A Conversation with Seasick Sunscreen Co

A Conversation with Seasick Sunscreen Co

December 21, 2021

Seasick Sunscreen is a Certified SPF 30 ocean-friendly, plastic-free sustainable sunscreen based in Wellington, Aotearoa. They are 100% NZ made and operated.

Seasick was born out of our desire to reduce the number of toxic chemicals and plastic entering our oceans. Protecting the environment is at the heart of what they do - that's why Seasick Sunscreen takes a holistic approach to sustainability. 

We had the pleasure of speaking to founder, Natalie, to talk about all things Seasick Sunscreen, sustainability, tramping and more...


Hey Natalie, thanks for chatting with us! We’re stoked that your business uses smartass. Firstly, can you please tell us a bit about Seasick Sunscreen and how it all came about?

It was during a dive trip to Hawaii where I learnt about how the toxic chemicals in sunscreen are damaging coral reefs (including the brand I was using at the time, eeek!). Upon returning to Aotearoa, I went straight down to my local eco store to look for a non-nano zinc sunscreen that was free of all the nasties as well as being plastic-free....I couldn't find one and after searching online I couldn't find any NZ brands. So I started making it myself and a few months later, Seasick Sunscreen Co was born.

In your opinion, what makes your sunscreen so special to you? 

Seasick Sunscreen Co is more than just a brand of sunscreen, it's a holistic journey that we take our customers on. We are passionate about the environment and want to do everything we can to minimise our impact on Papatūānuku. That's why we use local ingredients where possible, we talk to suppliers about reducing packaging and we reuse what we can. We make Seasick here in Wellington and we use other small Aotearoa businesses for our packaging, shipping, labelling, design and Smartass paper towels and loo paper of course! 

I see you donate a portion of your profits to Mountains to Sea. Can you please tell us why you chose to partner with this charity?

I've had the pleasure of working alongside Mountains to Sea at some of their school and community snorkel days and I just love how they get such a wide variety of people, many of whom may never have seen the underwater world, to fall in love with our oceans! As David Attenborough said, “No one will protect what they don't care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”. If you spend a day with Zoe, Roni or any of the Mtns to Sea crew, you're guaranteed to become infected by their love and passion for our oceans!

What have been your favourite moments/highlights so far from starting this company? 

Market days are a definite highlight for me as I enjoy connecting with my customers and getting to know other inspiring, small business owners. Big shout out to people like Oli from Wā Collective, Gemma from Gemma Lee Wetsuits, the friendly team at No. 8, and Zoe from Zoe's Kawakawa Balm, all of whom are very inspiring to me!

You recently went tramping on the Rakiura’s North West Circuit, amazing! Can you tell us more about this? 

How much time do you have!? It was the most incredible experience of my life. Just a month before my trip, I had surgery to remove endometriosis so completing Rakiura's North West for me was all about reconnecting to my health through awe-inspiring nature. After 9 days and 125km, my flatmate Meera and I boated out of Freshwater Hut (we had planned to skip the last very boggy, inland section of the hike) and straight to the pub with the biggest smiles on our faces and a lot of mud... well everywhere!

What were your tramping essentials?

Seasick Sunscreen (of course!) which protected not only against the sun but against the wind and sand as well, a wrapped roll of Smartass TP which kept it clean and being hot pink made it easy to find in my pack, Witi Ihimaera's Whale Rider (which I left at one of the huts for the next keen reader), my Lifestraw which meant I could drink out of any water source without having to purify first and a hot water bottle..honestly, the best thing I've ever taken tramping haha


What does sustainability mean to Seasick Sunscreen?

Good quality, long-lasting, durable, closed-loop i.e our aluminium tins can be melted down and recycled time and time again, keeping it local, doing everything we can to minimise our impact on the environment and making it easy for people to keep doing the things that they love in the sun without having to compromise. love our oceans + protect your skin 

Lastly, can you tell us where our customers can purchase your products?

We have an online store seasicksunscreen.co.nz and are stocked in a handful of bulk/eco stores across the country. A full list of our stockists can be found on our website. I'll be in Whitianga and Whangamatā this summer at some of the market days and back in Wellington in time for some of our best summer events in the new year. Hope to see you there!

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