Educate yourself with the need-to-know information.
Fun fact: did you know Weleda was runner up for best sustainable brand in our recent Marie Claire Skin Awards?
It’s not surprising, really. The brand has had sustainability as its core since the day they first launched in 1921. Taking the meaning of a ‘pioneering green beauty brand’ to the next level, covering all of the steps they’re taking to ensure they’re giving back is, quite frankly, hard to fit into one article. Sustainability is at the heart of the business and always has been.
Proof in the pudding: For example, they’re the first beauty brand in Europe to gain the UEBT ‘Sourcing with Respect’ credential, an eco-certification that’s pretty hard to come by unless you’re a company committed to change. Only one other brand in the world has it, so you can see it’s a pretty unique achievement, verifying that all ingredients have been sourced sustainably with respect for people and the planet, every step along the supply chain.
In a society where greenwashing and vague eco-pledges are, sadly, all too common, keep reading to find out exactly what steps Weleda is taking, as a brand, to build a healthier planet.
What makes Weleda so eco-friendly?
As Weleda so neatly puts it, ‘For a beautiful and healthy world, we must act sustainably.’ Hear, hear.
Wondering what exactly it is that makes Weleda so, well, green? It’s an approach that impacts every little bit of the business, from giving as much as they take in the form of re-planting, to biodynamic cultivation, to going the extra mile to make their cosmetics eco-friendly.
Some quick eco-stats for you:
- Every single one of their natural and organic cosmetics is 100% NATRUE-certified.
- Over 80% of the botanical ingredients in the products are from organic origin.
- With no microplastics, solid or liquid, the range is certified ‘Zero Plastic Inside’.
So how does a company come to be awarded with the highest certification standard for cosmetics anywhere in the world? That little NATRUE seal on the pack guarantees the formulations are made from natural and organic ingredients, with no synthetic ingredients, no mineral oils, petrochemical derivatives or silicones, no microplastic beads or liquid plastics, and no artificial additives of any kind. It means any palm oil used is from certified sustainable origin, and it means, crucially, that when products are washed off, the formulations are biodegradable which is essential for sustainability.
‘We make no compromises when it comes to quality,’ explains Stefan Siemer, head of corporate sustainability at Weleda.
‘The aim is that our children and grandchildren will continue to have the same opportunities as we do now. We don’t want to take everything for ourselves and leave nothing for those who follow’, he adds.
That responsibility is threefold: ecological, social and economic.
Weleda have their own biodynamic gardens plus 50 or so fair trade farming projects worldwide that support the resilience of the soil, biodiversity and local ecosystems. They also promote organic farming, and work with their farming partners to ensure healthy soils.
Weleda are passionate about maintaining fair trade with their farming partners, paying fair prices, ensuring safe working conditions, and supporting social projects.
And lastly, Weleda have always been candid about their financial affairs, standing debt-free and in a good equity ratio. Weleda is still owned by the not-for-profit organisations created by the company’s founders.
Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda UK, explains:
‘Sustainability is about people, planet and profit. At Weleda we balance profit against what is good for the planet – it’s built into our DNA. When we make a decision we ask: is it profitable? Is it right for the planet? Is it right for people?’
Crucially, Weleda also admits where there is room for improvement—and that’s in their packaging. ‘We’re not perfect, but we’re working on it’, Stefan explains. Weleda is working towards a sustainability goal for 2022 that at least 65% of product packaging must come from recycled plastic sources or bioplastics. The company is well on the way to achieving this, with their roll-on deodorant bottles already made from 70% post-consumer-recyclate, Skin Food tubes being made from 50% post consumer waste, and Weleda Baby bottles currently changing to 100% recycled plastic.
Pioneering green beauty since 1921
Weleda has been growing plants organically and creating natural health and wellbeing products for almost 100 years. When Weleda was first founded, climate change was barely recognised, but they’ve always been passionate about doing business ‘in harmony with nature’.
They point out that, as a brand, they have a responsibility to the places where they operate and for the workers who grow, harvest and further process the natural ingredients that make up their products. So, sustainability, for them, is about supporting the eco-systems and people that make business possible. As it should be.