Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the Pure Fiji Australia head quarters, and finally meet Sophia, PR and Social Media Manager of Pure Fiji. We have been chatting since April when I first reviewed their fabulous sugar rub and it was lovely to have a proper face-to-face conversation. She told me more about the company – how it was created, and their social responsibilities in Fiji. They are certainly a company that focuses as much on inner beauty, as outer.
The offices, warehouse and showroom are a relatively new acquisition for Pure Fiji Australia. Since Sophia and her husband took over the distribution of the products in Australia five years ago, they had been working from a converted garage at their home. The showroom is warm, welcoming, and of course it smells divine! Every flavour range is available to try, and trust me when I say that you will have trouble choosing your favourite.
Pure Fiji began in Sophia’s childhood home in Suva, Fiji, when her sister discovered the health benefits of coconut oil. She began making soaps, and the family would sit around the kitchen table wrapping the cakes ready for sale. The product’s popularity exploded after a big international order, and over time the product range steadily expanded. While the company is now sold in the United States, Australia and New Zealand (along with Fiji), it is still family run. It is mainly distributed through day spas, but can also be purchased online. People have offered to buy the business over the years, but the family did not want to take the risk that it would lose some of it’s heart and soul. These attributes are two of Pure Fiji’s most important assets.
Pure Fiji has beautiful, well made products. They’re packaged nicely and they smell great. So what? I hear you say – so many other products are like this too. Why choose them over any other brand? I started using the products when I was in Fiji on holiday and fell in love. When I came home and I researched the company a little, the deeper I fell. I have a social conscience, and I prefer to buy products that are not tested on animals. If possible, I prefer to buy products that are on the more natural side of the spectrum. Pure Fiji fulfils both of these requirements for me. Yesterday, I found out more about their social conscience and the fantastic things that they are doing to help the Fijian community.
The first time we visited Fiji we were surprised that it is still considered a third world country. Many people live in poverty, trying to make a living from traditional skills or the land. Education is not a priority for many families, with many students leaving school at the end of the primary years. As is the case in many countries, the amount of people using traditional skills are starting to decrease. Young people are moving to the cities and towns to seek employment. Pure Fiji is a company founded by two strong women. They are trying to support the skills of their beautiful country, empowering women at the same time. The gift baskets used for the Pure Fiji spa packs are woven by teams of women, who work in groups and set their own schedules. This allows for them to share care of their children, while still tending to the needs of their village and families. This project means that the women to have some financial security and monetary control for their families.
One of the most uplifting stories is that of the paper makers. The paper used to wrap the soaps and line the spa baskets is made from a traditional method that has been used in the islands for hundreds of years. Through their work with Pure Fiji, and the financial assistance that this brings, this particular community have been able to fund the expansion of their school and build a library. This in turn benefits five other near by communities, as their students now have space and resources to attend high school. They have established a food market which brings further business to the town. Many of the students are now gaining a high school education, thanks to the Pure Fiji scholarship program. This program has seen three former students return to the community as teachers.
Pure Fiji prides itself on making a difference to local communities, and that is one of the things that endears me most to this company. Fiji holds a special place in my heart – have you ever travelled somewhere and it feels like coming home? I’ve had that feeling in two places – Scotland (I have Scottish heritage), and Fiji. The people are beautiful, and the fact that this company gives back so much to the country that has given it so much, is a wonderful thing. I can’t wait to return there in the next few years, but until then the gorgeous scents in my bathroom will just have to do.
Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about the Pure Fiji product line, including some exciting new products. I will also be trying out one of the spa treatments that are available right across Australia (check out to see if there is one near you here). I am not a spa regular, so I am very much looking to being pampered, especially Pure Fiji style!
Make sure you come back on Monday for some exciting news. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Are companies and their social responsibilities important to you? Does it influence who you buy from?
* I am a Pure Fiji brand ambassador.