Beauty & Wellbeing

VOYA: Organic from its origin

Mark and Kira Walton, founders of Irish skincare brand VOYA Organic Beauty, discuss how the brand’s ethical approach protects the environment and offers peace of mind for its customers


By David Fagan

23 August 2020

Please tell us a little about VOYA’s ‘organic philosophy’ and how it is reflected across your business?

Our organic philosopy has always been a core part of our DNA and it impacts every single aspect of our operation. This includes using certified organic ingredients, ethical manufacturing processes, sustainable packaging and energy – even how we ship our products and how we travel for business.

When we created VOYA Organic Beauty it was important to us that our customers knew we were held accountable to the highest standards, which we considered to be represented by the UK’s Soil Association.

At the time, it was a lot of hard work researching organic ingredients and formulations, and we were delighted to achieve accreditation. We continue to strive to not only hit all of their standards, but to exceed them.

VOYA Organic Beauty was founded in 2006 by Mark and Kira Walton

Speaking of external accreditation, what is the COSMOS standard?

COSMOS is managed by a not-for-profit, international and independent association based in Brussels. Its founding members include Germany’s BDIH, Cosmebio and Ecocert in France, ICEA in Italy and the UK’s Soil Association. The COSMOS stamp, which VOYA products carry, is a guarantee to consumers that cosmetics carrying that symbol are sustainable as well as certified organic or natural.

Voyas COSMOS certification ensures customers that its products are ethically sourced

How does VOYA ensure its products are produced in an eco-friendly way?

All of the seaweed that we use is sustainably hand-harvested along the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Mechanical harvesting damages the reefs and indiscriminately culls all seaweed, but we carefully select the species to harvest, then only cut a portion of the plant. This allows it to regrow within 12-18 months.

We also partner with The World Land Trust, an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats. Its Carbon Balanced programme enables us to offset our residual greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and restoration of carbon-rich wildlife habitats in the tropics. In addition, we sponsor the Seal Sanctuary, a registered charity dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned seals along the coast of Ireland.

Is your packaging sustainable, too?

We have been using post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR) in our packaging for over a decade and from June this year our amenities range bottles will be 100% PCR. We select glass where we can for our primary packaging, secured with biodegradable corn starch chips. FSC algae board containing seaweed is used for our secondary packaging, and we specify water-based soluble ink for printing purposes.

Ultimately, our goal is to use plant-based biodegradable plastic alternatives, but the technology is not there yet to give us the shelf life that we require.

What is the future for ethical skincare?

Clean beauty, green beauty and blue beauty are all terms that have seen a rise in popularity over recent years. Our ethos has always fitted all of these categories, but we are constantly seeking to make our brand a more sustainable and results-driven proposition.

In 2020, we will be taking a strategic look at our entire skincare range and making key decisions on where we can lessen our environmental impact. We believe that less is more and simple, effective, ingredient-driven skincare is the way forward for both spas and their guests.

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