Vallon-Pont-d'Arc
Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in The Ardeche

Over at the Melvita factory (let me see my favourite products on the production line and I am happy!), which for a factory that employs over 400 people blends quite remarkably into the countryside – in part, thanks to a roof garden with over 2,600 plants used for research and as a bee haven – we looked at just how ecologically sound Melvita production is.

Soap Starts Like This..
Soap Starts Like This..
Then it goes into this..
Then it goes into this..
And miraculously ends up like this (below)!

 

We stopped by processing, bottling, and the soap room (sneeze-making!), as well as the labs. I think if you consciously want to buy into eco products, it’s important to know the roots of the products. 80sq metres of solar panels saves 1.5% of electricity consumption; twelve light wells save a further 5% of electricity, while a rainwater recovery system (and they get a lot of rain!) is used to water the roof. These are just a few examples of how a building can begin to sustain itself and not leach from the environment. Every possible recycling, energy conserving, wastage preventing measure is in place.

The Flower Roof
The Flower Roof

As for the products, the Melvita remit is that a product has to perform well. Not ‘well for an organic or natural product’, just well in its own right. Melvita isn’t really an over-promiser. While there are some extremely complex products (notably Apicosma Ultra Nourishing Cream which contain the two key ingredients my skin loves most; argan and hyaluronic as well as royal jelly and a triple honey complex) it doesn’t over-complicate things. I get the impression that Melvita understands the importance of enjoying beauty products rather than be held to ransom by them. In the lab we looked at a forthcoming product – it was being churned around in an attempt to find a formula that would do what they wanted it to do (in this case become loose enough, but still effective enough, to be sprayable). This product, should they find a way to get it doing all the things it needs to be doing, isn’t even destined for shelves for two years because that’s how long they think it will take to finalise and test the perfect formula. Another thing that I had never thought about is that the recyclable packaging (often made from recycled materials) isn’t as stable as other packaging, meaning that ingredients can erode the bottle. So not only does the formula of a cream have to be skin compatible, it also has to be packaging compatible. A product can get all the way down the line in terms of formula and then halted because it isn’t compatible with packaging. Who knew?

Production Line
Production Line

So, to conclude, behind the scenes at Melvita is definitely an education: I know more now about how soap is made, products conceived and brought to life and about how a brand can fit into its environment sympathetically. I also know that there is a brand new micellar water coming in October and a rose scented BB cream any minute now! Result.

Melvita Micellar
Forthcoming Melvita Micellar

Interesting Fact of the Day: The best selling range is Asia is the floral waters, in the UK it’s the Naturalift range and in Eastern Europe it’s the Intimate Hygiene Wash.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.