Our story: we couldn’t find a complete range of natural skincare, toiletry and laundry products, so we developed our own
‘We grow all the ingredients we use in our products, which we make in a small barn on our own bio-dynamic farm.’
‘We are concerned parents who gave up our careers in public relations in order to create a natural shampoo for our own children, who have very sensitive skin, and which we are now offering for sale (the shampoo not the children).’
‘Our grandmother taught us how to make our products using secret family recipes passed down from generation to generation for over 200 years.
The fact is, if you want to launch an artisanal skincare business nowadays (and it is a terrifically trendy thing to do) it is as well to develop an intriguing backstory in order to differentiate yourself from the considerable competition. (It also helps if you are photogenic and have a famous relative).
The real Wild & Precious backstory lacks romance, but I’d prefer to explain exactly what happened, as it will give you a better idea of what we believe in and the principles by which we run our business.
In 2012, I bought a science magazine to read on a plane and came across an article about the huge volume of manmade, synthetic chemicals contained in everyday products such as moisturiser, underarm deodorant and shampoo. Every year, it transpired, our bodies absorb hundreds and maybe thousands of these chemicals, many of which have been shown to harm human health (not to mention the environment). Some oncologists believe that the increased incidence of cancer in the developed world is, in part, due to the 13,000 plus chemicals used in skincare, beauty and toiletry products. Very little research has been done into how the artificial chemicals inside our bodies interact. At the conclusion of the article, its author warned readers that almost without exception manufacturers – including producers of so-called ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ products – substantially mislead their customers. The takeaway was: ‘You are being poisoned and lied to, trust no one.’
I was upset by what I had read. I can’t honestly say that my body is a temple (it resembles something closer to a lean-to shed) but I try to look after my health. I decided that I would give up using harmful skincare, toiletry and laundry products and would switch to less damaging alternatives. What I wanted, ideally, was to be able to get everything I required from a single source. I quickly discovered that this was not feasible. Only a handful of products met my criteria and they came from several different countries.
Next, I considered not buying any products at all. You may have heard that if you don’t wash your hair (not that I have any) for several months it stops smelling and starts to look wonderful. Also, that it is possible to moisturise your skin with olive oil, whiten your teeth with apple cider vinegar and mask your body odours with lemon juice. I admire people willing to go to such extremes, but I didn’t fancy it and I couldn’t see any of my children going for it, either. Anyway, I feel that one’s skincare and personal hygiene routine should be a pleasure – something to be enjoyed – which rules out ingredients better used to dress a salad, clean an oven or add flavour to a gin and tonic.
By this point, I had read a great number of extremely disturbing books about manmade chemicals and frequently found myself dwelling on the awful cocktail that I knew was brewing inside me. Since I was unqualified to make my own skincare and toiletry products, I determined that I would get someone else – someone really knowledgeable – to make them for me.
The team that ended up working on the project included a medical herbalist, a farmer, a homeopathic vet, a woman who made her own shampoo using wild harvested roots and sold it at farmer’s markets, a doctor, two escapees from the cosmetic industry, a solicitor, a… but you get the picture. Lots of different people, each bringing different skills and knowledge. What they (I can take no credit) have created is a range of everything you need to:
- moisturise your face, hands and body
- shampoo and condition your hair
- wash your hands and body
- balm your lips
- keep your underarms fragrant
- brush your teeth
- launder your clothes
All of these products are effective, natural and – crucially – lovely to use.
This, then, is how Wild & Precious came about. It is very much a collaborative effort.
Most businesses want growth, growth and more growth. Wild & Precious is a little different. Its primary goal is to educate consumers and offer them viable options. A secondary goal is to show other producers and manufacturers that they don’t have to damage human health and the environment.
I am speaking for all those involved when I say that more than anything the Wild & Precious team would, at this stage, like feedback. Whether you decide to become a customer or not, please contact Wild & Precious with your ideas and thoughts. If you do want to try some of the products then please sign up to be a Friend, not only for the 50% saving, but also because it will allow you to participate in Wild & Precious’s future plans.
One of the Founders
PS One final, but important point about our pricing policy. We believe that certified organic, handmade skincare, toiletry and laundry products ought to be affordable. We pass on the savings we make by not spending money on advertising or marketing and by not having to pay wholesalers and retailers to stock our products. For example, we have seen less pure, less effective facial oils costing 700% more than ours for the same volume. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy products made using the highest possible quality of ingredients.