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Organic Cleaning with Rae Marie

Published:Tuesday | January 8, 2019 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie
Co-owner Corey Breneisen holds organic dryer balls that are guaranteed to cut down on drying time.
Rae Marie's all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent are just a few products from their home care line.
Neochea Smith-Flowers was seen packaging stain remover bars.
Their organic baby care line consists of cotton booties and other textile products, diaper cream, vapour rub.
"This smells amazing," said Breneisen as she inhaled the theraputic scent of the Raw Lotion.
Take care of your laundry with the Rae Marie organic stain remover bar, laundry detergent and dryer balls.
Made from shea butter, hemp and avocado oil, the Raw Lotion is moisturising and nourishing.

With the quest to be one of the most environmentally sound, eco-friendly and healthy destinations in the world, Jamaica has launched a series of programmes in line with the go-green movement that is happening worldwide. Persons are a lot more conscious of how much they waste, what they eat, and even what they use on their bodies. CEO and co-founder of Rae Marie Fine Soaps and Textiles, Corey Breneisen, implores Jamaicans to delve a little deeper and closer to home. By switching to more organic products that are locally made, there is a high possibility that the number of lifestyle diseases plaguing the country is more likely to decrease.

Breneisen describes Rae Marie as a hub for sustainable living. The company specialises in the production of organic household cleaners, body care products, and even has a special baby care line.

"When my son was born ... I did not want anything harmful [to] come in contact with him, so I started doing research on the cleaning products that we bring into our home and I found that they were incredibly toxic. I did research on how to create my own cleaning products to make sure they cleaned efficiently and effectively but were not filled with the toxic chemicals that would make my babies sick," explained Breneisen.

Her company started from humble beginnings, where products were placed in recycled bottles and labels were handcrafted and distributed among her peers. Little did she know she had discovered a niche market that many persons were yearning for. "A friend of mine encouraged me to start selling the products. I realise there is a market here for all-natural cleaning products that worked effectively and are made locally," she said.




Breneisen explains that larger international companies use harmful chemicals because it is more cost-effective and allows products to have a longer shelf life. "It is cheaper for companies to use synthetic materials as opposed to the natural ones, because more often than not, the organic materials are more labour intensive to produce. Organic farmers need to have the equipment needed to follow organic regulations and this is not only more expensive, but time-consuming," explained Breneisen.

Rae Marie's home care line consists of laundry care products such as soaps, stain remover, all-purpose cleaner for the kitchen and bathroom, and tile cleaner for cleaning the shower, bathtub, tiles and sink. "A lot of persons use vinegar as a DIY (do it yourself) cleaning agent; however, if you have stone surfaces, using vinegar can affect the quality of it. Our products are alcohol-based and consists of natural antiseptics, which will provide a thorough clean," she said. A little goes a long way, especially when using the laundry detergent. "You will not see a lot of suds because organic products do not sud as much as synthetic products. One bag should last you at least a month," continued Breneisen.

Rae Marie is also known for its moisturising lotions, face and body soaps, which are made from avocado and hemp oil. "We also have a herb balm which is a healing salve. If you get a cut or scrape, burn or eczema, it helps to eliminate the itching." Breneisen collaborates with local organic farmers to obtain the essential oils for her products.

"I am working with a small farmer in St Ann to see how we can partner together so that I can get more essential oils for my soaps," she said. Her latest body care product is the shampoo bar, which was released prior to the Christmas season. "This was a big hit for us and is also environmentally friendly. We have eliminated the use of plastic containers by creating a solid bar of soap specially formulated to wash the hair. It is made with coconut milk, castor oil and avocado oil. It is very nourishing and it cleans effectively."

The company also produces textile products, such as bags, and eco designs made from recycled materials to create exciting statement pieces for the home.




"We also have our baby line, which has booties made from organic cotton; diaper cream; baby hats; and an organic vapour rub which is perfect for those stuffy nights," said Breneisen.

She made an astounding point as she explained why persons should stop using brand name products. "Majority of the skincare products we use are made from the by-product of petroleum, which is a highly toxic substance. Why are we constantly putting these things on our skin?" she asked rhetorically. This, she reasoned, may be the cause of the increase in cancers and other ailments affecting the world.

"Detoxing your life is not just about changing what you eat. It also involves changing what you use in your home and what you place on your body," she explained. Her pre-packaged detox box is equipped with organic products which can make a perfect housewarming gift for persons who are just moving in or want to start living a clean lifestyle.

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