Nama Fiji for Conscious Living
Essence Group Fiji is a women-owned, small business headquartered in Nadi, Fiji on the island of Viti Levu. The founder Debra Sadranu has dedicated her life to helping women in Fiji gain access to training and employment to improve their quality of life.
Debra created the Spa Academy Fiji, a CIDESCO International accredited school, to sponsor, train, and provide students with workplace training. Many are single mothers, often from remote and rural areas, and have struggled to get training and secure employment in the past. In 2017 she launched Nama Fiji as a means to support the women from small villages in the northern Yasawa region through the purchase of sustainably harvested Nama (sea grapes). Debra’s late husband is from the Yasawas and she had wanted to continue his legacy by supporting the remote villages of the northern island region.
Through a partnership with James Cook University in Australia, it was verified that Nama, a long-time local Fijian delicacy, has incredibly beneficial properties for the skin due to its high concentration of minerals and vitamins when compared to other types of seaweed.
NAMA FIJI'S KEY TENETS FOR CONSCIOUS LIVING
RESPONSIBLY HARVESTED INGREDIENTS. Nama, a seaweed (sea grapes), is harvested by the women of Somosomo village and provides an essential source of revenue for the village’s well being. Essence Group designed a sustainable Nama harvesting program to generate a stable income source to complement that of the traditional village system and safeguard an important natural resource in a pristine environment.
SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN SKINCARE. Through extensive research and a partnership with James Cook University in Australia, we’ve found that Nama has much higher percentages of trace mineral elements like ionic mineral salts when compared to other types of seaweed. These minerals act on the ionic potential of our cells, supporting longer lasting hydration on an intracellular (within-cell) level.
HYDRATED SKIN IS HEALTHY SKIN. Our philosophy has always been to provide the simplest formulas, made with ingredients in their most natural state, to help achieve healthy skin. Hydration in particular is the cornerstone of healthy skin. Dehydration can lead to further issues that result in inflammation and premature aging.
Being mission driven, Nama Fiji built the world's first sustainable Nama harvesting program with support from Market Development Facility of the Australian Government to develop a sustainable and effective model for sourcing Nama from the women of Somosomo village in the Yasawas.
Market Development Facility’s goal is to work with businesses, associations and governments in Asia Pacific to help farmers and workers thrive through a market systems approach, to achieve long-term, lasting growth and create sustainable jobs. To achieve this goal, MDF in Fiji focuses on developing a growing, diversified and inclusive tourism industry, while also improving the competitiveness of Fiji’s high value agriculture and urban industries.
Women of Somosomo Village hand harvesting the wild Nama in a lagoon near their village.
The program also focused on the importance of preserving the ecosystem in which the Nama grows. The Nama “sea grapes” are picked off from the top and the root is left behind so that it regenerates (within about 3-4 weeks).
Women harvesters spend up to 8 hours in the water, 3 days a week, hand picking the wild Nama "sea grapes". The purchasing of Nama Fiji products helps to change their lives and the lives of those around them.
Nama being a seaweed, is rich with minerals (trace elements). These trace elements can be used to maintain the ionic potential of our cells, by acting on the concentration gradient via osmosis, a natural biological process. Nama's beneficial minerals also increase our cells metabolism to counteract cellular aging.
Nama's high concentration of minerals and vitamins provides a powerful solution that hydrates and firms the skin, combats dullness and aging, diffuses redness and soothes the skin. These results can be experienced in Nama Fiji's Face Mask.