I’m always on the look out for local businesses who do and/or sell awesome stuff, so I was very excited to be introduced to Norfolk Natural Living recently – a company who make a range of vegan-friendly, nasty-chemical-free household products, based in my current home county of Norfolk.
What kind of stuff do Norfolk Natural Living sell?
At the moment, their range covers garment care, pet care, household cleaning and homeware gifts. Think non-toxic surface cleaners and detergents, chemical-free pet shampoo, scented candles and hand cream, among other things.
It’s not as glamorous as a new vegan makeup range or ethical clothing brand, but Norfolk Natural Living do make pretty luxurious stuff. Their plant-based, essential oil-infused creations are bottled by hand in packaging that I personally think is rather lovely, and between the sleek appearance and the actual quality of what you get, it’s obvious this isn’t a bargain basement line.
What are their eco-friendly credentials?
Aside from the fact that almost all of their products are vegan (save for a shoe polish which contains beeswax) one of the key selling points for this stuff is that you’re buying something which isn’t full of hideous pollutants.
There’s no chlorine, petroleum, phosphate, phthalate, bleach or artificial colours in any of Norfolk Natural Living’s stuff, which means it’s better for the environment than ‘traditional’ household products as well as being easier on your skin.
They aren’t a totally plastic-free brand – but anything that comes in PET packaging is 100% recyclable and better yet, you can get things refilled at their store in Holt. Their site does state that they are working on finding a better solution for packaging, but bear in mind these luxe products aren’t just made with the planet in mind.
The company are keen to ensure that anything you buy is pet-safe and small-child-safe, and as the owner of a cat who likes to push things off shelves all the time, I can certainly get on side with not immediately putting everything in glass without a second thought.
Is it any good?
Probably the most important question when you’re investing in luxury cleaning products and scented things – is it worth the price tag? Well, lucky for you lot (and for me, really) the kind folks at Norfolk Natural Living sent me a few bits and pieces to try out – meaning I can now give you an honest view on…
- The lavender hand soap,
- The sea salt fabric refresher, and
- The lavender-scented vinegar (for cleaning limescaley kitchens and suchlike).
Vinegar is one of those things that I’ve often seen listed in DIY home cleaning product ‘recipes’, but have been reluctant to try again ever since I tried to use it to clean up a spillage in the bedroom and left the whole place stinking of vinegar for days afterwards. I’ve also been a little pessimistic about whether vinegar could realistically do as good a job as, say, Flash.
Toxic chemicals are are bad for the planet, bad for my skin and make me very nervous when George starts slurping water out of the plughole. In the quest to get better at living green, I was particularly excited to see whether I could leave my kitchen to its own devices for a while and still get the muck off armed with only a bottle of pleasantly-scented vinegar. The result was a resounding success, and if you are at all dubious, here’s a before and after of the limescale-laden drainer in my kitchen as proof.
Seriously, vinegar?! There was a very faint vinegar-yness to the smell afterwards, but the lavender was definitely the most noticeable thing. It took me slightly more elbow grease than a typical kitchen cleaning spray might have done, but I’d still lifted all the grime off in minutes (and that’s after deliberately not cleaning it for a while so I could do a proper test!)
The other products are just as fab, and I can vouch for the fact that the hand soap won’t dry your skin out even if you’re like me and pretty much anything and everything usually has that result.
We do tend to use paper-wrapped soap bars in our bathroom now, but I know these can be a struggle for people with limited mobility in their hands and as far as normal pump-dispensed soaps go, I’d definitely recommend the Norfolk Natural Living ones if you’re plumping for something that feels more indulgent than the norm.
(To be completely honest, I’m a bit germ-phobic and have a bit of a mental barrier when it comes to rubbing my hands with something that has been on other people’s dirty hands as well, so having a bottled soap that doesn’t come with the same eco-guilt as others is a real bonus!)
Finally, I think I have now accepted that I am A Grown Up after getting legitimately quite excited not only about cleaning my kitchen with posh vinegar, but about having a really really nice fabric spray as well. It’s official, at 27 I have finally reached definite adulthood.
I went for the sea salt garment refresher, partly because I’d picked lavender for everything else and partly because I was curious as to how one would capture the fragrance of sea salt without it coming off a little like a wet day at the beach.
Thankfully, and unsurprisingly, this stuff smells just as luxurious as the other things I tried. It’s subtle enough that you don’t walk into a room after spraying it and feel like you’re being assaulted with fragrance, but has enough of an aroma that you can freshen up clothes, bedding and curtains with it nicely. George seems to like it, too.
If you’d like to check out the range for yourself, you can browse the lush wares over at www.norfolknaturalliving.com , where there’s also some more information on the brand’s ethos and why they avoid some of the chemicals mentioned above!
Even better, here’s a Norfolk Natural Living discount code (because who doesn’t love a discount?!) – http://norfolknatural.refr.cc/tabbyf
Many thanks to Norfolk Natural Living for letting me try out some of their stuff, and rest assured I would never recommend something I didn’t think was genuinely great.