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In Conversation with Justine Potashnik, Founder, Nature First®

In Conversation with Justine Potashnik, Founder, Nature First®

Through founding Nature First®, Justine is infusing her years of experience building a career of creating product in fashion and interiors with a sustainable consciousness. She is committed to sharing what she is learning about ecological design, helping consumers to make educated decisions on their own sustainable living journey… and having fun while doing it!


Who or what was your introduction to cleaner, more sustainable living? How has your life changed since you began to make the switch? (i.e. beginning to compost, shopping at the farmers market, reducing animal product consumption, changing out chemical cleaning products for natural ones, etc.)

I never had an ‘aha’ moment. It evolved over time which is the reason one of our company’s sayings is ‘ Once you learn, you can’t unlearn’. I have influential people around me who are in their own way making a difference and it helps to learn practically from them especially as I’m still learning. Starting this company and becoming committed to being extremely mindful from product to packaging has made me aware that any action we make can have impact on many levels, especially when people discuss it. 

What is the next step you would like to take in your “sustainable living journey”? 

I’m doing it right now in this company. 

How do you try to be kind to Mother Nature?

By being in constant appreciation, having wonder and respect for what She replenishes for us repeatedly. 

What are you learning from the Covid-19 pandemic?

How agile I need to be.  Strangely, the pandemic has heightened our character traits and for as long as this continues, we’re all confronted with ourselves. This is an incredible opportunity to grow independently and collectively.  

Do you have a “meditative” cleaning practice you love, like ironing or polishing silver?

Ironing! Especially, bedding and table linens. Nothing like crisp sheets. Some people solve problems in the shower, I go into a zone with a Rowenta iron. 

Where do you find information that inspires you in the realm of personal and environmental wellness? (i.e. podcasts, books, blogs, Instagram accounts, etc.)

I read everything from the Biomimicry website to spiritual mentors’ writings to trends by fashion forecaster, Li Edelkoort. Lest I forget, my fabulous group of 22 year old friends and collaborators who are filled with deep and thoughtful ideas. 

Is there something you need to clean but don't know how to launder? Tell us about it. 

Two years ago, I could have written a list. After turning my apt into a science lab to begin this brand, I think I washed every fabric and stain possible. 

What was your worst laundry debacle?

My favorite cashmere sweater that ended up in the dryer by mistake and came out the size fitting a small child and looking like it took a ride in a Cuisinart. 

What did you notice after using our laundry pods for the first time?

The softness, natural scent and absolute ‘cleaness’ of the fabric on my skin. Its effectiveness was outstanding. 

Where do you see yourself ten years from now? This can mean anything to you

Paying it forward. Helping others fulfill their dreams like the way it’s been done for me. 


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