Tracing the origins of a cosmetic product and learning about how it is made is no easy task, but Oway – short for Organic Way - has made traceability and transparency its two distinctive features, the ones that define its own identity.
Everything can be traced back to Bologna, or rather to the Bolognese hills: here, Oway - a brand of the local cosmetics group Rolland, a historic manufacturer of natural essences – has established its Ortofficina, a 50,000 square meter field where it grows the officinal plants from which its zero-mile oils and plant extracts are made and turned into beauty products.
The plants are grown according to the biodynamic method, a type of cultivation which considers the soil as a living organism and aims at finding the perfect harmony between nature, soil and manto obtain healthy, vital and strong fruits and plants without relying on chemicals.
We spoke to Luca Laganà, Managing Director at Rolland and a member of the family which founded the company some 60 years ago.
SJ: Can you tell us about the Oway's origins?
LL: Rolland's evolution towards the Organic Way began around the nineties, with the transition to organic and later biodynamic agriculture. For over 25 years we have been working on formulas rich in organic ingredients, and experiencing the Organic Way values in our everyday life, "cultivating" the idea of an ethical and sustainable beauty able to promote positive values both for the people and the environment. Today, we create our cosmetics and design our products with a sustainable approach towards every stage of their life cycle, up to the final reuse of containers. We have been the first company in the beauty industry to completely eliminate plastic from all containers and choose 100% recyclable glass and aluminum.
SJ: Today, real innovation lies in a return to nature and purity. Is this also true for the cosmetic industry?
LL: Considering that external beauty is also influenced by how we feel, by our physical and psychological health and by what we receive from the environment, we must always strive for balance. Even in cosmetics: we need to go back to pure nature, essential oils, hydrolytes, vegetable extracts rich in nutritional properties, and combine them with the active principles that science provides us with, the safest and most effective ones. When we conceive a product and its packaging, we have to find a way to minimize its impact on the environment, all along its life cycle. In a sense, I agree that this is a return to a healthier past - but with a look to the future, and with the help of the tools that science and research are offering us.