Alexander Hartan is the founder of the vegan and sustainable cosmetics brand Studio Botanic. He gave us an insight into how the company was founded, what needs to be considered when certifying a cosmetic product and explained to us to what extent his guiding principle "Less is more" is reflected in his corporate philosophy.
Photo: © Albrecht Fuchs
Alexander, how did you come up with the idea of founding Studio Botanic?
Based on my personal history, I have had contact with the manufacture of cosmetic products since I was a child. During my studies and in my professional life there were further encounters with conventional and natural cosmetics, in the marketing of ingredient suppliers and cosmetics companies directly. These experiences led me to the point of realizing my knowledge in my own brand. I wanted to produce vegan natural cosmetics in a minimalist design, with the claim that less is more. Something I have so far missed on the German market. This is how STUDIO BOTANIC came about.
What does the brand stand for and what is your corporate philosophy?
Nowadays, when you start a new cosmetics brand, you naturally focus heavily on social and ecological factors, and this goes hand in hand with the idea of vegans, the natural and organic. This asks for a fundamental basis for us, which we associate with the idea "less is more". In addition, there is a timeless, minimalist design - off black on a white background and simple packaging materials, which underline this design claim. We are pursuing the goal of new formulations for cosmetic products of daily use, which rely on innovative natural ingredients.
How are the products made and where do the materials come from?
We produce our products exclusively in Germany. Of course, our products and their ingredients have not been tested on animals. Most of the raw materials from which the ingredients for our products are made come from Germany or other European countries. For the raw materials from overseas, we also pay attention to sustainable production and, if possible, buy ingredients from organic farming. We buy packaging materials from German suppliers and producers. The folding boxes for our creams, for example, are made from FSC-certified paper by Gmund Papier am Tegernsee. Our aluminum tubes, which give the creams optimal shelf life, are 100% recyclable and a large part of the aluminum production is made from recycled aluminium.
You sell certified natural cosmetics. Was it very important to you to be certified and how was the way to get there?
Our products are usually certified by Natrue and by the Vegan Society. We want to use an external authority to confirm that we are guaranteed to be vegan and natural. The certification is sometimes complicated and must be taken into account during the development of the products. However, this also gives the consumer the security that the products were made 100% from plants and that no animal suffering was caused. An experienced person can recognize a supposedly herbal / vegan product by reading the list of ingredients. A list of ingredients can already recognize this with more precise knowledge of the substance names. However, not all factors involved in the production of an ingredient are revealed in this way. Even an ingredient app can only give the consumer an overview of an ingredient, it does not know all the facts of production. The certifiers check further documents and information from the raw material suppliers in the sense of their certificate. Only in this way is there a better guarantee for the consumer to actually purchase purely vegan natural natural cosmetics.
Where do you see the biggest challenge in building and maintaining a sustainable cosmetics company?
We always think very carefully about which product to tackle next and how we can differentiate ourselves from other products – what we can do better. As a small natural cosmetics company, we always hope for sustainable innovations from our suppliers in the area of ingredients and packaging, which we would then like to transfer to our products. Due to our starting position, we are already working in the sense of sustainability.
Thank you for the nice and interesting interview, Alexander!
Photos: © Studio Botanic