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Beauty goes au naturale

Sonakshi Sinha finds beauty in natural and organic ingredients.

Who doesn’t like the freshness of teal eyes, pink luscious lips, peach cheeks and a glowing complexion?

As the beauty industry takes a step forward, there is an equal number of men and women going back to basics.

Going organic seems to be the new mantra, what with organic soaps, creams, lotions, shampoos, lip balms and other beauty products taking a haute new avatar.

Ahalya Matthan, of Ally Matthan brand of natural fragrance and fragrance-based natural and handmade products for skin, hair, bath and personal care and Areev, a nationally available bath care range explores wellness with a holistic approach.

Natural beauty

Natural skin care is really a way of life. Plant oils, shea and cocoa butters make fantastic moisturisers, aloe and chamomile are soothing and minerals work magic to get rid of makeup lines for sensitive skin.

Look for some easy-to-find organic ingredients like rosemary, almond, wheatgerm, honey and milk in your beauty range.

Chemical free

More and more people are learning about the potential skin and hair problems associated with preservatives and other suspect chemicals in cosmetics.

Chemical-based products can give you instant results, but can damage your sensitive skin and hair in the long run.

It’s a myth that synthetic skin products work marvels as they contain chemicals that are not harmful in tiny dosages, but years of accumulated usage results in damage that you cannot see.

The skin absorbs nutrients and has the ability to heal itself, so it is a logical choice to choose whether you put a chemical or a natural product on your skin.

Go organic

If you are looking to lead a healthy life in the long run, choosing a natural or organic product is imperative.

By choosing an organic or a natural product, you are using ingredients that work with the natural systems of your skin. Here’s a know how on how to go au naturale:

Organic skin care implies that the products are made of ingredients derived directly from plants that have been cultivated without the use any chemical pesticides or fertilisers and contain no synthetic preservatives or additives.

Organic products are certified such that the end consumer can trace the origin of the farm where the ingredients were cultivated.

True organic products are hard to find as the low yield of plants cultivated without fertilizers makes them commercially unviable.

On the other hand a natural skincare product simply means that the ingredients are plant derived, cultivated with or without chemical interference, or they could alternatively mean that the ingredients are molecular clones of plant derivates.

Both products deliver the promise of the best natural ingredients for specific skincare.

Article excerpted from www.deccanchronicle.com

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Austria comes out top at organic trade fair

Austria’s producers came out top in the organic stakes at Nuremberg’s BioFach trade fair over the weekend. The event in Germany which hosted some 2,400 exhibitors, 100 of whom were from Austria, was a roaring success for the country’s organic industry whose products proved hugely popular.

“Here in Germany, the whole world has been very impressed by the quality of our products,” explained Katja Huber from the organic butchers Sonnberg in Upper Austria. Companies from around the world presented their produce at the four-day fair which has long been pioneering the organic sector.

“Organic food is completely established in everyday life in Austria thanks to the producers. The entire marketplace is continually moving upwards,” said managing director of AMA (Agarmarkt Austria Marketing) Dr. Stephan Mikinovic.

The world’s organic industry saw a turnover of 45 billion Euros last year with 21 billion Euros of that in Europe, a 228 per cent increase from the year 2000 all despite economic and financial crisis. “Despite all the talk of saving and crisis, our organic industry has survived well and in fact suffered no significant losses”, said Mikinovic.

The USA and Europe are currently leading the organic market with 10 million hectares of organic farmland being worked in Europe alone. When looking at organic share in relation to available arable land, Austria is a world leader with 20 per cent. Only the Falkland Islands and Liechtenstein have a higher organic share.

Over the course of the last year Austrians spent around 304 million Euros on organic products with fruit, milk and meat products proving popular. The drive from supermarkets to create their own organic lines hugely benefits Austrian farmers, suggested Rudolf Vierbauch from Bio-Austria. “Austria would never have this organic turnover if the chains behind the strategy didn’t promote organic products,” said Vierbauch.

Despite currently being at a lower level, experts predict the areas of Middle and Eastern Europe to have the greatest growth potential in the organic market. Organic turnover in Croatia for example has increased twenty fold in the last six years.

Article excerpted from www.austriantimes.at

5 Surprising Fashion Brands Going Organic

Organic cotton t-shirt from H&M;, photo via Nitrolicious

Most of us, when looking for organic, eco-friendly clothes, know enough to skip the mall; sustainable materials and mass-produced clothes with commercial appeal hardly ever overlap. But we guarantee you’ll know these five companies, who have enough recognition and reputation to do whatever they want and yet are choosing to incorporate organic materials and sustainable practices into their most popular items. Who knows? You may even have one (or all) of these stores at your local mall.

1. Victoria’s Secret

Photo via Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret has never been an especially green company, with the tons of catalogs sent out every month and the synthetic fiber blends. But over the last few years, in addition to greening the mass mailings, the brand has also introduced beauty products made with organic ingredients from mint to coffee beans—and now offers camisoles, pajama pants, thongs, and panties made from organic cotton. While the organic products are still just a teeny-tiny part of the overall VS empire, they are a step in the right direction.

2. Target

Photo via Target

Chain stores that try to be all things to all people—selling clothes, shoes, groceries, electronics, home goods, outdoor gear, sports equipment, and anything else you can think of—generally don’t have the motivation to offer green products, especially if it means raising the prices. But at Target, organic products show up everywhere, from bedsheets to baby clothes. And with their selection of women’s cropped pants, pajama pants, tank tops, and tees, you can choose eco-friendly impulse buys.

3. H&M;

Photo via Nitrolicious

Last year, H&M; used 1,500 tons of organic cotton for its spring line—this year, the company hopes to increase that amount by 50%. While you might not expect eco-friendly pieces at the retailer’s rock-bottom prices, the change makes sense: H&M; tends toward knockoffs of the season’s biggest trends, and with green more popular than ever, we’re glad to see them jumping on board.

4. Banana Republic

Photo via Banana Republic

The other brands owned by its parent company—Gap, Old Navy, and online shoe store Piperlime—haven’t been driving forces in the green movement, but that doesn’t mean that Banana Republic—the most luxurious of the four—can’t do its part. Boxes and bags include as much as 50% recycled material; stores are putting in place energy saving measures that cut usage by 41% last year; and 100% organic offerings include denim pants and cotton hoodies. A quick scan of the site showed plenty of products made with a small percentage of organic cotton (about 5%) alongside more conventional cotton (in as much as 90%). In the future, we hope the store continues to increase the organic component and set a standard for its sibling companies.

5. Nike

Photo via Nike

Although they got a bad reputation with the use of sweatshops, these days Nike has been doing more for the planet than you might think. In addition to the Reuse-a-Shoe program, which turns old sneakers into playground turf, and Nike Considered, an attempt to trim waste from production and switch to sustainable materials, the company offers 100% organic tees and hoodies, and aims to use at least 5% organic cotton in all its products by next year.

Article excerpted from www.treehugger.com

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