Natural & Organic Products Europe 2013 – our first visit!
On Sunday 7th April we made our first visit to the trade show, Natural & Organic Products Europe at Olympia in London. Having been aware of this show for many years, it was so exciting to finally be eligible for tickets. We had high expectations and we weren’t disappointed!
We did some preparation beforehand, checked out some of the exhibitors in the natural beauty & spa and worked out which stands we absolutely had to visit and then, notebook in hand, set off excitedly for London.
What we always have to bear in mind is that a natural or organic skincare product may still not be suitable for Vegetarians or Vegans so label reading is still a requirement. A frustrating thing we came across when doing the research before our visit was the number of companies that don’t list the ingredients in their skincare and beauty products on their website. We’ve found that it’s a particular failing of our American cousins. FYI, we don’t care how natural or organic you declare you are and what ingredients you say you’re ‘free from’, if you don’t list your ingredients we automatically think you’ve got something to hide! One such company, when I got my hands on a product to check, had talc as the first ingredient in a facial scrub. Though a natural ingredient it is on our avoid list so it just confirmed our bad feeling about the brand.
When we arrived at Olympia, instead of making our way to the Natural Beauty & Spa area we got distracted by a bit of food sampling in the Natural Food Show area. Well, it would have been rude not too, right? From a personal perspective it was fantastic to see so many brands I’ve read about and also get to taste the products too. The Vegan Society pavilion was excellent and so were their goody bags! We had a chat about what we could and couldn’t do regarding advertising in the Vegan Society magazine (given that we’re a Vegetarian company not Vegan) so it was a wholly worthwhile visit. Then we took a little walk across to the Vegetarian Society stand and had a chat with the ladies there who were absolutely lovely, they gave us a heads up that the food & drink samples would change later on so we paid them another visit before we left! I didn’t get a warning about the 9 Bar firecracker chilli sample though, one minute I was talking about Vegsoc approved, the next I needed a drink, urgently!!
After our little ‘detour’ we made our way to the area we’d really come to visit. Straight away in the Natural Beauty and Spa we came across a brand we hadn’t spotted in the guide, Naturally Cool Kids, we’ll definitely be investigating them a little more. It was lovely to see smaller, newer brands like this rubbing shoulders with the more established in the natural beauty arena. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the faces behind the brands and finally say hello in person to some of the people we’ve been dealing with for the last year or so. We got to try out the new sensitive range from Alva (a selection of these are on their way to us now!) and sample, sniff, ohh and ahh over many different brands of natural and organic skincare, haircare and make up. The difficult bit now is deciding what to stock!!
We also sat in on a couple of the seminars in the Natural Beauty & Spa theatre, it was a pity we didn’t have time to attend all of them because there’s always something new to learn. I found myself nodding in agreement with everything Judy Beerling from Organic Monitor had to say about natural and organic beauty claims. Her seminar just confirmed that we’re right to always read the label on the back before paying too much attention to the label on the front.
All in all it was a thoroughly positive experience which confirmed that we are working in the best industry in the whole wide world 😀
Did you get to go to the Natural & Organic Products show? What did you think? What brands did you see that you think we should stock?
We are I Choose What I Use, the 100% vegan (as of 1 May 2015), cruelty free, natural and organic beauty and skin care online store.
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