The shampoo base is derived from coconut, water and organic salt to help thicken the shampoo, while wheatgerm oil is added for its nourishing qualities. The secret ingredient is sweet beet, also used to nourish hair, making it silky soft and strengthening individual hair follicles.
So what was behind the launch of this shampoo?
Emma Rowberry (Emma): Why did Meadowsweet decide to launch a hair care product into its range?
Elma Rivera (Elma): We had many requests for shampoo from the B&Bs where we supplied our lotions. It then took us about a year to get the formulation the way we liked it. B&B customers enjoyed the shampoo so much that they wanted to purchase it at the B&Bs, so we decided to package it into the 300ml bottles. In fact, some of the B&Bs started doing such a good trade with the shampoos and lotions that some have opened their own Meadowsweet supply stores within the B&Bs.
Emma: Who supplies your packaging?
Elma: We get all of our packaging from RAP Products International. Our aim is to keep our footprint as light as possible and RAP’s polypropylene packaging suits this purpose. We carried out a lot of research before going this route and have found it really works for us, especially with our ethos of keeping things as green as possible. In our view, the recycling of polypropylene is a much cleaner process and uses far less energy to recycle than glass.
Emma: Does Meadowsweet fill its own products or is this outsourced to a contract packer?
Elma: At Medowsweet we still fill by hand! We’re working hard to keep production under one roof to control and ensure the integrity of the product and its packaging. Additionally, we make smaller product batches to keep it as fresh as possible. As our product range is natural and plant-based it has a limited shelf life which restricts how much we make at any given time.
Emma: Can you tell us about the shampoo’s formulation?
Elma: It took us a long time to find the simplest formulation. We don’t want SLS in our products as the molecules are so small that they’re easily absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. With this in mind, we settled for a coconut-based cleaning agent, where the molecules are so big they cannot be absorbed, making it ideal for a wash and rinse situation. Many trials and errors later we are extremely proud that our formulation for the body washes and shampoos are basic, simple and completely plant- based, with the most appealing mixes of pure essential oils to either refresh and invigorate or calm and comfort.
Emma: Other than the recently-launched shampoo, what products are available in your range?
Elma: The Meadowsweet Natural Pure Essentials range has something for every bodily care need for any time of the day. Guaranteed to make bath times a lavish treat, the range includes beautifully fragrant vegetable glycerine soaps, soothing bath salts, revitalising body salt scrubs, refreshing bath salts and calming bath milks. It also offers sumptuous body butters and hand and body lotions that nourish and leave the skin smooth and soft. Invigorating spritzers are used to freshen up throughout the day, while any of the pure essential oils can be used for their physiological, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.
The range also caters for the athletically inclined, with a selection of massage oils and sore muscle soaks to ease aches and strains.
In addition to this, moms love the endearing herbal soothing baby pillow designed to lull even the most restless little ones to sleep, and the vitamin E-enriched range that’s completely safe for pregnant moms and babies and does not contain any pure essential oils.
All Meadowsweet products have been successfully and personally tested by us and by consumers for the last eight years.
It’s also important to note that nothing that could be harmful to the environment, humans or animals have been used in the Meadowsweet range, a testament to the brand’s credo of integrity, compassion and love.
Emma: How do you retail your products and what is your growth strategy?
Elma: We needed to change tack when it came to the retail market. We found that many retailers didn’t understand the necessity to demonstrate the products to consumers. We’ve now reduced our outlets to those that take care of the products and their sales.
Emma: Where to from here?
Elma: We’re launching our first retail shop at the end of this year. More will follow in mid-2013, with a view to launching a franchise, locally and internationally, during 2014.
[Ed’s note: Meadowsweet has a number of accolades under its belt, from its organic certified farm (1992) and its Fairlady Best of Beauty Award for Relaxing Lavender Body Salt Scrub (2010) and Beauty Best Buy Award for Ylang Ylang Bath Salt (2010) to its vitamin E bath milk featured among the 101 Best Value Beauty Buys in Essentials Magazine.]