Family tradition and cosmetic innovation: meet ÜBERWOOD
Almut Ewald, Project Manager and co-owner of Gebr. Ewald GmbH
Since its foundation in 1940, Gebr. Ewald GmbH, the company behind the brand ÜBERWOOD, has followed a long tradition of genuine inventiveness to develop natural cosmetics with herbs, flowers and leaves hand-picked in the unique Thuringian region in Germany.
Almut Ewald belongs to the fourth generation that runs Gebr. Ewald GmbH. After studying business and developing her professional career in other companies, Almut joined the family business in 2009. Since 2016, she is in charge of ÜBERWOOD, a brand which marked the development of the Ewald’s business in the natural cosmetic sector, and particularly in natural hair care products.
NATRUE: When was ÜBERWOOD created? What are the values of this brand
Almut Ewald: ÜBERWOOD was created in 2015. One of the main ideas behind the brand was to develop a special packaging with natural ingredients for our cosmetic products. Since the heart of our brand is pine wood, which can be found in the formulation of all our products, we decided to design a packaging made with this natural ingredient. By using pine wood in our packaging, we save up to 40% of petroleum.
With the creation of ÜBERWOOD we followed our wish to create natural care for skin and hair, with the pine being our greatest ally. We work holistically and in harmony with nature. We are also committed to a sustainable use of resources. This is why we use the renewable strength of our local woods both for our formulations and packaging.
NATRUE: What is the “star ingredient” in ÜBERWOOD’s products? Where does this ingredient come from?
Almut Ewald: The star ingredient in our products is the pine wood. Being more than 300 million years old, the pine has abilities that we can continuously learn and benefit from. Its heartwood develops something very special: substances, some of them germicidal, which strengthen and protect the tree from the inside. The pine extract we use comes from German suppliers that elaborate the extract directly from the heart of the tree. However, trees are not cut to obtain these extracts: they are by-products of the furniture industry.
NATRUE: What role does sustainability play for ÜBERWOOD?
Almut Ewald: Sustainability plays a big role for ÜBERWOOD since the beginning. Apart from using natural ingredients in our products and packaging, we use photovoltaic energy in our production.
Developing more environmentally-friendly packaging was a must for us to make the most of all the uses that pine wood offers. Pine and other coniferous wood are not only essential for a modern and ecological look and haptics, but also greatly contribute to saving non-renewable resources: approximately 25% of wood in our packaging saves up to 40% of petroleum used during production. Moreover, the pine extracts used in ÜBERWOOD’s product packaging contains anti-bactericide pine heartwood, which contribute to naturally preserving and protecting the product.
NATRUE: How is ÜBERWOOD adapting to the new trends and consumer demands in the natural and organic cosmetics sector?
Almut Ewald: At ÜBERWOOD we conduct research out of conviction, consistently and always at the highest level to ensure that innovation meets our high standards. Our highly qualified R&D team works hard to bring products to the market that respect our family tradition, while bringing innovation and quality. ÜBERWOOD works closely together with all our partners and suppliers to take into account consumer’s feedback in our products. This helps us to keep improving our work constantly. Time never stands still for long in a sector that is in continuous evolution, but we believe that the natural cosmetic sector gives plenty of opportunities to develop high-quality cosmetic products working in harmony with nature.
NATRUE: What would you say to brands that want to join NATRUE? And to consumers that look for truly natural and organic cosmetic products?
Almut Ewald: As a non-profit organisation, NATRUE sets high standards in the natural cosmetic sector. NATRUE’s standard establishes clear and strict criteria for the ingredients that can be used in the formulation of products. The certification process is quite demanding, but you always get support from your certified and from NATRUE. Companies should do their “homework” before they decide to create new formulations. There is an interplay between the suppliers of ingredients, the R&D department and the companies which carry out the certification process. The NATRUE Label is the meeting point of this interplay, offering the consumers high transparency and a good feeling about buying natural cosmetic products.
For more information about ÜBERWOOD, visit www.ueberwood.eu
Download this interview here.