Our Day at Weleda UK

“Our actions are defined by our respect for nature and serve the good of our customers, employees and partners.”

Wild FlowersThere are very few large producers within our sector (organic, sustainable, ethical, fair-trade etc) that truly practice what they preach.  What they say is on the box, isn’t necessarily so and a few choice words on the packaging can lead customers up the wrong, non-organic garden path!  So when we were invited to visit Weleda’s UK head office in Ilkeston, we jumped at it and were blown away by their passion and dedication to the company’s sustainable values.

Weleda founded in 1921 in Switzerland, by Austrian philosopher and founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolph Steiner.  All products are Harvesting by Handmade from sourcing ethical and sustainable ingredients; many are grown in their own organic gardens.  Their products are created by doctors and pharmacists and are free from synthetic preservatives, colours and mineral oil derivatives, and ingredients are 100% natural with 78% biodynamic or organic.  In over 90 years they have never tested on animals.

To this day the company’s values have not changed.  Operating in 50 countries, over five continents, each set up is run the same;working in harmony for the benefit of the earth.

Honeybee in flight

Our day in Ilkeston started with a tour of the thirteen acres, biodynamic working farm, a mile and a half up the road from their offices.  It is the most beautiful, tranquil place with wild grasses, woodland, flower meadows, herb and flower beds, bee hives and compost heaps, all buzzing with the local insect population.

Michael, Head Gardener for thirty years and recently retired, walked us round explaining the Steiner values In the garden with Michaeland biodynamic methods that were put in place back in the 1920s and still followed today. What an amazing man!  We could have listened to him all day; did you know that rubbing your teeth with wild strawberries make them whiter (haven’t tried it myself yet, but wild strawberries are going in the allotment next year!).

Lending a HandWe finished off our tour of the gardens with making calendula herbal tincture.  Claire, Head Gardener, explained each step of production, from cultivation through to harvesting and processing.  It was fascinating to hear how they formulate products with the perfect balance of ingredients grown with total respect for nature as originally intended, while following our modern-day strict pharmaceutical standards.

Then it was back to HQ for lunch!  What can I say, local food produced by local people.  Fabulous.

The afternoon was rounded off with sampling creams, lotions and oils all made from the plants or flowers we had seen that morning. Mixing potions Julian was convinced we all came away looking ten years younger!

A fascinating day all round, and so refreshing to see a company, through the eyes and enthusiasm of its staff, working to its original concept and not compromising the environment in order to reach it’s aims, rather instead adding value to it. Weleda’s strap-line says it all:

Thistle‘In harmony with nature and the human being’


Ps  More photos taken from the day are stored on our Facebook page.