Shay Lawrence: CaliWoods

September 29, 2023 at 4:52 PM


CaliWoods is a New Zealand company with a big mission. The business exists to inspire people to live more sustainable lifestyles and produces alternatives to disposable, single-use items and other plastic products. CaliWoods products are designed with special attention to their ease of use and adoptability on a large scale as the business works to make more sustainable products that genuinely make life easier. 

Founder, Shay Lawrence, set up CaliWoods in 2016 having returned to NZ after traveling to some of the most isolated parts of the ocean, and seeing how widespread the issue of plastic pollution truly is.

“Seeing pretty disgusting amounts of plastic pollution in places that were otherwise so beautiful, so pristine, motivated me to really put all my energy and time into creating some change.” 

Starting small, CaliWoods began as a business selling Reusable Straws and has now blossomed into a favourite for many consumers in Aotearoa - offering a large range of eco products for home and lifestyle.

Striving to make all aspects of living more sustainable, CaliWoods works to identify commonly used wasteful items and gets to work creating lower-waste alternatives. The company’s products span the range of low-waste kitchen supplies to personal care items. The team have also recently launched a new line of sustainable, waste-free baby items, called CaliBaby.

Much like Commonsense, Shay believes that business has an important part to play in creating the change needed in the world right now in order to achieve a sustainable future. And driven by purpose rather than profit means that she isn't afraid to get political and stand up for what she thinks is right! 

CaliWoods also has a strong focus on education in the sustainability space and has reached over 100,000 Kiwis with sustainability messages in the past calendar year. Annually, CaliWoods products replace several million pieces of plastic - and in 2023, the company is seeking to divert 3 Million single-use items from landfills!

CaliWoods encourages all comers to take steps towards a less wasteful lifestyle and stresses the need for us all to do our bit. 

“Having stores in the community like Commonsense increases availability of organic, fair trade and more sustainable items as well as supporting hundreds of other kiwi businesses who are also trying to do good things.” 

Shay firmly believes that real change relies on everyone working on their little piece of the puzzle, in their community, for it all to come together. And she loves the challenge of staying relevant and up-to-date with what customers need in the eco-products space. We can’t wait to see what the CaliWoods team comes up with next!