the body products is so delightful - it stays with me for hours. When I can spare the time, I love to do an Ayurvedic face and body massage using a Beauty Serum on the face and the Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil on the body. It takes around 20 minutes but is so worth the time when I do it.

Mokosh is a philanthropic company donating to environmental and social causes. What cause are you supporting at the moment?

We are a ‘Business Crusader’ for One Girl, a charity whose mission is to educate girls in Africa. We are really excited that every sale we make helps change the world for these girls. 

What does a typical day working at Mokosh HQ look like?

We tend to split into teams, with one team preparing and packing orders, and the other carrying out manufacturing, labelling and so on. We try to mix jobs around as much as possible so everyone understands the whole process. Because our operation is certified organic, every job involves strict record-keeping to ensure every product and ingredient is traceable, and to keep all our operations running smoothly. Mixed in with this is we like to discuss product ideas, where we are going with the business and what to post on social media that day. The last part of the day tends to be cleaning and tidying the studio, finishing up office work and researching and planning our next blog. I love the research side, but it is really fun to have a busy day mixed with lots of different activities, and being around such lovely people. 
You can find a range of Mokosh products at ecoHaven in store or online. We're also running a promotion at the moment where if you spend over $75 on Mokosh products you get a free 15ml Elderberry and Chia Seed Beauty Serum (while stocks last).
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