Sunday, 21 July 2013

Trip to Weleda UK #1



Recently I had the exciting opportunity to go and visit the Weleda UK headquarters and Bio-dynamic gardens in Derbyshire, I had an amazing day and took lot's of pictures so I thought I would share them with you. This is part one, I will do a second post with information about the gardens and the biodynamic farming methods that the company pioneered, so look out for that soon.

I was already aware of Weleda's long standing history as a natural brand, but it was lovely to be able to learn even more about it's values as well as the skin care ranges available. We arrived fairly early in the morning at 9.30 am, it was a glorious day with the most beautiful sunshine which made the early start and two hours drive on the motorway actually fairly pleasant.

On arrival we were greeted by Weleda staff and had the opportunity for refreshments before going on the tour of the gardens which are a couple of miles down the road. There were lot's of displays with both current ranges and some of the historical packaging and it was lovely to see how Weleda have evolved over the years. It really did have a lovely relaxed feel and despite going by myself I was happy to mingle and of course take lot's of photos!




Some of the historical packaging for medicines and skincare, this really is an interesting look through Weleda's history. The wood block font and Weleda logo haven't changed since the company took the Weleda name in 1924.

Weleda was founded in 1921 under a different name, although it was originally focused on anthroposophic medicine the company soon started to sell cosmetics and personal care products too. Anthroposophy is based on the work of Rudolph Steiner who was an academic and philosopher, and is a holistic approach to health and wellness, taking into account the individuals spiritual life and soul when looking at the physical characteristics of illness. Steiner was a remarkable man with interests in Education, art, medicines and agriculture.

Weleda came to the UK in 1925 originally in London but moved to the Ilkeston site in Derbyshire in 1978 where it has been steadily growing ever since to accommodate more staff. Across the world Weleda is currently the largest manufacturer of natural body care and skincare. The UK site is focused on the production of medicines and homeopathic remedies with the production of cosmetics focused in France, Germany and Switzerland.

The only way I can describe the Weleda headquarters is that it has a great feel to it, even the plant pots are dressed up in children's clothes which is a quirky touch. It must be such a happy place to work.

This is the skincare wall that showcased all of the current ranges alongside the historical packaging. I really love Weleda's packaging it is so bright and cheerful with all the lovely colours. It is designed to be practical too and the new body lotions with an airless bag inside a plastic post-consumer recycled bottle are brilliant for preserving the product as are the aluminium tubes used for many of the products such as Skin Food as they minimise contact with the air and germs from fingers etc...

    
Some of the current skincare ranges including the Wild Rose, Iris, Almond and Pomegranate range. Weleda cater for all skin types, I personally have used several of their ranges and always dip into their products, they are very good quality for the price that you pay, there are a few natural brands that charge two to three times the amount for very similar ingredients and philosophies.

The newly repackaged baby range with calendula as the star ingredient. I stocked up on these products for my son. They have added an unscented baby oil to the range perfect for little ones sensitive skin, the easy to use packaging is also going down a treat in my house!

Perhaps the most iconic of all of Weleda's products, the recipe for Skin Food has been remained the same since it was launched. One of my personal favourites and a product I am never without this is a thick cream that is the ultimate multi-tasker and particularly good for those dry spots such as heels and knees.

A dress made out of recycled Skin Food packaging, worthy of Princess Fiona, don't you think?

The day was jam packed with lot's of useful information and interesting activities after the tour of the gardens, we then went on to see how a tincture and lotion are made. In the afternoon we had two talks one about the skincare ranges and one that was called "What does natural mean?" this was perhaps my favourite part of the day because it really showed that Weleda are a brand that hold their ethics above all else and that they constantly questioning whether they are doing enough and how they can improve.

The company is a certified natural brand by the not for profit agency NATRUE and all the Weleda products bear the NATRUE stamp. In addition to this Weleda is increasing the amount of organic ingredients that it uses steadily every year. Weleda grow as many of their own ingredients as possible, where there is a necessity to buy products for example because they will only grow in a tropical climate or because of the quantities needed, Weleda does not buy on the open market, preferring to develop relationships with farmers and ask them to produce ingredients to their standards which means organic, biodynamic farming wherever possible.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Weleda for a fantastic day and making us feel so welcome, I already was a big fan of their products but this visit did make me really appreciate the honesty and integrity that that the brand displays. In a time where lot's of companies are jumping on the natural bandwagon because it is trendy, it's lovely to see a brand like Weleda who are natural because they feel it's the right thing for us and for the planet rather than it being a passing fad.

Ana x

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20 comments

  1. Excellent post ana, I love to see the history of a brand, sounds like a fun filled day. I love the Derbyshire dales, a beautiful part of the UK xx Jen xx

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    1. It was a fantastic day, I would happily do it again. The surrounding countryside was beautiful wish I had been to stay longer and see some more of the area. Xx

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  2. sounds like you had an informative day! Thanks for sharing x

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    1. It was very informative and lot's of fun! Xx

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  3. Hi Ana - I haven't used much of Weleda's skin & bodycare range but I'm always intrigued to know more about them and their products. I'd love to visit their headquarters. It sounds fab xx

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    1. I think you would really enjoy it Charlie, the gardens were beautiful. I had so much to share I split it into two posts. Good luck in the giveaway! Xx

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    2. I must pick your brains as to how you get to go on these fab trips xx

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    3. Next time I get a good invite I will let you know ;) Xx

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  4. It looks like such a fun place to work! Thanks for sharing all about your trip, it looks like you had such a fun time :)

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    1. It was really fun, I want to work there it looks like heaven! Xx

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  5. What a wonderful day! It sounds so interesting! Weleda are a lovely brand!

    Gem x
    http://www.gemmameansjewel.com

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    1. It was really fun, the gardens are beautiful Xx

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  6. Lucky you! Weleda is a fantastic brand and it sounds like an awesome day. I loved seeing the older packaging :)

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    1. It was really interesting, glad you enjoyed seeing the old packaging it was one of my favourite bits, my camera was on overdrive Xx

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  7. Had no idea there was such an amazing history to Weleda, thanks for sharing!

    Mayah x

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    1. It is such an interesting brand, there was so much to take in. Glad you enjoyed the post! Xx

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  8. Hey Ana, thank you for sharing these photos. I am a big fan of Weleda so it is really exciting for me to see what's behind the brand. You should visit more companies in the UK and share photos and info with us ;)

    Lilly @GenuineGlow

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    1. Glad you liked the post their is another Weleda post coming up with the garden photos and then I will be visiting another brand in the coming week so I hope you like that one too. Xx

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  9. Wow that looks like it was a fantastic day out! Looking forward to part two x

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