Relato Nativo is born high in the mountains of Oaxaca, in the Sierra Sur (Southern Sierra) of Mexico. The project is initiated by the artist Mafer Bretón, as a need to return to the natural in her day to day.
At the beginning it started as a textile artistic project, where botanical elements and references to natural medicine decorated the huipiles (traditional indigenous dresses) that she designs herself. At that time, she embroidered each huipil herself, but very soon she had to seek help because the work was extensive.
This is how she began to collaborate with Zapotec women in the area, working together with several families of women embroiderers; They have been working for several years based on the concept of fair trade in the Southern Sierra of Oaxaca, working with women from different towns near it.
Its main store is in San José del Pacífico, an international meeting point, where hundreds of tourists from all continents seek an encounter with nature. This has allowed her to find a market that seeks sustainable products of local production.
Her thematic as an artist, has been focused on the topics of natural medicine, however, eventually she decided to pause the production of clothing to fully get into the knowledge of herbal medicine and botanicals. "If I'm going to talk about herbal medicine in my art, first of all I need to know it, study it, live it, practice it, the medicine of the Earth is our cure, and it's what I love to live and share. they would make no sense if I approached them solely from the theory and it was not a topic that I am deepening or a reality that I was not living. "
When she graduated with a degree in Visual Arts in Mexico City, with a specialty in Teaching the Arts, Mafer and her husband, the artist Carlos Bautista, decided to leave the city to live an austere and natural life in the middle of the forest, where they built a small hut surrounded by trees and silence, without electric light or telephone signal, where they made a one hour walk with a beautiful landscape and fresh air to get from San Jose to their cabin. They spent the nights with candles and food and bread made at home. "We chose to live this way mainly for spiritual search reasons, we are quite the hermits and for me it was a dream come true."
Mafer and Carlos have lived in the mountains for almost eight years, the first four years isolated in the middle of the forest and the last in the town of San José. Mafer spent the first four years learning from German midwife Ela Carolath, who is a great connoisseur and practitioner of natural medicine. "I am currently certified in Professional Holistic Aromatherapy, in an Aromatherapy Institute in Spain, but I have always been more of a self-taught nature, medicinal plants have always fascinated me Before studying Arts, I wanted to study Naturopathy, Herbalism, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy , etc."
From where is Relato Nativo born?
"Relato Nativo was born as a brand almost two years ago in the mountain forests of the southern highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico. It all began 7 years ago, as an exploration of medicinal plants and herbal medicine, for self-care and self-healing for me and my family. My three children were born in the forest and were born at home, and we have never used any other medicine other than the natural remedies of the Earth. As the exploration and study continued, I also began to prepare natural medicine based on essential oils for therapeutic purposes ... which I prepared when people in my environment needed a natural remedy to help them, and one day I contemplated the possibility of create a line that would allow me to create these products for others and at the same time also develop a sustainable project for me and my family."
What is your production process like and where do you source your ingredients from?
"Our process is as natural as we can do it. Relato Nativo is a mixture of traditional herbal preparations with the modern science of essential oils and their powerful benefits. Together, we create products that result in the best of each plant, flower, root, bark, leaves and resins. We believe in the importance of whole ingredients and their quality.
Our ingredients come from three different sources. First, the ones we harvest in our own ranch, located 15 minutes from the town of San José del Pacífico. These are our precious flowers and organic leaves incorporated into many of our craft processes, and here I will also include our handmade distillation of organic hydrosols, made from native and local organic flowers and herbs.
The second ones are our wild ingredients that are collected from our own forests, which grow naturally and organically and are native to our magical mountains. And third parties are our original ingredients, which we buy from certified organic producers around the world.
These are first quality ingredients from the best possible suppliers. We believe in the importance of native plants growing in their own land and natural environment, since this gives them the best living conditions to develop their best physiological and medicinal characteristics. In other words, the best specimens of each plant will grow on their own native lands. So we make sure that we are getting elements that come from their place of origin to ensure the best effects on our bodies.
How do you maintain such high quality standards in each one of Relato Nativo´s products?
"All our products contain 100% pure natural ingredients, mostly organic, and we will never use any type of filling, texturizing or medium that is not a real natural element of the Earth but only a vehicle to be applied without any beneficial botanical activity, like many other brands do. We do not work with chemical engineers or chemical production laboratories. This means that all the contents of each bottle or bottle you buy are real active ingredients that provide real nutrition to your body. We also work in conjunction with beautiful collaborations with Zapotec women, who produce our facial and body towels made of organic cotton, hand-spun, hand-woven and dyed by hand, which is one of our favourite products for carrying such a special process."
What does Relato Nativo mean to you?
"Relato Nativo is a project of medicinal plants, which is manifested in its cultivation and collection, in the use of essential oils, in the study and teaching of its benefits, both essential oils and medicinal plants and in the application of same in the different products for body care.
What is the most important thing you want to achieve with your work in Relato Nativo?
"Our first and most important purpose is to take you back to the food of Mother Earth, to show you how good it can be for your body and skin, as well as for your soul and every deep part of your being.
We want to reconnect your body "made of earth" to the perfection of Nature and bring your benefits of beauty and well-being to your daily routines and self-care rituals. We seek to inspire you in the creation of these rituals and allow you to rediscover how "your own love is medicine for this Earth" (Yung Pueblo) and also discover deeper connections with your own unique beauty through the exploration of your own inner path and the use of our eternal best allies: the sacred plants."
You can find a selection of Mafer´s products in our Beauty Care section of the shop and you can visit Relato Nativo´s instagram feed here: