For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Sophie and Josh from NUDITEA, an online ethical and sustainable tea brand passionate about naked leaf tea! Read about how they got started and find out how to make a camomile latte.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
We’re Sophie & Josh, the founders of NUDITEA, an ethical and sustainable loose leaf tea company. Our goal is to make tea that’s delicious, fun, and good for the planet too!
How or why did you get started?
We started during the first lockdown, inspired by the teas that we were creating at home, and encouraged by our friends who thought that we should share them wider! It was a slow process of sourcing, researching and ensuring that we worked with like-minded suppliers and businesses from the beginning. We’ve tried to be as mindful of the planet as possible from the outset, from using compostable packaging to buying stamps made from recycled wood and rubber. We also try to work with small businesses wherever possible. It’s a work in progress and we’re always looking for new ways to do better (like the bicycle delivery service we’re currently working on in London, to lower our carbon emissions), but it’s a brilliant journey to be on, and we’ve met lots of like-minded people who care more about benefits than profits, which has been great!
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
Trying to make a difference through how we do business, and bringing some joy into our tea drinkers’ days!
Do you have a motto or quote that defines your practice?
As a business, our goal from day one has been to focus on what we can give people, rather than what we can take from them.
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
It’s a journey made up of small steps. For us, it’s been important to realise that progress is about making lots of seemingly small decisions in the right direction, and eventually watching things change on a larger scale in the way that you want them to. Also we’ve become conscious of the fact that how we spend our money is one of the biggest ways we can bring about change in the short term, so for us it’s about shopping small whenever possible, and supporting businesses that we believe in and who we think are doing something meaningful.
What does a typical day look like for you?
We get up, take our dog Watson out and make a cup of tea. For Josh that’s usually a Masala Chai, and I’m currently obsessed with making Camomile Lattes (I put 3 tsp of our Camomile Blend into one of our Tea Strainers, add hot milk and some honey, and let it steep for 3-5 mins – for me, it’s the perfect way to have a calm start to the day). Then we start on making up orders in time for our postman to collect them in the afternoon. After that, it’s all about admin, answering emails, coming up with new blends or preparing for events, making up more tea and generally everything else that needs to be done! We try to head out for a walk at some point in the afternoon too, which has been much easier since Watson came along. We also make sure to have tea breaks in the garden every couple of hours or so – it helps to reset our minds, refocus and get some clarity.
What’s your favourite thing to do with your free time?
Reading and walking in nature!
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Sophie: Follow your own path
Josh: To be patient and take my time in trying to understand what I wanted to direct my efforts towards
What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
To treat it with reverence and respect, rather than a sense of ownership and to realise that what we take for granted, or see as ‘free’, has actually taken lifetimes beyond ours to manifest.
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
We have a website (www.nuditea.uk) and you can also follow us on Instagram (@nuditeauk) for photos of our teas, more info about us and our journey, and sometimes some cute pictures of our dog too! You can also read a bit more about our story here: https://www.nuditea.uk/blog-posts/welcome