The Natural and Organic Product Trade Show is always good to visit. Split into three main sections it covers health and nutrition, food and beauty. Each section comprises of many brands exhibiting their products and a lecture theatre with a series of talks from industry experts. The Natural Beauty and Spa is my first port of call, I’m always on the look out for new exciting brands and product launches. I also have a good wander around the health, nutrition and food too, it would be rude not to try the latest raw, organic chocolate, very good for the health so I’ve heard….
This year I managed to get to the show on both days as there were speakers on each that I wanted to listen to. On Sunday Rebecca Goodyear spoke about key ingredients we want in our skincare such as green tea, peptides and collagen and Judi Beerling spoke about ones that aren’t so desirable. Judi is from the Organic Monitor and she was talking about a recent brand assessment that she has done with 450 products to determine how natural is natural. The project involved evaluating ingredient listings against the product’s claims to see if they were legitimate or just another example of greenwashing. The products were scored out of ten, many scored very low showing that it is still important to read what is actually in them. Janey Lee Grace spoke very passionately about her beliefs in choosing a natural lifestyle and recommended some of her favourite products from the show. I’m keen to have a read of her books especially her home one which has tips on cleaning up your home environment.
One of the show’s highlights for me was Horst Rechelbacher who spoke on Monday morning. A pioneer in natural and organic beauty since 1978 he was an inspiration to listen to. With a long and extensive background in hair, beauty and ayurvedic health he is also an expert in organic farming and runs his own farm in the States where he is growing many of his own ingredients for the Intelligent Nutrients range. He is now taking it one step further by exploring plant stem cell technology, a process he believes is the way forward for skincare and nutrition – and that it should be recognised by the organic certification bodies. By using stem cells the concentration of nutrients will be higher and as less water is used in the production, it could be an essential player when dealing with climate change. He spoke with passion and urgency about the importance of choosing organics and reducing toxic loads in our bodies and in our environment.
Michelle Thew from Cruelty Free International was another speaker I’m glad I saw. The European ban that was passed last month is an amazing testament to the charity’s ongoing hard work. However it was a shock to hear that 80% of the world still test cosmetics on animals so there is still a lot to be done. Michelle hopes that the 2013 ban will instigate changes in other countries, it will have to if they hope to import new products into Europe in the future. China is the most controversial country as they require testing to be done by law. Cruelty Free International are working with the Chinese authorities and there is a 5 year plan in place for alternatives, it is not going to be easy but at least it has started. Michelle still urges brands to sign up for the leaping bunny certification and consumers to choose brands with it as despite the new 2013 ban, certification is still the only way of truly knowing you can trust a brand.
From the exhibitors some of my favourite finds include –
The Organic Skin Co from New Zealand who want to start selling in Europe. They are mainly skincare but I was taken by the 5 lipsticks they carry. I like the fact that they are all mainly matt as opposed to shimmery as so many organic lipsticks are. The bright pink and orange I am particularly keen on trying along with a classic matt beige/brown.
Benecos from Germany is another one that launched at the show and I am keen to try. They are targeting themselves towards to teenagers hence the very reasonable price point – £6.95 for a mascara, £3.95 for a lip pencil. Making cleaner make-up more accessible to younger girls is a brilliant idea, they are a group that we definitely need to teach the importance of clean beauty. I was given a black kohl pencil to try and it feels great, it is an intense black that is nice and soft and smudges well – tried on the back of my hand rather than a day’s wear yet but I like it.
The show was a great opportunity to try the new make-up from Green People. They have reformulated and repackaged everything and done a great job. I was always a fan of the blushers but the new ones seem great, they are matter with more pigment. The packaging is better because it is smaller so more kit and make-up bag friendly.
Old favourites Terre d’Oc were there with a new foundation, and Beauty Without Cruelty with reformulated mascaras. It was a good two days and I’m really glad I went, lots of food for thought.