Working with Nature

The Archeus philosophy is simple: to work with nature, rather than against her. And to do this in a way that honours a long tradition of plant wisdom and artisan craftsmanship.

At Archeus we cherish the history of artisan craftsmanship. We immerse ourselves in the traditional ways and wisdom of working with Nature for beauty, health and well-being. We make products and we share knowledge through a programme of workshops that we run. We seek to help create connections to Nature that inspire and uplift our gorgeous customers in this busy modern world; and we imbue everything we do with the simple desire to work with Nature and not against her.

We take pride in the fact that it takes time to make Archeus products. All products are handcrafted in the Archeus apothecary. The apothecary is surrounded by gardens and towering trees and we believe that this very real and close connection to nature works its way into the products made here.

Sourcing certified organic, ecocert approved and therapeutic grade ingredients are a key priority. Where possible ingredients are sourced locally, and over time many more will be grown right here on the Archeus property.

Following in a rich tradition of herbal wisdom

Following in the tradition of herbalists and healers who, over centuries, have prepared their own forms of creams, oils, teas and tinctures; a number of traditional processes take place here such as gathering and sourcing herbs, infusing plant oils with the healing properties of a range of plants, creating tinctures and using alembic and alquitar stills to create hydrosols. Waste products from these processes, such as plant matter, are returned to the earth in compost for our gardens.

Each product is then handmade in small batches. Working in this way minimizes waste. But we also believe that something almost alchemal happens by working in this way. The intent of the maker to create beautiful products that are imbued with the healing and nourishing qualities of certain plants, the immediacy of small scale production and the setting here in the Archeus gardens combine to make something more than the sum of its parts. Products of integrity and a truly authentic connection to nature and centuries of plant wisdom.

Archeus is artisanal

This way of working couldn’t be more removed from the high volume, mass manufacture systems that pump out products day and night to line the shelves of stores across the world. Archeus is artisanal. It celebrates craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the skill and creativity of the maker. Archeus is happy in the company of like-minded creators: the small boutique organic winery run for passion not profit, or the exquisite fashion atelier focusing on quality and tradition, the Italian shoemaker delighting in the skills passed down to him by his father, and his father’s father. 

There are many amazing things about technology and science that have been of great benefit to us, but somehow all of this mechanisation is creating a sense of disconnection from the world, our world, around us. We’ve been like a wave that is pulled out to sea, we are pulled away from land, away from nature, away from handcrafted skill. Away from the realness of things.

But we remain optimistic. As waves go out, they come back in. People are starting to turn back towards the handmade over the mass-produced and they are starting to remember that nature is generous in her gifts if we just remember to work with her, not against her.

Giving back to Nature

And so another part of the Archeus philosophy is the sense that nature gives us so much, so it is only right to give something back. A portion of every purchase you make goes towards Archeus plant conservation projects. This is not a game of quick returns, it is a long term, heartfelt contribution back into the ecology of the Hawke’s Bay region.