I had the humble pleasure of meeting him at the recent Green Festival in Los Angeles, where he was exhibiting his organic personal care line of products. Now, I am relatively new to the entire organic world.
What drew me to his booth was the fact that I had recently been advised by a colleague to start using natural deodorant, because the aluminum in my current product was not helping my body. How she knew this considering that I had not mentioned any of my rather personal underarm habits to her is beyond me. Yet there I was standing in front of a booth primarily showcasing all natural deodorants: meet North Coast Organics. On top of the that, they had skulls and revolvers on them – enough to get me asking questions.
As part of his joining the organic movement, Nathan had also stopped using non-organic deodorant. A few summer ago though he also became more of a bike commuter. He had tried a few other organic certified deodorants, but did not find them effective for his needs. Bicycling through Chicago on a summer afternoon is no cruise ride. He then decided to make his own, launching his first product in a jar, then stick form when he was able to discover the right kind of wax.
It’s not every day you wake up to make your own all natural products. I ask Nathan how the life change happened? For starters, he has not one, but two degrees in Anthropology. As part of this time he spent 4 months studying in rural Jamaica – Westmoreland to be exact. He found that the people in this district had a strict diet due to their religion. Many were vegetarian, and worked as subsistence farmers. They worked in the forest, bush area which included a daily 20 minute hike uphill, then another 20 minute hike to the vegetables.
On the weekends Nathan would help to sell the vegetables. Through this process he became very intimate with the food cycle: clearing, planting, harvesting. He was appalled by the large-scale, industrial, big company farming he would later learn to know more of as he continued.
The more makers I meet, the more I see that truly their products reflect their lifestyle – and even their overall approach to life. There is a strong sense of connection with communities, with the earth’s cycles, with the spirit within oneself.
Nathan was even kind enough to unpack the aluminum mystery I had lingering before. Aluminum as an anti-perspirant blocks pores that are close to the lymph nodes (that can never be good), not allowing the body to go through the natural process of detoxifying and cooling down through sweat.
Thanks Nathan, for following your adventurous spirit and by doing so creating space for us to discover with you a better way, all natural deodorant and beyond!
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