As a sign of Weleda’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and for its inspired mission to be ‘in harmony with nature and the human being’, the prestigious brand has been awarded the Butterfly Mark, powered by Positive Luxury. The award of the Butterfly Mark recognises Weleda’s long tradition of producing high quality products with sustainability at the heart of every step.
Jayn Sterland, Managing Director of Weleda UK joined Weleda eight years ago and brought the original products she found in the Weleda archives, such as the iconic Skin Food, to the mass market. Jayn was recently named as this year’s number one ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty’, published in the latest autumn issue of Natural Beauty News, as voted for by the natural and organic beauty industry.
Jayn took a moment with Positive Luxury to reinforce the importance of being a brand to trust.
What drew you to Weleda?
Twelve years ago I visited Weleda on one of their rare ‘open days’ as I had started to use the baby range on my six month old baby. I was completely blown away by the company and the ethos. I knew the products worked but what I didn’t know at that time was how the products worked so well. Walking through the Weleda herb gardens, meeting the people who make the products, hearing about the underlying philosophy that inspired the brand, made me realise how truly unique the company is. It took four years for me to make the leap and join the business and I have never regretted that decision.
In your opinion, what have been the most significant changes in the beauty industry since you began?
When Weleda began in 1921 the term ‘beauty product’ didn’t exist. We had products for the skin (creams), hair (tonics), the body (balms). It was simple and so were the formulations – made using unadulterated ingredients sourced and manufactured simply, without preservatives and in basic packaging.
Today, the beauty industry is very different. Often there is more value added into the packaging than into the formulations. Formulations are laden with chemical preservatives and fillers. High investment in advertising and celebrity endorsements results in very little of the value going into the product – what you put onto your skin, which is the greatest irony.
Weleda has a unique background in Anthroposophic healthcare. How do you envisage the future of this holistic approach to wellbeing?
I am hopeful that over time, we will begin to see true beauty, where we allow our soul to radiate rather than the manufactured ‘identikit’ beauty we are so used to. What does this mean in practice? It means not covering up your skin with thick make-up but allowing it to breathe, using the right skincare products to create radiant, healthy skin. It means moisturising daily with natural products. It means looking after yourself, from the inside out, looking after your soul and emotional health as well as your physical body.
We have a phrase ‘healthy beauty’ – where beauty comes from within and radiates out – being happy and healthy is the ultimate form of beauty because you show your true self.
The words ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ are often used as marketing tools, rather than being asserted as essential elements of business. Do you see this attitude changing?
I really hope so and soon but the problem we have is a lack of regulation. Currently any brand can claim they are sustainable and ethical just by switching one element of the things they buy like moving to consume green energy. Whilst every small switch to something more sustainable should be celebrated, for me, sustainability can only ever be claimed when you apply it to everything a company does – from the sourcing of raw materials, production, transport through to how the packaging can be recycled – adopting a cradle-to-grave approach. We need to encourage consumers to be more demanding by becoming more transparent ourselves. In 2011, Weleda started publishing an annual ‘sustainability report’ which reports on all aspects of our business through a sustainable framework – from water and energy usage through to establishing new sourcing projects around the world for our raw materials production.
What is Positive Luxury to you?
For me ‘Positive Luxury’ is all about the care and conscious ‘positive’ thought given to a product or service. It the difference between being thoughtful (full of thought) as opposed to thoughtless. It doesn’t mean expensive but it is always precious.
Take Weleda. Our products are created for everyday use, made from very simple, pure ingredients, in volume and available at an accessible price. And yet, we grow plants ourselves, often using our own seed banks; the plants are nurtured organically in a sustainable way, tended daily by the gardeners who, at the right moment, will prepare the plants and make the plant elixirs from which we create the products. Every ingredient in our formulation is there for a purpose and has been sourced and created within the Weleda family, in nature and not synthesised in a lab. All this care and attention is full of positivity.
What is your favourite Weleda product, and why?
Everyone should have a tube of Weleda Skin Food! It is 90 years old and still has the same formulation with five key ingredients – Sunflower, Lavender, Rosemary, Viola and Chamomile. It’s a multi-tasking product for face and body, dry patches of skin anywhere on the body and can double as a soothing balm or a nourishing night cream. I have so many tubes of it – in my bag, in the car, on my desk! My favourite Skin Food moment is when you are in a crowd or at a meeting and you squeeze some onto your finger tips and breathe deeply. The scent is a real pick-me-up and everyone asks to borrow the little green tube!
Find out more about Weleda as a brand to trust here