Our Favourite New Greek Beauty Brand

Nemertes combine the principles of self-care, holistic wellness, eco-conscience and the purest natural ingredients. Here are the reasons why they’re our favourite new Greek beauty brand and my tried and tested account of some of their feel-good products. 

The Greek company collaborates with award-winning producers from around the country to source the best raw materials each region or farmer can provide, such as organic extra virgin olive oil from Crete, the Peloponnese and Western Greece as one of the base ingredients in their face and body care ranges. Their products also contain many valuable and skin-loving oils such as argan oil, wheat germ oil, castor oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, and are enriched with essential oils, herbs, and other ingredients with healing properties used since antiquity. 

The brand sees its luxurious products as a means to an end, and it’s not just about looking good: “Your physical health, mental euphoria, and a positive attitude to life are the most vital qualities we seek to offer! Our products represent something deeper than just beauty and health; they stand for self-love and everyday evolution. Our goal is to help each person develop the confidence to realize any self-improvement goal and inspire them to contribute meaningfully to society.”

Being environmentally friendly is another key priority for the company, so they use alternative energy sources to supply their production unit. Their product core ingredients extraction is being granted without the use of chemical solvent and their products are packaged in recyclable packaging Meanwhile they’re setting up a new service through which collaborating artists will create art on the packages of used products that customers will be asked to return, turning them into decorative objects.

Nemertes products are sold online via their eshop as well as in luxury Spas, 5-Star hotels (for which they’ve created a Welcome Gift Kit for guests) and high-end clothes boutiques. In the near future, the brand plans to create a children’s product series in collaboration with parenting and mental health consultants. “We will be creating a holistic package including practical advice on the physical care of babies, their dietary habits and also their spiritual and mental wellbeing.” Soon they will also be launching a new Exclusive series that will be based on award-winning organic wild oil and will contain gold leaves.

Tried & Tested Products

I had the pleasure of trying the following products-

Moisturizing body oil (Mandarin) & Moisturizing body oil (Sweet Fig)
These indulgent oils – the mandarin cheering and invigorating and the fig sensual and relaxing – smell incredible, like the real thing. I used a few drops of either oil in my bath, or as a perfume on my chest, neck and behind my ears, because the aroma of each is both therapeutic and lasts a long time. They leave the skin feeling soft and plump.

Insights Greece - Our Favourite New Greek Beauty Brand

Face oil

Nemertes Face Oil is 100% Organic and offers a unique formula designed to maximize the results of your overall skincare regime. Containing Wild Rose oil, Rose Essential Oil and Evening Primrose oil, the formula is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Rose Essential Oil has properties that moisturize dry skin and anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties to treat redness and inflammation. Evening Primrose oil is packed with crucial Omega-6 Fatty Acids and strong antioxidant properties that help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Although rich, it doesn’t leave an oily residue on the skin and it smells amazing! I found that it made my skin feel plumper and look more glowy, rosy and alive.

Bath & Shower Mandarin

Like the mandarin oil, this shower gel has a vibrant, mood-boosting and natural smell of mandarin that stays on the skin after you’ve dried off. It feels soothing and refreshing at once. 

Swaplanet: A Sustainable & Inexpensive Kids Clothes Exchange

As all parents know, children’s clothing is both costly and short-lived, as especially in the younger years they grow out of clothes very fast.

Some parents are lucky enough to get well-maintained hand-me-downs from close family and friends, others reuse clothes from an older child; but many have to keep spending on year-round wardrobes filled with items that sometimes are worn no more than three times.

Enter Swaplanet, a brand-new initiative Made in Greece by Egyptian Sherif Barakat in collaboration with English-Lebanese, Greek-raised Jimmy Nicolaides and Greek Helena Stamou that launched in June 2021. The business is an online platform swaplanet that works in the following way: after signing up, the member receives one or two bags by courier that they then fill with used children’s clothing they’re interested in swapping.

Insights Greece - Swaplanet: A Sustainable & Inexpensive Kids Clothes Exchange

The clothing has to be in good to perfect condition and washed. Then a Swaplanet courier will pick it up and the member is nominated a certain number of planets, or points (each planet is worth one euro), depending on how many of the clothes items sent are selected for swapping on the platform.

