By Rachel Sammut
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Emma Bunton, co-founder of Kit & Kin, Spice Girl, TV & radio presenter and UNICEF ambassador. Here, Emma talks business, sustainability, parenting, charity and, of course, Girl Power…
In 2017 you co-founded eco-friendly family brand Kit & Kin, together with your business partner Christopher Money. How did the idea come about?
For me the inspiration behind creating Kit & Kin was very personal – my children suffered with eczema from a young age and I found it so difficult to find products on the shelves which didn’t irritate their skin even further. Everything seemed to contain huge lists of ingredients which were impossible to understand, so I wanted to make this whole process simpler for parents and create a go-to brand that families could trust using the most gentle, natural ingredients. I was really lucky to be introduced to my co-founder Chris at that time and once we got chatting we realised we had exactly the same vision and the idea of Kit & Kin was born very soon after! It took several years of product development and testing before we got everything how we wanted it, but all the hard work is completely worth it when you get a brilliant response from customers.
Many parents wish to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but may find this task overwhelming. What advice would you give them?
I think firstly it’s important to not be too hard on yourself. As parents we’re always rushed off our feet and have a million things to do, so of course we can’t be perfect all the time. I find the best way is to make small everyday changes which add up and make a difference but don’t mean that you have to completely give up your lifestyle. For me it’s things like recycling, walking and cycling when possible, and I also make a big effort to instil these habits in my kids as well. Another easy way is making the right choices when it comes to the products you buy: at Kit & Kin we use eco-friendly and sustainable ingredients and materials throughout our ranges, and we also purchase and protect acres of threatened rainforest through our giving back programme with the World Land Trust. It’s brilliant that there is so much more choice now and you can make a difference just through buying something as simple as nappies!
Do you have any advice for parents with children suffering from eczema?
I can completely empathise with any parents going through this, it can be very draining and stressful when all you want is the best for your child. My advice would be to go for the most natural products you can find, and with as short an ingredients list as possible. If they are tested and approved by bodies such as the Soil Association this is another way to ensure they are suitable for very sensitive skin and you can check for their logo on the packaging.
Can you tell me about Kit & Kin’s collaboration with the World Land Trust?
Giving back is at the heart of our ethos as a brand, so we’re very proud to work with the World Land Trust and support their efforts to raise awareness of rainforest deforestation and help protect threatened habitats across the globe. Every product purchased from us, whether it be nappies, wipes, skincare or clothing, supports our programme: purchasing and safeguarding acres of rainforest and looking after the people that live in these areas. For every 10 customers that sign up to our nappy subscription, we buy 1 acre of rainforest through the Buy an Acre project, and we are also funding educational scholarships, healthcare and family planning clinics for local young women and children. It’s such an opportunity to really change lives and we’re very grateful to our customers and to WLT for their support.
It’s been 23 years since the Spice Girls released their debut single ‘Wannabe’. What does Girl Power mean to you now?
For me girl power is and always has been all about celebrating our achievements and empowering each other. It’s so important for girls and women around the world to be able to reach their full potential and it’s something I’m really passionate about. This is why, through our giving back programme, we’re helping to fund educational scholarships, healthcare and family planning clinics for young women and children in rural communities in the rainforest. It’s a project that will really make a difference and I’m very excited to expand and develop it moving forward.
Which is your favourite baby product?
I love our whole range but if I had to choose it would be the magic salve – it honestly is magic! It’s a creamy and soothing balm which is made from 100% natural ingredients, perfect as a nappy cream but it’s so versatile and I use it as a lip balm or on any dry skin. It’s the kind of wonder product that is such a lifesaver for all the family.
What are your favourite family activities?
We always prioritise family time, especially on the weekends. We love going for walks with the kids or just chilling out watching movies snuggled up on the sofa. That’s why I never mind a rainy day as it’s a great excuse to do very little and relax all together!
Have you ever been to Malta?
I haven’t yet but I definitely want to – it’s on my list!