ACTIVIST tells us about the intersection between Manuka honey and 1% for the Planet


ACTIVIST Mānuka works with the planet’s natural resources—not against them. Their commitment to conscious business practices is what inspired their decision to join 1% for the Planet in 2022 as a member in the manuka honey industry.

Gabrielle Mirkin and Luke Harwood of ACTIVIST Mānuka use wildcrafting methods in Aotearoa, New Zealand to create their manuka honey products. Our team connected with Luke this month to learn more about their 1% for the Planet membership journey:

Q&A with Luke Harwood

Small houses sit on a green field against the New Zealand coastline.
Photography by Derek Henderson

What inspired ACTIVIST Mānuka to become a 1% for the Planet member?

Our personal interests and lifestyle passions are very much around environmental conservation which is why ACTIVIST came to be. Being involved with 1% for the Planet made sense to be part of this larger vehicle.

Why is it important for businesses to give back?

Gabrielle and I are believers in giving and helping serve others. Getting involved is important not just from a human point of view, but a business point of view. We are lucky to be able to use our business as a vehicle to do so—even though it’s on a small scale. Being a member also celebrates and empowers the people and partners who are out there doing the hard work in terms of their conservation efforts, which we all benefit from as a society.

A spoonful of manuka honey sits on a table with citrus fruits.
Photography by Derek Henderson

How do ACTIVIST Mānuka's values drive environmental giving?

At the core of our business and products, we are working prolifically with natural resources—specifically, manuka honey. In essence, we are simply letting Mother Nature, the seasonal cycles, symbiotic relationships and microclimates cultivate the basis of our products. With this mindset, it is simple to invest back into environmental areas we can help protect and nurture.

How has membership impacted your business?

What I like most about membership is that it allows us to link the fundamental aspects of our brand and be involved with something greater. Tangible aspects complete the full manuka honey product cycle in relation to partners we donate to and what they are doing. It's beautiful to know that you're not only benefitting the planet but also the future origin of products and the environment.

A rocky beach with green mountains in the background.
Photography by Derek Henderson

How do you see your membership evolving in the future?

Ideally, we would love to participate on a greater scale. We are lucky in the sense we are family owned and self-funded. We don’t have restrictions over the business, so for us, we like the idea of giving more and helping beyond maybe what the bottom line of a business might say to do or not to do. For us, it has to be more than a marketing initiative.

"Commit, then figure it out"

Doug Tompkins, dear friend and one of the great influences of 1% for the Planet's founders.