Using these planets, the member can go through the platform’s clothes selection and choose whatever items they like, ordering them using their planets and extra money. The selected clothes are couriered to the member at lightning speed (the following day!) and are in ready-to-wear condition. “The clothes are washed and each item is carefully looked at for any kind of faults (tears, stains, etc) so that when you receive it you can put it on your child straight away,” says Swaplanet CEO Bakarat.

“This idea came about from a direct need that my wife and I felt we had,” says Barakat, who moved here with his Greek wife and two children. Upon moving here, he forged an immediate connection in October 2020 with like-minded Stamou and Nicolaides, all with very different backgrounds yet sharing the same objective of wanting to create a business project that gives back to and provides for society.

“My wife and I had a daughter and she was pregnant with our son, and were thinking about all the things we need to buy! We thought there must be a better way, maybe a way that we could swap all those clothes we have from our daughter for clothes we can use for our son. We were thinking of the problematic nature of fast fashion, which is even worst for kids clothes because they have an even briefer use. So, we thought of the Swaplanet idea, which instantly ticked all the boxes, and even included the idea that whatever clothes would be sent in for swapping that were not acceptable could be given to children’s charities and NGOs or recycled and upcycled. So really, reaching a zero-waste solution.”

After conducting several surveys to establish people’s ideas and needs regarding their idea, they came up with a complete plan both for their company and for its services. “We have launched in Greece and our plan is to start expanding to two countries per year. Swaplanet has already become a great success, as a process of clothes exchange that has existed between friends and family has now become a wider process of making use of clothing that would otherwise end up in the back of a wardrobe or worse, discarded. The convenience of the service, together with the way it offers to socially disadvantaged Greek and migrant children while also having a positive environmental impact, makes it widely appealing.”

Swaplanet has ambitious expansion plans; they will soon be adding children’s shoes to the site, and next will add toys and books. Eventually, they intend to add adult clothing and accessories as well, and all the while to keep expanding their project globally. Meanwhile, they are already collaborating with NGOs and environmental organisations in Greece and soon abroad, to promote social and environmental initiatives.  

Recently the Swaplanet team made physical contact with their existing and new customers by participating in the Meet Market event hosted by the City of Athens’ Technopolis cultural complex, on 16-17 October. “Our aim was first to meet our customers in person, to enhance their trust in our brand, and secondly to create brand awareness to more people, to showcase the high quality and variety of our second-hand clothing and of course to give them the opportunity to swap their clothes and buy new sets on the spot,” says Stamou. “One of our visitors couldn’t believe that the clothing we were exhibiting was second-hand! Another one came from Agios Stefanos to downtown Athens, just to meet with the Swaplanet team and to use her credit on the spot by choosing the next set of clothing for her children. We were both honoured and moved by this gesture, validating the positive impact to a large community of parents sharing our vision for sustainability.”

Celebrating Five Generations of Sustainable Spartan Farming

Nikkitas, is a Greek family business that spans five generations in Sparta. Producing truly exceptional extra virgin olive oil, honey, and olives- the sustainable company has a deep and utter respect for ancestral harvesting methods. 

Looking after their olive groves and beekeeping for hundreds of years, each family member has played a pivotal role in protecting the authenticity of the production- through both dedication and craftsmanship. 

Insights Greece - Celebrating Five Generations of Sustainable Spartan Farming
Nikkitas’ family olive grove

Set in a landscape of archaeological wealth and historical heritage, the lush family grove sits among the ruins of Ancient Sparta, at the foot of Mount Taygetos. Flanked by the Eurotas river and a stone away from heroic warrior King Leonidas’ tomb, it’s also close by to the Unesco World Heritage fortified town of Mystras.

Dedicated to producing the finest products and just as committed to taking care of the resources and its local community- Nikkitas’ main priority is to balance traditional techniques with modern quality controls, which allows them to create olive oil and honey that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people worldwide. Their liquid gold is produced entirely in Sparta in the family-owned groves; where in less than 24 hours, the handpicked olives are pressed and bottled, retaining all the fruits’ nutrients and producing an exceptional polyphenol-rich golden-green Extra Virgin Olive Oil- unique to these lands. Nikkitas’ antioxidant honey is pure, unheated, and unpasteurised; pine, thyme, flowers, and conifers honey deliver wonderful and complex tastes and are the fruits of nomadic beekeeping- using traditional methods, artisanal love, and care on carefully chosen fields.

