For years, Jules Miller took supplements to help treat her gastrointestinal symptoms. But they only seemed to get worse.
To find out what was going wrong, she enlisted her grandfather, who was a chemist and a professor at Cambridge University. “He was the type of doctor who it would take his head falling off to take a painkiller,” she jokes. “He was a doctor but he never went to the doctor, which you’ll often find.”
They researched the supplements she was taking to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Not only were many of the supplements’ ingredients linked to liver disease and heart disease, they discovered that nearly 50% of the formulas she was taking were chemical preservatives and fillers. And even more, the active ingredients were watered down and not really from food sources or pure. All of these revelations are what led Miller to develop The Nue Co .
Working with clinically proven ingredients, and influenced by best practices from Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, The Nue Co. aims to develop formulas with proven, effective results. While conducting market research, Miller and her team found that the repeat purchase rate for supplements was around 20%-30%, which was surprising for a product intended for daily use.
Today, The Nue Co.’s repeat purchase rate is 70%, and when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, that figure went up to 80%.
And even more, the brand prides itself in its attention to ethical and sustainable practices—from ensuring that its production line is not exposed to toxic chemicals, down to the organic vegetable ink used on its recycled glass packaging.
All of The Nue Co.’s products are free from toxic preservatives, additives, flavorings, and sweeteners, with responsibly sourced ingredients. Ninety-five percent of its products’ materials are infinitely recyclable, and Miller and her team are working on the other 5%.
The Nue Co.’s newest product is a unisex anti-stress fragrance supplement called Forest Lungs . The idea started when the company launched in 2017 and the team had forecasted the concept of the medicalization of nature.
“We were reading studies and we found that there was actually a large part of the medical community in the U.S. who were really starting to prescribe time in nature to their patients who were struggling with insomnia, stress, or anxiety,” Miller says. “And actually, as part of their response to the pandemic, the NHS here in the U.K. has made a multimillion-pound investment in what they’re calling a Green Prescription, which is exactly that. It’s doctors prescribing time in parks or time in nature to their patients.”
As it turns out, the reason that the medical community is welcoming this new prescription is not just for the health benefits of going for a walk; there’s actually a compound that trees emit called phytoncide that helps the tree from growing bacteria. Studies suggest that when humans inhale phytoncide, their stress and anxiety lessens. Upon these findings, The Nue Co. teamed with one of the most renowned perfumers in the world, Guillaume Flavigny, to develop a product with sustainable, ethical, and nontoxic ingredients, but also the exact molecular structure as phytoncide.
“We say it’s like bringing the outside in,” Miller says.
“We want to do good business and we want to launch the best product with the best ingredients, and have the price in accordance to that,” Miller says.
And while many other businesses were tragically affected by the pandemic, it’s been a huge moment for The Nue Co. in terms of business and sales, with sales increasing 400%, according to Miller.
WHAT'S THE GOOD?
The team at The Nue Co. has applied ethical and sustainable practices focusing on three main areas: ingredients, packaging, and community.
Using upcycled ingredients, The Nue Co. prides itself in reusing and adapting materials into its products. The cedarwood used in Forest Lungs , for example, is actually the byproduct of a furniture store in Morocco. Rather than letting the cedarwood go to waste, The Nue Co. collected it and eventually developed it into a functional fragrance. The other ingredients in this product alone work with local initiatives worldwide with vetiver sourced from Haiti, benzoin from Cambodia, pine from Siberia, patchouli from Indonesia, and bergamot from Italy
Using post consumer recycled cardboard, the company avoids applying lamination so the boxes can be easily recycled yet again. The Nue Co. also uses old pharmaceutical glass instead of plastic for the primary packaging, which is twofold for preserving the product inside without having to add preservatives. The company also uses organic vegetable ink that is recyclable, and means the production line doesn’t work with toxic chemicals.
The Nue Co. plans to continue investing in understanding its customer and its customer’s needs, as well as creating incredible, innovative products that work.
“What we’re going to see in the next few years is really the submerge of beauty and wellness,” Miller says. “It’s about rethinking the format, and adopting rituals that might fit into your beauty routine that are actually helping with your wellbeing and how you’re feeling.”
The company is also growing globally, scaling through the Middle East, Australia, and Europe next year.