This is part II of our interview with our founder, Brienne Derosier. Read part I here.
Ok, Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Mache is the world's first healthy living and fitness storage company and we aim to become a leader in the green product manufacturing revolution. The company strives to be an example enterprise for how to manufacture consumer products responsibly, and in the USA.
Mache is a french word for "chewed up" and is, for the company brand name, a poetic gesture to reference the high-level of recycled content that make up our eco-friendly products. Who doesn’t smile when they remember childhood crafting with paper mâché? Most of us can still smell the wheat paste! Our Product Development Team leads the Mache charge on seeking out the world's most innovative and sustainable ingredients from which to grow the creative process and product offerings.
We have created the world's first and only jumbo paper tube storage, designed for fitness and style. We carefully select and source all of our product ingredients with sustainability as the highest priority. Nearly all of our raw ingredients are locally sourced from the Pacific Northwest, which effectively lowers our carbon footprint while supporting our local economy. We specialize in the procurement of ingredients that can biodegrade, be recycled, and/or are made from 90-100% recycled, post-consumer content.
As a result, we work with a lot of Kraft paper and wood, which is why we like to say: "Brown is the New Green". Additionally, we take considerable pride in our 100% plastic-free packaging strategy that reuses up to 99% of our product manufacturing waste as packaging material to safely ship our totally tubular products to our customer.
As a sustainable brand that promotes healthy living (and working) on all levels, we believe it is time for our world to rethink how we manufacture and ship products. We aim to show that a planet-friendly, small company can remain viable and thrive in a world gone environmentally amuk, by sourcing eco-friendly materials whenever possible, supporting local economies, lowering the collective carbon footprint and following green processes that can easily be adopted by future manufacturing entrepreneurs.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
I believe that the key to wellbeing for many lies in the health and wellness of the body’s nervous system, or electrical wiring. That said, my five lifestyle hacks are all designed to monitor, honor and in some cases repair the nervous system:
Meditate regularly to chart a map of the nervous system.
Our nervous systems are not built for all that modern living throws at us. By going inward, regularly, and quieting the noise of everyday life, I have become aware of my subtle body. We have all heard of the “inner voice” or “authentic self”. To hear or engage with either requires quietude, in order to become aware of the breath, and what is happening within my miraculous body and mind from one moment to the next. When I devote time to this practice of quieting my mind and listening to my body, even if for only a few minutes each day, I become more aware of the state of my nervous system. Through continued stillness and attention to breath, I can bring myself back to homeostasis.
Give up alcohol, coffee, and all other stimulants or depressants that pull your energy out of balance.
I am one who enjoys the occasional glass of wine or two after a difficult week and was once fully-reliant on coffee, especially when working long hours. After observing the effects that both depressants (alcohol) and stimulants (caffeine) had on my mind and body over time, I finally became convinced that I needed to make a change. I now limit myself to an occasional glass of sustainably-produced wine, and have given up coffee altogether. It was difficult, of course, coming from the Pacific NW, as I was steeped in the cult-like coffee culture and, ultimately, dependent on it for energy. Now that I am not a slave to its alluring aroma and daily dosing, I can honestly say that I have more energy now than I ever did when riding the coffee bean rollercoaster!
Schedule rest as a productive part of your busy day.
Spend regularly scheduled time in nature, preferably alone.
Re-design your daily physical environment to soothe your nervous system.
If you live and work in this world, your nervous system is at constant threat. Humans are not currently engineered to withstand the constant barrage of stress to our nervous systems that modern life throws at us. In order to counteract this, I pay close attention to my home and work environment. Choosing life affirming products and avoiding potentially dangerous off-gassing products is paramount. I also limit extensive use of blue-light-emitting LEDs and flat out avoid fluorescent lighting. Consulting Vastu or Feng Shui principles, whenever possible, when situating the rooms and activities of your home or work place can positively impact spatial energy flow and overall comfort. Creating what I like to call my “Happy Place” is of the utmost importance to me. This is where I practice yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breathing exercises). I encourage all to create their own unique self-care space that is conducive for relaxation and rejuvenation.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
In my opinion, the most effective way to improve the health and wellness of people is through education and empowerment. Large corporations have been selling chemical-laden products in the markets of food, beauty, furniture, building materials, and textiles for many decades now, and without the explicit knowledge of the average consumer. We have made strides in the food industry by mandating nutritional information on packaging, but this is not so for the interior design industry. It can be overwhelming for the average consumer to do their homework on how best to recycle, or what food additives to avoid, or what products in their house are likely making them sick, and so much more.
Because of this, Mache is in the beginning stages of developing a “Sustainability Support Group” where like-minded people can engage and share in fun, simple-to-follow and actionable tips and tricks to pursue healthy living. We currently host a business directory on our website of eco-friendly brands to assist conscious consumers in finding more companies and products that reflect their values. We also have a blog dedicated to Wellness and Design, which aims to empower readers to make greener lifestyle choices. The evolution to healthier consumption choices will drive the market for cleaner global manufacturing practices, thus resulting in healthier people and a happier planet.
What are your "5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started" and why?
- Honor your body’s wisdom, while driving steadfast towards your dream. A daily routine of self-care will never be a waste of your time… in fact, quite the opposite, a regular practice of self-care will only optimize your overall effectiveness in the world. Carve out the time and commit to the routine.
- Follow your gut, 100% of the time, even if the messages you receive conflict with those of your heart or brain.
- Give yourself space for making mistakes and release the pressure of perfectionism. Without hard-earned lessons, there would be no opportunity for growth that leads to success.
- Regularly rebrand anxiety as excitement in order to find joy in the unknown and operate without fear. Remember that the experience of anxiety and excitement results in the same physical reaction in the body; choose to experience joy.
- Do not spend too much time or energy with low-vibration people. You will be lifted up by the people that authentically and enthusiastically connect with your passion or project, and conversely, you will be dragged down by those who do not. Spend your social time wisely.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Sustainability seems to me to be the overarching theme for the topics mentioned in the question and why I have elected to focus on sustainability in manufacturing. Make More With Less is central to Mache’s mission and is the driving force behind every decision made at the company. We hope by working with new materials and adopting sustainable practices throughout the entire production process, we can not only bring beautiful, people-safe and planet-friendly products into homes and businesses, but inspire a new generation of eco-friendly manufacturing companies. By urging the manufacturing industry toward greener, life-affirming choices and processes, and embracing the core of sustainability, many of our current global environmental issues can be positively impacted. By embracing the simple idea of making more (value) with less (waste) and encouraging our vendors and customers alike to do the same, together we can shift the paradigm of waste as inevitable to waste as unacceptable.