Today, Tuesday 8th March is International Women’s Day. For this reason, NATRUE has decided to interview incredible women who work behind some of our founding brands. Women who inspire, who influence, and who share a goal with NATRUE: to protect and promote natural and organic cosmetics to the benefit of consumers worldwide. Let’s hear their voices!

JAYN STERLAND – Weleda: Jayn joined Weleda UK in 2008 and was appointed managing director in 2016. Jayn also Chairs the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition, and represents Weleda internationally on the Board of the new B Corp Beauty Coalition. Jayn was recently voted no.1 in the natural beauty industry’s Top 25.

  • Why are natural and organic cosmetics (NOC) important for you?: As a farmer’s daughter I know the impact regenerative farming makes, so why would I not buy natural and organic cosmetics? They are very skin-compatible, and perform better on my skin. I’d prefer to spend a little more money buying less but better. I know it makes a difference to me and to the positive impact of my consumption on the planet. Consider it as small act of activism!
  • Favorite hobby: Gardening
  • A NOC industry challenge for the coming years: How to reduce the plastic in our beauty, from packaging through to formulation. It’s our ‘elephant in the room’ and equivalent to fashion’s labour problem.
  • Your favourite cosmetic product: Weleda Skin Food – it’s my go-to product for anything and everything skin related (and I love the scent!)
  • One book written by a woman: So many to mention! But I’ll start with Vandana Shiva’s seminal Reclaiming the Commons, all about the rights of Mother Earth.
  • You can’t live without…: Really good decaf coffee – made using the Swiss water process. I love my morning coffee but I have cut caffeine from my diet, so discovering this was a life-saver!
  • A favourite or current song: Lou Armstong’s ‘It’s a Wonderful World‘. Because it is, and we need to be reminded of this. And I love his voice, so soothing.
  • One thing that inspires you: The amazing work that the collective beauty industry is now doing to tackle the climate emergency. It’s early days, but together I know we will make a difference.

ANNETTE PIPERIDIS – Manager Sustainable Sourcing, Weleda AG: Since starting out at the company in 2008, Annette Piperidis has worked in various functions. One of her tasks is to strategically implement the UEBT-guidelines within the company itself as well as for suppliers of Weleda Group. Prior to her current position she was a strategic buyer of excipients.

  • Why are natural and organic cosmetics (NOC) important for you?: NOC is important to me because my body is part of nature and I can keep it healthy only through nature. As a consumer I want to have a positive impact on people and nature by buying my products.
  • Favourite hobby: Gardening.
  • A NOC industry challenge for the coming years: Challenge for the coming years – not only for NOC – will be the availability of raw materials, due to climate change and biodiversity loss.
  • Your favourite cosmetic product: My favourite cosmetic product is the Weleda Sea Buckthorn hand cream.
  • One book written by a woman: Glenkill by Leonie Swan.
  • You can’t live without…: Honesty.
  • A favourite or current song:Cookie jar‘ by Jack Johnson.
  • One thing that inspires you: Nature.

MARIE CALAS – WALA: Marie Calas is R&D Manager at DR. Hauschka Cosmetics. She is French and she has been working at this position for 9 years. Marie loves the products of Dr. Hauschka: “I am really proud of the products my team develops”, said. Marie has 3 children and defines herself as a “happy mother.”

  • Why are natural and organic cosmetics (NOC) important for you?: I worked for many years for conventional brands and I was dissatisfied with the quality offered to consumers. Personally, I wouldn’t have used these products. And this is the key for me: I want to create products that I’m glad to use for myself. Products that are good for me, for people, for the environment, and for the planet.
  • Favourite hobby: I sing in a choir. Singing is good for the body and the soul. It builds bridges between people.
  • A NOC industry challenge for the coming years: It’s getting more and more complicated for the consumer to make a difference between real NOC and Greenwashing’s proposals.
  • Your favourite cosmetic product: Definitely the Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner. After cleansing, you just have to mist it onto the face and gently pat it into the skin. This is such a great feeling: the scent, the fine drizzle… the greatest moment of the day!
  • One book written by a woman: Out of Africa by Karen Blixen. The book is a memoir of Blixen’s life on her coffee plantation in Africa, as well as a tribute to some of the people who touched her life there. Such a wonderful and strong woman at the beginning of the last century. I love her way of writing, of transcribing her meditation about her life in a lyrical way. I could only admire her.
  • You can’t live without…: My pair of running shoes. Even when I travel, they are always in my suitcase. I run every day – ideally in the morning, at sunrise. Not so long, about 30 minutes but enough for me. It is the best way to start the day. It opens your mind and bursts energy into your body!
  • A favourite or current song:Singing in the rain‘. I love the optimism of this song. No matter what happens, just laugh at the clouds. Every time I feel some raindrops falling on my nose, I think about this song and I could even do some steps of tap dancing
  • One thing that inspires you: The way I live. I spend my time between Paris and Germany. Cultural differences, exchanges with people, Parisian cultural life, life close to Nature in Germany… I feed on all this. Life and its multiplicity are a perpetual source of inspiration. You have to stay curious and aware of the things that life offers you.

ANDREA DAHM – Corporate Sustainability & Brand Management at Primavera: Born in 1971, Andrea dedicated herself to the organic sector with a focus on natural cosmetics and aromatherapy right after her studies of Food & Economic Science. Since 1999, she has been significantly involved in the continuous growth of PRIMAVERA LIFE—organic pioneer, trailblazer and market leader in aromatherapy in Germany.

  • Why are natural and organic cosmetics (NOC) important for you?: Natural and organic cosmetics are not only healthier for the skin with all the pure, precious, and potent ingredients made by nature. There is more that highlights skincare based on natural and especially organic formulas. I am talking about things through the method of organic cultivation like less pollution for the people who are working in the fields and harvesting the plant material, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, healthy and nutrient-rich soil, helps conserve water, etc.
  • Favorite hobby: Yoga.
  • A NOC industry challenge for the coming years: The NOC industry is growing but still small. Therefore—compared to the conventional industry and their demand for ingredients—the need for plant ingredients is also very small. But despite that, we might face issues regarding the availability of plant ingredients due to climate change and all the consequences it will cause for nature. We see already that changing weather conditions like ups and downs in temperature, less rain or too much, etc. are causing crop shortfalls or lower harvest yields.
  • Your favourite cosmetic product: Natural Bar Soap Lemongrass Ginger from our farm partner in Bhutan.
  • One book written by a woman: The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall (and Douglas Abrams.)
  • You can’t live without…: being at the ocean at least once a year.
  • A favourite or current song:One‘, a song by the Irish rock band U2 from 1991.
  • One thing that inspires you: I am inspired by “change makers”, people who are open for new perspectives and look at things differently, people that are seeking for solutions instead of being blocked by focusing on why things are not working.