Koa, The Aspiring Eco-friendly Bodycare Made In Lombok

Nadia Anjani participating in an Eco Flea Market in Lombok

#WomenWeEarthLove 4th Edition — Nadia Anjani, Founder of Koa, the aspiring eco-friendly bodycare made in Lombok

Being conscious and responsible for our own consumption is one of the keys to sustainable living. Growing the habit of using eco-friendly bodycare product as millennials generation that born during industry era is indeed quite hard, as we are more often being exposed to and provided with fast, instant and ready to use daily products without really understanding what is it made from and what harm can it bring to both our health and environment.

Koa soaps made by Nadia

Bodycare like soap, shampoo, toothpaste is one of the essential things we use every day, and choosing the products that are natural and having less harm to the environment has been our priority so far. During our early phase of adopting zero waste, it was quite hard to find eco local products in Lombok, especially, shampoo bar that is suitable for our skin and hair until we met Nadia and tried some of her Eco-friendly bodycare proudly made in Lombok.

Last week, our team member was having a conversation with Nadia, one of the aspiring young women that promote ethical and eco-friendly bodycare products in Lombok. It is rare for us in Lombok to meet a young woman who is energetic and eager to learn to start this thing, so she caught our attention easily during our first meet last year at an Eco Flea Market conducted in Kuta. And here is our conversation with her.

Q: Hi Nadia, would you mind sharing a bit about yourself before Koa by Anjani is established ?

Hi Gumi Bamboo, my name is Nadia Anjani. I was born and raised in Lombok, And when I was 13 years old, I moved to Malaysia to continue my junior and senior high school. Then, I came back when I was 17 years old, and straight lived in Sumbawa, at that time I worked and learned to manage my family’s property in Sekongkang, West Sumbawa as a manager. At that time, I have been wanting to start my own business, but still had no idea to start it thus it was fortunate for me to be able to learn a lot how to manage a place, how to manage people, and works as a team. After 4 years of working in Sumbawa, I decided to continue my study in Hospitality in Lombok. And now, here I am, 24 years old and run my own business.

Koa soaps variations locally made in Lombok
Koa Soaps variations

Q: What was encouraging you to take a conscious decision to start your own beauty and bodycare eco-product line?

Back then, when I was still working in Sumbawa, there is a concerning thing that always a season at least once a year there will be a lot of trash from the ocean that will reach the bungalow where I worked. By the time, I pay attention more. Actually in Sumbawa, the beaches are relatively clean but still, there is a lot of plastic trash everywhere here and there. The most common plastic trash I found is like snack packaging, shampoo packaging, and soap. At that time, I was thinking about what I can do to change this situation to be a little bit better, but I had no idea yet what to do. The only thing I could think is I should not throw trash to the beach.

Then I quit working and continue to study in Lombok. At that time, I kept thinking about the problem, so I came up with a solution for myself which was making home remedies such as face mask and hair mask using natural ingredients by learning it via Youtube for my personal use to avoid products with plastic packaging. Since then, I try to make and experiment many things, but at that time I am still focusing on my study, so it just limited for my own consumption. After finishing my study, I took a class in Bali on how to make soap and shampoo as well as other beauty products.

Koa was started at the end of 2019, at first I did not plan to make this business, I start it as hobbies that I like to do. I started making soap in September 2019 and gave it to my friends and family and they told me to sell it. Koa itself is the Hawaiian language is a tree that symbolizes strength and bravery on the island.

Since I am more conscious and concerned about the plastics problem, thus I choose to make Koa as an eco-friendly business, by using eco-friendly packaging. Personally, I have no problem finding suitable soap for my skin, so I like making and do research to make the product. I also receive a custom order to fit the user’s need and I chose to not use SLS, Perfume, and Paraben since some people who have skin problems like Eczema will get irritation by using those ingredients. In addition, most of the people are also requested to be vegan, not using any ingredients from the animal, and more than half of my products are vegan.

Q: Do you find any struggle to maintain or develop your business till now? And where do you plan to bring Koa by Anjani in the future ?

Because it is a home-based business, I don’t find any big struggle except when I received a big order. I will call friends and part-time to help me producing the soap bar as it is easy to learn. In other cases, since my products are getting known by more people like 2 villas using the natural shower gel that I made, I need to pursue legal from the government (Badan POM). But for that, I need a fix the ingredients for my product and it will be my future plan.

In the future, besides pursuing legal (BPOM) for my products, I also wish Koa can collaborate with the foundation that conducts environmental projects like planting trees and coral reefs.

Q: As an aspiring eco-friendly bodycare maker what constitutes happiness for you?

Happiness pretty simple, it is within you, I will be pretty happy if I am able to help other people. I would like to learn and practice more about sustainable living myself, so that I will be able to share my experience and knowledge, and raise awareness to the community. I might not perfect yet for this but I believe it is better if we do it imperfectly altogether. For this moment, my happiest is when some people like the soap that I specially made and even more that they acknowledge the purpose behind why I make the products.

Learn more about Koa by Anjani here.
#womenWe&Earthlove is our first series edition where we want to share the stories of 12 women in Lombok who promote sustainable living and yet empower their community, knowing someone that people should know about? let our team know and email us in info@gumibamboo.com

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Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo is a Lombok based Social Enterprise working closely with women group (previously employed as stone miners) to produce earth friendly product sourcing bamboo materials from their Community Forestry, providing them leadership & life skill through Bamboo craftsmanship.

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