Aotea Gifts recognise that sustainability as a business requires an ongoing balance of People, Planet and Profit.
Most of our products are based on renewable & locally produced raw materials. While few of these currently have formal sustainability certifications, we are prioritising those suppliers that have clear understanding of their products and a willingness to work with us so that these benefits can be communicated. Where products have been confirmed by suppliers as Sustainable, these can be identified in our stores.
A central focus of Aotea Gifts is the concept of “Naturally New Zealand”. In our early days some of our stores carried this name. We continue to focus on bringing the best Naturally New Zealand Products to our customers.
Regenerative Benefits: Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey has important carbon and biodiversity regenerative benefits.
The bees that produce honey are the main way that pollination of other plans is able to occur. One in three mouthfuls of the food we eat are the result of animal pollination. Examples include fruits such as strawberries, apples and figs, seeds such as beans and sunflower kernels, and nuts such as walnuts and chestnuts. Even salad plants need pollination to produce the seeds from which they are grown. Many exotic plants are grown as crops in New Zealand, including; kiwifruit, apples, grapes, stone fruit and some seed crops. The exotic honeybee Apis mellifera is used for much of the commercial pollination that occurs in New Zealand.
The well know benefits of Manuka Honey has seen large areas planted in Manuka forests. These act as a nursery to regeneration of New Zealand’s forests and the biodiversity they support.
Many of New Zealand’s dairy farms have used Manuka to replant their riparian margins (land adjacent to streams) in order to protect erosion and to improve the water quality in streams and rivers.
The many new areas of forest created for Manuka has been important contributor of New Zealand Carbon benefits.
Regenerative Benefits: Possum Knitwear
The possum used in New Zealand Knitwear is a pest of national importance. The introduced species has no natural predators, and as a result have established themselves throughout New Zealand in vast numbers. The possum is known to kill native birds and their eggs. They will also eat large amounts of forest vegetation, which results in lasting ecological damage and loss of Carbon benefits.
1 Possum Damage to New Zealand Punga Tree
Possum knitwear utilises the fur of up to three possum in each garment. Approximately 150 trees are protected each year by the removal of possum to use in knitwear. Utilising the possum in knitwear is an important way in which New Zealand’s Forests and Birdlife can be allowed to regenerate.