Monday, 14 September 2015

Interview with Wendy Stirling of Botanicals


Today I have the absolute pleasure in bringing you an interview with Wendy Stirling of Botanicals.

I have a soft spot for Botanicals and I'm so pleased that Wendy has taken time to give me such a thorough interview! Grab a cuppa, settle down, and read on!

What does the Soil Association’s Campaign for Clarity mean to you and

The story behind Botanicals and the catalyst to me creating my own natural, 
organic skincare range 11 years ago, is exactly in line with what the Soil 
Association is championing with its Campaign For Clarity today.

Back in 2002, my nine year old daughter (who is now 21), had an alarming 
reaction to a shampoo that claimed to be natural.  Like most consumers, I 
trusted, at face value, what was printed on the label. The shampoo had ‘herbal’ in 
the name and clearly stated that it contained ‘herbal ingredients grown under 
organic conditions, with no petrochemicals’.  However, because of the severity of 
my daughter’s reaction, I tasked myself with finding out what she had reacted 
to.    I read the back of the label and did lots of research on the ingredients listed. 
 I soon realised that, whilst the shampoo’s herbal ingredients may well have been 
grown under organic conditions, with no petrochemicals, the shampoo itself was 
full of them.  The more research I did, the more astonished I became at what 
brand owners can include on their packaging.  By using clever wording, they can 
make blatantly misleading claims without falling foul of trading standards or 
advertising standards.  We now call this ‘greenwashing’.

My passion for this cause led me to research the market for authentic, natural 
and organic skincare brands, but there seemed to be very few available.  I 
therefore decided to create my own range and Botanicals was born.  From the 
outset, I believed in the importance of using the pure power of plants to promote 
health, beauty and wellbeing for both the consumer and the environment and of 
using certified organic ingredients to do so.  This led Botanicals to become one of 
first companies to hold a Soil Association licence under the health & beauty 

Thankfully, there are now many brands offering authentic natural and organic 
products, so consumers today do have a choice.  Sadly though, there is still great 
confusion amongst consumers about which products are truly natural and those 
that are branded to mislead i.e. greenwashed.  Certified organic brands have to 
stand up to rigorous checks and scrutiny, yet they have to compete alongside 
brands that can still claim to be natural or organic, when in reality they may 
contain a very small percentage of natural or organic ingredients.

It’s therefore great news that the Soil Association is making a stand, getting 
behind this important issue and organising such a proactive campaign to 
increase awareness.   The more that can be done to educate consumers, help 
them understand the real dangers of pesticides, genetic modification, hormone-
disrupting chemicals and other toxic chemicals, and the many advantages of 
buying organic, the more informed choices they will be able to make; instead of 
taking things at face value, as I incorrectly did so many years ago.

Why do you feel Organic Skincare has had such a rise in popularity in 
recent years?

I believe the multi-billion pound beauty industry is built on illusion, which has 
been created by the powerful advertising messages of global cosmetic giants.  
At the same time, incidences of allergic reactions to synthetic chemicals used in 
most mainstream brands have increased alarmingly in recent years.  

Organic skincare has seen a rise in popularity because either, people have 
experienced allergic reactions and sought more natural products, or they have 
become more educated about what they are buying and are therefore able to 
see through the illusion.

What has been your biggest challenge with your brand/products?

Becoming a Soil Association licensee was a big challenge, but not as big as 
responding to the introduction of the European Cosmetics Directive, which 
replaced the UK Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations in 2013. The European 
Cosmetics Directive had not sought any representation by small producers or 
organic brands. It only had representation of the global cosmetics giants, 
therefore putting many small producers out of business.

What are Botanicals best sellers?

Our all-time hero product is Rose & Camellia Nourishing Cleansing Melt.  
This is closely followed by White Grape & Avocado Radiance Facial Serum as 
well as two other Rose & Camellia face care products, the Anti-Ageing Facial 
Serum and Nourishing Face Balm.

What does the future hold for Botanicals?

Botanicals is continuing to grow (we have had our best and busiest month 
ever in August), so hopefully more of the same will follow. I think our business 
model works well.  It is our intention that Botanicals remains a niche brand, 
rather than having our sights set on becoming a mainstream brand. I strongly 
believe mass production would be detrimental to the quality of the product we 
offer, which people love and respect and which we have built our name and 
reputation on.

Further Information:

To Buy: available from a nationwide network of salons, pharmacies and health stores and online from

To Learn More: contact Botanicals on 01664 464472, email or visit the company website

1 comment

  1. Botanicals are such a lovely brand and I love to promote them and recommend them to people. Last week I bought their hand balm together with hand serum when they were on offer. These products smell gorgeous, amazing quality! I would love to try more of their products such as their Anti-Ageing Facial Serum, will put this on my wishlist for now.. :-)


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