My name is Wendy Stirling. I launched botanicals in 2004 after one of my daughters suffered a severe skin reaction to a natural-sounding 'herbal' shampoo.
I tend to be a careful shopper, preferring to buy organic products where possible. The label on this shampoo said it contained 'high quality ingredients derived from pure renewable plant sources', as well as 'herbs grown under certified organic conditions - no petrochemicals or pesticides'.
Checking the ingredients
I was so concerned by my nine-year-old daughter’s reaction, that I took a closer look at the ingredients list on the label.
At the time, it read like a foreign language, so I did some research, and bought the book; “Don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me”.
I was shocked to find that the shampoo was full of potentially harmful detergents (SLS and SLES) and parabens (chemical preservatives)..
The tiny amount of herbal ingredients used may well have been grown under organic conditions, with no petrochemicals, but the shampoo itself was full of them.
On trying to source more natural alternatives, I found there were very few producers of truly natural products in the UK. I also discovered that large commercial brands find it very difficult to offer completely natural products because:
- Cost and shelf life dictates a product's ingredients - rather than consumer and environmental health and well-being.
- Consistency in colour and fragrance is difficult to achieve - no two natural growing plants are identical.
- There aren't enough specialist suppliers to provide large retailers with sufficient stocks of plant-based ingredients.
I was so incensed by what has since become known as ‘green-washing’, that I became absorbed in the subject – visiting trade events, researching regulatory compliance and developing and testing my own natural products.
This all lead a year later to the launch of Botanicals. My husband is a graphic designer, and he created both the website and the label designs - which at the time was valuable (and cheap!) help.
All these years later, our multi-award winning products are still made with love and care in small batches – I believe that mass production would destroy the active botanical properties that make Botanicals products so different and which deliver such amazing results.
Most of our products are naturally preserved - to ensure high quality and optimum shelf life (usually two years), and they are sold direct to the consumer via this website, or through specialist retailers. (You won’t find Botanicals products in High Street Multiples.)
All Botanical's products have been professionally formulated and tested, are certified by the Soil Association, and of course comply fully with the European Cosmetic (Safety) Regulations.
I'm always very grateful for any advice, suggestions or feed-back (although I can't always promise to respond straight away!). If you'd like to get in touch, please use the Botanicals Botanicals contact form.