The entrepreneur behind one of New Zealand’s first organic cotton feminine hygiene product range, has now developed one of the latest eco brands to join the FernMark programme under a new brand with similar values – Noopii nappies.
Bridget Bodie-Healy, Co-Founder and CEO alongside business partner, Charlotte Rebbeck have launched the eco-luxe nappy brand with an affordable price tag, disrupting the disposable nappy market in New Zealand.
Noopii combines a breathable cotton outer layer and natural antibacterial qualities of Manuka Hydrosol to help prevent nappy rash, a natural solution that Bodie-Healy says has driven many anecdotes of mums who had “tried everything” for nappy rash before having success with Noopii.
A welcome touch for consumers is that a proportion of all sales contribute to the support of various environmental programmes, with partner organisations including The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, Forest & Bird, Project Jonah and Trees that Count.
“We like to think of ourselves as the affordable Tesla of nappies,” says Bodie-Healy. “We offer a high quality and performance driven range with an eco-mindset.”
The range proudly stamps the FernMark on its packaging, which Bodie-Healy says is a symbol of New Zealand’s edge when it comes to ‘craft’.
“The FernMark speaks of premium, ingenuity, inclusiveness, expansiveness, innovation – all the things we’re known for as a collective of people.”
Noopii is one of a growing number of exporters leveraging the FernMark to reinforce the Maori principle of kaitiakitanga, processes that embrace guardianship for the land.
Noopii nappy designs feature native New Zealand flora and fauna, and for each pack sold, Noopii’s One Pack, One Tree initiative donates to tree planting organisations and wildlife recovery programmes protecting endangered and threatened native animals, from the Maui dolphin to the South Island Tomtit, yellow eyed penguin, Archey’s frog, forest ringlet butterfly and the Marlborough spotted skink.
Noopii has just won International Eco Nappy brand of the year in London for the 2020 Mama and baby awards, beating strong competition from around the world. They are also won silver and bronze awards at New Zealand’s prestigious Best Design Awards, an amazing achievement for a start-up company less than 12-months old.
Mass reach, meaningful impact
Noopii wants mass consumer reach to be the driver for making a difference ‘one baby and one bottom at a time’.
“You don’t see many social enterprise, mass market products in supermarkets, they’re usually only available from specialist stores, so our mainstream mass-market reach and affordable price point is what differentiates us from other brands.”
Setting the right price point was an important factor in achieving mainstream appeal, she says. “Though they are eco-natural products, we didn’t want to price our nappies at $25 a pack, as that wouldn’t achieve a difference on a mass scale.”
She says a strong brand is everything when it comes to new entry players succeeding at scale in an established market. The FernMark is an extra tool in the kit to help Noopii stand out on the world stage.
“For me, establishing a good brand is a love story. It’s a chance to put my personal passions and values into action in a business setting. But I want to do this on scale, otherwise I’m not contributing in a meaningful way.”
It took two years of research and development, and the tick of approval from German skin patch testing company Dermatest, to be able to launch a performance-driven, super soft hypoallergenic nappy range with up to 12 hours of leak protection.
The Noopii range is growing fast – it includes natural biodegradable baby wipes made with 100% sustainable and renewable bamboo and New Zealand Manuka honey, made in New Zealand. For each pack of wipes sold a percentage of sales is donated to Forest & Bird.
It’s seeing strong international interest across Asia, the UK and the USA. Domestically, the ‘stay home, save lives’ message to consumers saw Noopii launch a subscription service to deliver nappies directly to homes. The FernMark’s government accreditation aspect has been particularly powerful in these markets.
A growing brand element is Noopii’s focus on empowering mothers through educational blogs discussing nutrition, exercise, breastfeeding and parenthood, and more eco-friendly baby and mum products are in the pipeline for this challenger brand well and truly in growth mode – watch this space.
The FernMark captures the essence of everything that’s good about New Zealand and is a wonderful alignment with the Noopii brand.