The Inside Story

WE THE WILD, BRINGING BIODIVERSITY TO THE HOME

We wanted to dedicate ourselves to a cause that encourages people to actually start to understand more about the environment.”

The home is your sanctuary. Even more so in this age of possible isolation or the new standard WFH set-up…the space we create for ourselves is more important than ever. And, if you live in a big city, indoor plants are a way to stay connected to the natural environment. To be reminded of how important it is and to inspire us to protect it. At least that’s the philosophy behind organic plant care specialists We The Wild, and we think they’re onto something rather amazing. 

A FISH, OR FLOATING GARBAGE? 

Joshua Armstrong was once an avid traveler, and it was during a trip to the South Americas that he experienced the damage we’ve placed on our environment first-hand. While swimming peacefully off the coast of Brazil, Josh felt what he thought was a fish brush up against him. However, at a closer look, the ‘fish’ was actually a nappy. Garbage just floating by was a real thud back to reality during his annual overseas holiday, and it inspired him to do something about it. This moment connected Josh to the tangible outcome of our un-thoughtful actions and everyday practices that don’t consider the impact on our environment. His approach toward “doing something about this” is truly grassroots and really uniquely constructed. 

CONNECTING TO NATURE 

How often have we gone to Bunnings to pick up a Fiddle Leaf, Monstera or a few succulents to brighten up our living space? It’s so readily available to us that perhaps we’ve become complacent when it comes to plant care. If they don’t survive, we can just replace them right? We’re all pretty busy so it’s understandable when you forget to water your pot plants. But it shouldn’t be that way. We The Wild director, Josh wants everyone to feel deeply connected to their home gardens and in that way forge a connection with the natural environment outside of the home too. His mission, is to “dedicate ourselves to a cause that encourages people to actually understand more about the environment”. 

It’s a clever way to create that tangible bridge between what we do in the home and how that impacts life outside. If we can begin to understand how much care our indoor plants need, then we can also start to see how much it takes to keep the wild environment healthy. The key is biodiversity. 

A BALANCED ENVIRONMENT 

“A plant is meant to be grown in nature. That’s why they get down on us when they’re growing in a pot because they’re not meant to be…So let’s bring that biodiversity of nature into your pot.” For two years, Josh made it his mission to understand this concept — biodiversity in a pot. “Travelling around the world really speaking with experts, from going to Israel and looking at how you know cannabis is being grown organically in a standardized way, to the developments in Australia —  looking at how flooding and drought resistance was happening. Right through to Spain and looking at how oranges were growing.” He spoke to everyone, from microbiologists to agronomists, CSIRO and agricultural manufacturers. “It was really about whoever I could speak to, until we got the solution that would really work”. And, it’s been a mission accomplished, with a now flourishing business, We The Wild are providing consumers with 100% Australian made, all-natural and organic plant care products. 

OUTGROWING 

Josh has tapped into a hugely appreciative market with his range of organic plant care products. So much so that they’ve outgrown two warehouse spaces within a year. Looks like not only has Josh discovered the secret to growing plants indoors but he’s also figured out how to do it with a homegrown brand too. Together with his partner Chris, The We The Wild brand has become so successful that they struggle to keep up with demand. It’s a balancing act all small businesses must master, supply and demand.

Josh attributes the success of We The Wild to “truly knowing your customer”. He emphasises that the customer base doesn’t have to be huge, but they need to stand for something. “You need to have a really clear understanding around, what you want, what your values are, and what the values are of your customer and how those two things intersect.” It’s the connection between what you as a brand represent and what the customer believes in that brings in loyal followers. It’s something We The Wild have achieved beautifully. 

THEN NEXT PHASE 

Josh and his partner Chris have their sights set on international expansion, and we’re sure they’ll achieve it. Though, as with all family businesses, growth comes with sacrifice and challenge. Their biggest challenge is the product itself, it looks simple but a lot of work goes into it. There are “so many variables that need to be controlled in the production”. They particularly have had difficult times dealing with the production during COVID, border restrictions and lockdowns. On one hand that’s been great from a consumer perspective, as people spend more time in their home they want to make it feel more like the outdoors. Then on the other hand, they’ve experienced a “constant dance around how to manage the supply and getting things to market in a way that’s not going to bankrupt you”.

So the next phase of their business looks like continued, yet calculated growth. Just like their product really…But not without consideration for the maintenance of their own relationship too. They try not to discuss business on Sundays, and Josh recommends anyone with a business and personal partnership should try to draw these boundaries. Good advice! 

If you’re interested in blooming indoor gardens or want to know more about the agriculture industry and how to promote biodiversity, organically — just ask Josh. He has dedicated his life to understanding this and writes about it a lot on their blog. 

The home is your sanctuary. Even more so in this age of possible isolation or the new standard WFH set-up…the space we create for ourselves is more important than ever. And, if you live in a big city, indoor plants are a way to stay connected to the natural environment. To be reminded of how important it is and to inspire us to protect it. At least that’s the philosophy behind organic plant care specialists We The Wild, and we think they’re onto something rather amazing. 

Words: Phoebe Carden
Photography: We The Wild

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