What is Biodynamics? And how a beauty company gets the best products
By Rachel Grunwell
Making great natural beauty products with quality ingredients is key.
But what’s also important for the creators of the Dr.Hauschka products is caring about having holistic, ethical and socially responsible practices.
In essence, Dr.Hauschka cares about everything from the start to the finish: From the soil quality and environment in which they grow their crops – to the sumptuous products you take home and enjoy in your home.
The scientific term for this is called “biodynamics”. Essentially the term means all of the above, but so much more.
Biodynamics is similar to organic farming. It was first developed in the early 1920s thanks to the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr. Rudolf Steiner, whose philosophy is called “anthroposophy”. This philosophy centres on things like using natural means and holistic methods to optimise wellbeing. He believes in a natural relationship between natural science, modern science and spiritual science, nurturing the soul of individuals, but also society, along the way.
Steiner believes everything is interlinked including soil fertility, the way you grow plants using non-chemical means and self-made compost, to how the environment is nurtured to attract insects into the garden. His beliefs extend to using the astrological sowing and planting calendar and using ecologically-sustainable and socially-responsible business practices. So any workers involved too are treated with integrity.
Biodynamics is at the heart of why Dr.Hauschka has their very own gardens of about 4.5 hectares in Eckwalden, Germany, where around 150 different high-grade medicinal plants are grown. Here they can control what goes into the soil and manage it naturally including having more than 25 composts where all the residue plant debris and things like grass clippings can be returned back into high-quality soil that revitalises and rebalances the land.
Dr.Hauschka focus on renewable resources and works around natural cycles.
On the land, they nurture what they can grow successfully and what thrives in this environment. For example, they cultivate noble roses and common daisies because this is where they thrive and they are rewarded with bumper crops. They also obtain almost all of the seeds for the next year’s crops from these plants.
Here they can also control a natural ecosystem so they know they have the best environment to produce the best quality natural raw materials. This is why the Dr.Hauschka products that contain lavender for example, smell like a field of lavender when you open a bottle. It’s real lavender and it’s of the highest quality.
Meanwhile, the Dr.Hauschka company knows that to get the best crops of some plants that they must be grown in other habitats. So they partner with other like-minded suppliers. An example is gathering shea butter from a producer in West Africa, castor oil from India and some roses from Turkey and Afghanistan.
A plant example which can not be grown optimally in the Dr.Hauschka gardens is Eyebright, which is used in some Dr. Hauschka products like Eye Solace, mascara and eyeliner.So the company commissions a wild collector, with a relevant collection permit, to harvest these plants in Vosges Mountains in France – at an altitude of 1,200metres. This collector never harvests the entire meadow and regularly changes the collection sites. This ensures that the plants are never depleted.
Meanwhile biodynamics is growing globally. Thousands of farms, gardens, vineyards and agricultural businesses now follow the inspirational business and holistic model. Perhaps this is a result of customers increasingly asking questions about how products are made and what exactly is in them.
So next time you open one of the Dr. Hauschka products, don’t just savour the sensational smells and incredible benefits of these beautiful products, celebrate the fact you are using a great brand that also cares about doing good.
Rachel is a professional wellbeing writer and columnist, marathoner and yoga teacher. She’s the director of Inspired Health.
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