Numi Teas – It all boils down to water. It all boils down to us! 

That’s the motto of Numi Teas, a premium tea brand with a difference.

Founded by brother and sister duo Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani in 1999, Numi Teas is the leading purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ teas and herbs in the United States. Ahmed and Reem are by definition pioneers – introducing little-known herbs and teas to the United States, while advancing human rights and sustainable causes around the globe. In Britain, we know most problems are solved with a cup of tea but who knew tea could be this powerful! 

Ahmed is the alchemist behind Numi’s teas, together with his team, he creates unique, delicious blends and has pioneered Numi Teas sourcing efforts, traveling to countries of origin and building partnerships with farmers and their communities that have lasted for over 20 years. On the other hand, Reem oversees brand identity, including all packaging design, brand voice and experience. In 2019, she was honoured as one of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Business. An unstoppable duo it would seem!  

Source: Numi Tea

Unlike the majority of tea brands, Numi don’t just focus on its products but also its packaging and with the added benefit of the typical Numi team demographic they have more licence to be innovative. Therefore, all Numi products are packaged in compostable plant-based wrappers made from renewable resources, designed to eliminate plastic waste, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and open up pathways to a plastic-free future. So, when the teabag goes into the compost bin so does the wrapper. Numi tea wrappers ensure complete degredation and no eco-toxicity when they break down. The packaging is just one part of Numi’s Climate Action Plan, aimed at doing its bit to fight the climate crisis. Although these packaging solutions will not work for every tea brand, for Numi it’s perfect. 

The Numi Climate Action Plan includes steps such as conducting a complete greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory from farm to warehouse, where the data collected is translated into a Carbon Footprint Label for each of its products, broken out by emissions category: Ingredients, Packaging, Transport, and Preparation. Numi also measure, reduce, and offset 100% of its annual Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions as well as offsetting 10,191 metric tonnes of CO2e from its business operations. Although carbon offsetting, in my opinion, should be a last resort I am very pleased that Numi tea are actively measuring and reducing their carbon impact in the first instance.  

This is a company that we could all learn a thing or two from, and the sibling duo promise that their vision won’t stop with Numi, their goal is to move the entire industry forward and make compostable packaging the norm! With the correct infrastructure this is perfect and brands should be applauded for great work, we just need the entire composting infrastructure to increase to the same degree as many Western European countries have already achieved. 

So, what do we know?  

  • The tea tastes great…tick.  
  • It comes in lots of deliciously different flavours…tick.
  • Its doing wonderful things for our planet…tick.    

But Numi Teas isn’t just a tea brand, it’s a movement. The Numi movement the sibling team urge you to join, is a plight to create a better world, for ourselves and for everyone else. Numi Teas encourage us to recognise our obligation to create a positive impact on the planet, their energy is focused on finding solutions and they encourage everyone to do the same. It’s no wonder Numi was one of the first 30 companies to be certified as a B Corporation in 2006. 

If life were solely about cruising along, where would we be? What would we thrive upon? When you live with intention everyday, even in the most basic ways, it changes you and affects everything around you. Bring meaning to your life by making one small change to improve your life or the life of another.

Numi Teas

The Numi Foundation

Ahmed and Reem’s business ethic centres around people, planet, profitability, and purpose, so it comes as no surprise that they went on to create the Numi Foundation, in an effort to drive even more positive change. The Numi Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture and empower thriving communities. The foundation devotes its time to three key programmes: 

  • Numi Curriculum, which brings Gardening, Art, and Social Studies to children at Title 1 Oakland Unified elementary schools 
  • Together for H20PE, is a programme which Numi has partnered with to support global farming communities to ensure access to clean, safe drinking water by building or repairing water and sewage infrastructure and administering community-led education 
  • Numi’s Iraq Summer School, here 50 orphaned, war-victim students in two schools are given education they would not receive otherwise 

I love the fact that these pioneering siblings have combined their skills to create a unique tea brand that goes further than just a cup of tea. They have built a fantastic sustainable tea brand, and continue to create a legacy of education and skills to support future generations and, ultimately the future health of humanity and our planet. This really resonates with me, I was brought up ‘growing our own’ and repairing rather than replacing, plastic pollution was always a problem even 40 years ago so in lots ways this ‘intention’ shaped who I am today and the role I perform for Aura and all of our amazing clients. I hope that I too can create a legacy and this is something we at #TeamAura drive for every day, to make a measurable difference. 

It’s hard to believe this pioneering Tea brand all started in a small apartment in Oakland, US, and now this tea-riffic (I couldn’t help myself) company are making real waves in changing the world for the better, one tea bag at a time. It just goes to show, it doesn’t really matter what business you’re in, you can still change the world, if you want to. 

Key takeouts: 

  • It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – you can still make a difference 
  • Ethics and sustainability go hand in hand and should be at the heart of every business 
  • Helping the planet and helping others will never be a waste of time 
  • Living with intention everyday changes everything around you, and your future 
  • Don’t be afraid to pioneer an idea you are passionate about 
Gillian Garside-Wight Consulting Director

About the Author

Gill leads our consulting offer, with over 20 years’ experience in the packaging industry, strategically developing packaging strategies, roadmaps and packaging solutions to meet the needs of clients, consumers and the planet. She has worked with many global retailers and household brands on projects spanning sustainability and innovation to supply chain optimization. With a real passion for sustainability, her quest is to educate, influence and drive a circular economy wherever possible while complementing creativity, technical functionality and commercial realities.

Gill grew up on a tiny island in Scotland and this is where her passion for sustainability started. She loves nothing more than (trying) to grow her own veg and exploring nature with her son.