Find a balance between our natural and digital worlds

Journal

Reconnecting With Nature: A personal story from Mugdha Sapte

Taking the leap and launching your own business can be a daunting prospect, especially when you're keen to maintain an ethical approach, but Kindred + Wild is off to a fine start.

I know many would say it’s not the same as meeting in person but over the last few years I have met some incredible people online through Instagram. It might not be the most traditional way of meeting someone but that’s not to say it’s bad. The thriving community supports creativity and gives small businesses a chance to flourish in a world where big marketing budgets are the only option.

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For me one of the greatest benefits is being able to ask like-minded people where I can find what I’m looking for. In this particular instance I came across Kindred + Wild purely by chance but fell in love with the ethos and beautiful packaging instantly. Founded by Mugdha Sapte Kindred + Wild makes natural, organic skincare products using essential oils and herbs you might find in the garden. A few comments were exchanged and Mugdha was kind enough to send me a little something to try. I have always been suspicious of essential oil products as they’re often to potent for me but Kindred + Wild’s are gentle and calming. A few weeks later I met up with Mugdha Sapte and learnt how the whole business came about.

This is her story… (it’s a good one)

Kindred + Wild
by Mugdha Sapte

I set up Kindred + Wild after I realised that I wanted to work for myself and I wanted to work with plants and nature. It took a bit of soul searching and a good while of thinking, anxiety and facing some of life’s big questions (I’m not saying I’ve got all the answers yet. I’m just further along in the process). But it all boiled down to these two want-needs: To work with nature and to work for myself. Defining that was a turning point. A bit more thinking and prodding later Kindred + Wild was conceived. It turned out to be a perfect combination of my little life’s history, of that underlying passion for nature which was a silent dark horse throughout, and encompasses my future aspirations for a lifestyle in harmony with nature and plantwork.

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Kindred is for connectedness, not just with each other but because deep down we all understand the need and importance of connecting with nature. And because I genuinely believe everything is interconnected. Wild is to remind me to be outdoors more, to forage, interact with nature, to bring a bit of wilderness back into our lives. Wild are the things we don’t understand but need to learn or revive. Like so much lost wisdom about plants especially but also of life. Wild is for a need to protect those places which are just that, wild.

My holistic approach and product research is based significantly on my own experiences with skin and health issues. I used to have terrible bouts of cold sores and for almost a year a few years ago had a persistent rash which once doctor said was dermatitis and another said eczema. It doesn’t help that any imbalance in my body always manifests on my face and not some hidden patch behind my elbow or something. My cold sores I managed to be rid of with a recipe of a lip balm by James Wong from his ‘Grow Your Own Drugs series on BBC. That’s how it all started I suppose. Ever the DIY person I thought ‘I can make that!’ So over the years I made many batches of lip balm got better at it along the way. And experimental! But this idea that an everyday thing generally considered a cosmetic like a lip balm could be medicinal and natural is I think what had the most impact on me. While obsessively checking every ingredient label, the lines between a healing benefits, medicinal qualities and cosmetic effects of ingredients especially natural ones began to blur and merge. I began to question the necessity of all these products. Did I really need to face wash and scrub and moisturise and tone? And did I really need a different day moisturiser to the night one? When my face was already under so much stress, most of these products just seemed harsh and aggravating. I became much stricter with my choices and settled only for fewer, gentler and natural products.

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This came with its own challenges. How natural was it really? Does it qualify if they have natural ingredients but use parabens as preservatives? Is it really organic if only the few active ingredients are organic? What about it the plant ingredients are organic but the base formula has petroleum? Then there was the cost. There are genuine brands out there which are expensive for a reason.  But so many big names have jumped on the bandwagon of natural, sustainable, organic etc. does it justify the exorbitant prices?  At the end of the day for a thrifty person who loves to make and has a DIY attitude, it became more fun, satisfying and cheaper for me to try to make some basic oils for my face and eventually for my body and hair.

One thing that really made sense to me was the multi purpose-ness of the basic ingredients. Nature doesn’t design with a single purpose. Any herb will have a few different uses. So how could I make products with only a single purpose if I am using three different herbs? Besides did I really want 5 different products for my face and a few more for my body? That’s no good way to reduce waste of excessive packaging.

Kindred + Wild is my way of (hopefully) encouraging people to rekindle their connection to nature. To show them there are amazing uses and benefits in the botanical world, sometimes hidden in plain sight and at our disposal should we seek to learn them. Sometimes I think if you are looking for magic or alchemy look no further than a healing plant. Plants can feed you, nourish or heal you or even make you ill. Sometimes all in one plant too! It’s this kind of wonder and awe that drives me to learn about new plants and their usefulness’. Kindred + Wild is my way of continuing this process of curiosity and discovery of plants and herbs, of folklore and sharing it with the world. It is my way of preserving some of this amazing knowledge in hopes of keeping it alive and passing it on.

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A huge thank you to Mugdha for her inspirational story and encouraging us to see the beauty and potential in the natural world around us.

Follow Kindred + Wild on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/kindredwild/ and if you are keen to try any of Kindred + Wild’s products have a little look on their website www.kindredwild.co.uk and see what takes your fancy.