Botanica, the company that creates our plant extracts, is located in Sins, Switzerland. Here follows a small interview with one of their team members, Laurence Lhomel, about their values and history.
1. What is the story of Botanica?
The story of our company started more than 20 years ago, in 1998: Margret Wälti, the mother of our actual CEO, was already working with plant extracts, in a small kitchen with a few family members. She felt an increasing demand from her clients on "tailor-made" and high-quality products - regarding both the raw materials, the extraction processes and the costumer service. She then decided to create a company, focusing in particularly-difficult-to-find extracts and the flexibility to produce small quantities. In fact, Margret found that many companies, when buying large quantities, were not using all the raw material - throwing away what she considered as a very precious material - plants. As a step to fight against waste, she thought that offering the possibility to cosmetic companies to buy in small quantities- according to their needs - was very important.
2. What are your commitments regarding sustainability?
Since 2012, and with other companies, we've created a sustainable certification CSE (Certified Sustainability Economics), in order to measure and improve the sustainability of a company. The CSE certification covers strict environmental, social and ethical aspects/criteria, that should be filled in order to obtain it. We are very aware that this sustainability commitments are extremely important to companies to succeed. To have a real engagement regarding our planet is something that every business should have, as this is definitely the future.
3. How do you find your suppliers?
We try to find suppliers the closest to us as possible, although this is not always possible. We have a quality management system, and suppliers should meet different criteria important to us, such as the quality of the raw material and their ethics (meaning no child labour and fair wages of the workers, for example). We want more and more to eliminate the intermediaries from our supply chain, as it is very important for us to understand how farmers actually work, when the plant is going to be harvested,... The suppliers have to go through a selection process, and then we focus on building long lasting relationships with them.
4. How are the extracts made?
We use methods that respect the plant in order not to denature its quality. Essentially, the plant material macerate in the medium (oil or glycerin/water), at room temperature, and then we filtrate it several times to remove the plants from the extract.