In the early 80’s if I was near Covent Garden I would always make a point of stopping off at, what to me was a veritable cave of wonder – Neal’s Apothecary – at it was known in those days. Founded by natural health advocate, Romy Fraser I knew I would find something there to sooth, calm or just pamper with after an exhausting day.
Although I’ve lived at the other side of the world and travelled most of it, since then Neal’s Yard, as its now known, still has the same effect on me and the shop in the Victoria Quarter is my favourite pit stop – its become my haven of calm.
Inside Neal’s Yard you can find things to soothe, calm and pamper face, hair and body. There are things to help you sleep, make you feel uplifted, stress busters and things to help every single part of you function better and as you want it to – not forgetting refreshing blends of botanical tea to refresh your senses.
Neal’s Yard, as it was renamed in 1986, when it’s first shop outside London was opened, has come a long way since those early days in Covent Garden. But to me Neal’s Yard is a modern day apothecary that uses organic ingredients combined with cutting edge technology.
It now has a global presence across five continents but yet has not lost sight of its early ethos to formulate natural and effective beauty products in a way that is sustainable, ethical and fair.
Fast forward from my days in London to 2006 when Romy Fraser thought the time was right to move on to new projects close to her heart. It was then that Neal’s Yard was bought by organic advocates the Kindersley family, who have taken it forward and brought their devotion to sustainability to the Neal’s Yard Remedies community.
Anabel Kindersley, one of the owners, is passionate about the company and its products “This company is very special to us and we’re proud to create award winning beauty products that are natural organic and ethical”, she says.
A sentiment echoed by Ben Kindersley “It’s been a great journey from becoming the UK’s first certified organic health and beauty brand to helping ban plastic microbeads. We are all passionate advocates of organic living and we want to help people lead happier, healthier lives and protect our beautiful planet”, he adds.
The company’s eco-factory in Dorset is surrounded by organic gardens, fields and meadows which form part of the many ingredients it uses in its products.
But some ingredients are sourced from further afield. They sustainability source wild rosehips from northern Serbia for their cult Wild Rose Beauty Balm providing income for the 100 local villagers who handpick the rosehips.
Their amazing Frankinsense products are part of Project Frankinsense to initiate and cultivate Boswellia sacra seedings and safeguard the future of this tree.
And being eco friendly it doesn’t stop at the products. Their blue bottles protect products from U.V. which means they can create purer products with fewer preservative.
Neal’s Yard has never tested on animals and in 20l4 was the first health and beauty brand to score 100 out of 100 for ethics by the Ethical Company Organisation and has been certified carbon neutral for the last ten years.
At the Leeds boutique there are tranquil therapy rooms that provide a beautiful menu of treatments from facials to numerous types of massage, reflexology, shiatsu and homeopathy delivered by experts in their field.
But unfortunately due to the present Government regulations the therapy rooms are closed at the moment.
The latest range of products are a testament to their love of everything natural. The Bee Lovely Collection.
This is a nourishing, skin conditioning range that is rich in protective antioxidants. It is made from ethically sourced organic honey from Mexico.
This helps indigenous farming communities in hard to access villages to sell their honey through an ethical cooperative, ensuring fair trading conditions.
“Fair honey trading is very important as it means the communities are no longer solely reliant on coffee farming”, says Susan Curtis, Senior Brand Ambassador at Neal’s Yard Remedies. “As the honey is certified organic it means that the farmers and the bees are living on land not exposed to synthetic chemicals and so are as healthy as possible, an important part of our campaign to Help Save The Bees”.
The Be Lovely Collection includes an All Over Balm, Body Butter, Body Lotion & Shower Gel, Hand Wash & Hand Cream and Lip Product. There’s also a Nourishing Collection gift box.
Like all Neal’s Yard Products this is available on line at https://www.nealsyardremedies.com/store-finder
OR from the Leeds Boutique when it opens very soon.