Activist Manuka

Activist is a Mānuka honey company founded by a beautiful (inside and out!) husband and wife team, Luke Harwood and Gabrielle Mirkin. Their shared passion for the earth and natural products that stems from growing up in idyllic New Zealand was the inspiration behind their next-level honey brand. This extremely special product has countless uses, and we love incorporating it into our every day lives.

It all started with Luke’s love for surfing and the native coastal land of New Zealand, which lead him to understand the important role bees play as environmental indicators and was the founding catalyst for starting Activist. Gabrielle’s time in New York City working as an Art Director at US Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar led to a desire to slow down, and pursue new interests outside of the fast-paced world of fashion publications. Gabrielle’s love for radiant health, natural healing therapies and food from the earth in its purest state was a central driver for the development of Activist.

Based between California and New Zealand, they have built a natural and transparent company as an extension of their own lifestyle. As a family owned and operated company, their involvement is far-reaching: from establishing relationships with their bee-keepers (they even go surfing together) to product innovation to building direct relationships with customers and global retailers. Luke and Gabrielle believe it’s important that New Zealand and its products are represented authentically on a global scale, rather than sold off to international companies to be rebranded and diluted. This is important to note, as a majority of New Zealand Mānuka honey is now sold offshore to larger international companies. These companies often dilute and label the product outside of New Zealand regulations. They then on-sell it as premium Mānuka honey while falsely claiming its active benefits nor meeting New Zealand Mānuka honey certification standards. This leaves the customer little confidence and knowledge to actually know what they are buying and what the rating of the Mānuka product is measured against.

Activist’s goal is to build a sustainable business while nurturing and celebrating the craft of bee-keeping and the precious resource of Mānuka Honey in native New Zealand; taking a truly authentic story and product to the world.

Activist Raw Mānuka Honey is wildcrafted in Aotearoa, New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Mānuka Bush during a small seasonal window in the spring and summer. Mānuka Honey is a beautiful resource with considerably higher levels of enzymes and antibacterial properties than found in other honey. It is truly one of Mother Nature’s special gifts to us. Our integrity and vision is that our honey is produced in small batches, therefore retaining Mānuka’s value, active nutritional properties and plant enzymes. This magical product truly enriches daily life and celebrates all things natural and beautiful.

We are especially obsessed with their 850+ MGO Mānuka for face-masks. This incredibly nourishing product provides an uncomplicated way to take care of our skin, especially since we have sensitive skin and prefer natural ingredients. The Mānuka has amazing benefits for skin nutrition and cleansing.

Luke and Gabrielle really believe in a PRO–ACTIVE outlook to health and structuring this element into their day to day lifestyle, rather than being re-active once rundown and sick and looking for a quick fix and we couldn’t agree with this approach more! Both Jessie and Tara use Activist Mānuka on a daily basis – from baked goods to health tonics and teas, to medicine for our immune systems, to a sore through, to washing our face with Mānuka honey and using it as part of our beauty regime in a face mask.

We asked Gabrielle and Luke to share some of their favorite recipes featuring Activist as we thought it would enrich your daily routines! Hope you enjoy:

ACTIVIST Mānuka Honey Ayurvedic Turmeric Tea

Ingredients (serves one)

1/2 tsp. organic ground turmeric 1/2 tsp. ashwaghanda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Activist Mānuka Honey 300+ MGO
1 cup nut milk (I use homemade hemp milk)

1. Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on low to medium heat, whisking to combine.
2. Blend in your blender for 30 seconds to a minute, to make it frothy.
3. Serve immediately and enjoy every sip!

ACTIVIST Mānuka Honey Face Mask


1 tsp. Activist Mānuka Honey 850+ MGO

Optional additions

Cinnamon (helps boost circulation) Spirulina (perfect for sensitive skin) Matcha (packed with antioxidants and anti-aging benefits)

Rose water (anti-inflammatory)

1. Dampen your face lightly with lukewarm water to make the application easier.
2. Spread the Mānuka honey all over your face with clean fingers. 3. Let it sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to 1 hour.
4. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. I even like to leave a little of the Mānuka honey on my face to soak in overnight.
5. Apply this mask once or twice per week for best results (or even every day like I do!).
6. Alternatively, you can use Activist 850+ MGO Mānuka honey to replace your daily face wash. To do this, simply apply it and rinse the same way as a regular face cleanser.