The range of family-made products combines luxury and transparency bringing quality olive oil, heavenly pine honey, and glossy Kalamata olives into homes around the world. 

IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with Christina, who has helped turn her family’s love of farming into a successful Greek family business. 

How did it all come about?

Three years ago, in London, in a starred-restaurant, the chef mentioned he wanted me to try olive oil he had just found from Spain and I cheekily told him that my family produces a great extra virgin olive oil. He was curious and asked me to come back the next day so he could try it. When I came back he was there with a professional buyer – they tried my EVOO, olives, and honey and loved it all. They advised me to create nice packaging for my products. Until then, we had never thought of selling our products. They were always purely for friends and family’s consumption. And that’s how it all began. 

Tell us about your family’s Spartan olive grove?

As a child, I used to spend three months in Sparta during summer, at my grandparents’ house. I remember the stark, ‘Spartan’ ways and silence of my grandparents’ home. I did not speak good Greek at the time and language was a clear barrier between us. I spent my days cycling in the garden, running after the chickens and amongst olive trees. Eventually, when I grew bored, I used to peek into the semi-dark kitchen backroom where my grandmother used to stand for hours, preparing food and marinating olives. The overpowering smell of olive oil and olives was intoxicating, inebriating… my Yiayia would stay in that room until it was lunchtime when she would call us all to sit. The sight of the kitchen table was unbelievable: covered with Greek delicacies, homemade delectable foods were bringing us all together and there and then, something magical happened: a flow of conversations, sounds, smells, tastes would submerge our home, in striking contrast to the rest of my day.

For me, Nikkitas is my strong connection to my roots, it symbolises the deep bond I could make as a child in a ‘Spartan’ austere upbringing, when for a brief moment in time, but forever in my memories, my home would be alive- surrounded by the most amazing smells and tastes- complete awakening of my senses. 

How important is sustainable farming to you?

Our family produces olive oil, olives, and honey, the traditional way- respectful of our great grandparents. Traditional care, pruning, composting, and no usage of machines enable a considerable increase in soil organic matter, which improves not only our olive groves’ soil fertility but also our trees’ health. This emphasizes the potential of our olive trees for mitigating climate change by storing carbon in the soil and in the tree biomass.  Our olive by-product is either used to feed goats, sheep and cows, or for energy generation and fertilization (with 80% used for composting and 20% in direct field application).

Our glass bottles and jars are responsibly sourced from raw materials and are infinitely recyclable. And we are proud to use 100% recyclable packaging. We are also supporting our local community of very small artisan producers, from whom we gather the fruits of hundreds of tiny neighbouring kindred family groves and fields, all applying the same respect for traditional ways in the fertile and wildlands of Sparta. 

We have also partnered with Desmos, a non-profit foundation, to support local schools in Sparta by providing educational equipment and supplies.

What makes your products so unique?

– Passionate craftsmen: we dedicate our skills to working our lands by hand. Many of our olive groves are in small, inaccessible orchards, so the olives are hand-picked, pressed and bottled on site in less than 24 hours, ensuring we keep the whole fruit’s nutrients.

– Transparency: our mill and factory are equipped with in-house chemical laboratories performing regular quality control analysis. Our cultivation, harvest, pressing, bottling, packaging and quality control all take place onsite.

– Unique extra virgin olive oil: we harvest and blend three exceptional varieties of polyphenol-rich olives in equal proportion: Koroneiki, Athinolia, and Koutsourolia. This balance is unique to our lands (as Athinolia can only be found on our lands and has an extremely high level of polyphenols) and results in highly antioxidant olives charged in polyphenols and healthy golden-green first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, with a mildly piquant taste, full of texture and long-lasting aftertaste.

– Unique honey: every harvest depends on the quality of the ecosystem that surrounds it; wild forests and ecosystems are our home. We are nomad beekeepers looking for ideal conditions for our bees, and how far they travel to their food source. The natural properties of our real honey are impressive: antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-booster.

Where are your products stocked and do you ship internationally?

At the moment Nikkitas delivers to the UK, in 24/48hours, from our e-shop nikkitas.com.

We are also stocked in Hedonism Wines in Mayfair hedonism.co.uk, Panzers in St John’s Wood panzers.co.uk, Jaks, and Zefi in Knightsbridge/Chelsea jakslondon.com.

Nikkitas is also looking to broaden the range of olives and honey varieties, so stay tuned.