In pursuit of sustainable rosehips
From bush to bottle, the power of our organic rosehip shouldn’t be underestimated.
Rosehip seed oil was used by the ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans due to its amazing benefits that are still relevant to our skincare today. Rosehips are packed full of nutrients, which are particularly prominent in our Wild Rose Collection.
Why our skin loves rosehip
A familiar ingredient within skincare, rosehip seed oil is an excellent source of vitamins and skin-nourishing fatty acids, both of which are important for keeping your skin soft, smooth and supple. Vitamin E is known to calm and hydrate the skin while vitamin A is known to improve skin tone and texture – and the benefits don’t end there. Rosehip seed oil is full of essential omegas 3, 6 and 9 which are known to promote the skin’s healthy repair and regeneration. This could explain the oil’s history of use for improving the appearance of scars and generally evening the skin’s tone and texture.
What is a rosehip?
Sometimes referred to as rose haw or rose hep, rosehips are the accessory fruit of the Rosa canina rose bush. The berry-like fruits are typically fiery red and orange in colour. They form after the successful pollination of the flowers, commonly known as Dog Roses, and ripen in late summer. These wonder-berries were the inspiration behind the Wild Rose collection, with rosehip seed oil being the key ingredient in our Wild Rose Beauty Balm and our new Wild Rose Skincare collection.
We've always known the power of the rosehip, so we embarked upon our journey towards finding the most sustainable source of these wonder-fruits well into the future, so that we can continue to produce the products, and results, that you love. In our pursuit of sustainable rosehips, we found ourselves in Serbia in 2016, where we've since been working with the local community.
Where do our rosehips come from?
“We source our sustainable rosehips from Serbia, where we work with the local community.”
The radiance-boosting rosehips that we use in our products grow wild on the hillsides of rural, south eastern Serbia, where they're handpicked by the local community surrounding the town of Svrljig, pronounced sver-lig. During harvest time, between September and November, this expanse of earth and greenery becomes a crimson tapestry, bejewelled by a carpet of rosehips. These fruits are a way of life here, while not edible straight from the plant, rosehips make delicious teas, jams, jellies and wines that are loved by the local community.
The collectors cut, blow and sieve the rosehips in order to separate the seeds from the shells. The seeds are then cold pressed in distilleries which helps to preserve their antioxidant properties. To ensure a sustainable harvest, year after year, our collectors only collect rosehips that grow above 1metre in height on established plants and always leave at least 10% of the fruit on the bush.
“100 local villagers handpick the rosehip.”
In Svrljig, our partners operate a family run business, who help us wild-harvest our rosehips amongst the 120 different herbs that they collect across south eastern Serbia. Around 100 local villagers handpick the rosehips during peak harvesting season and for many local families, this work provides invaluable income as most are operating in remote villages where unemployment is extremely high. The rosehips grow in remote valleys, so there are lots to pick, seeing as each fruit only contains between 10-15 seeds.
“It’s a good job for me, I enjoy nature and the plants. I find little joys, like the colour and shape of the rosehips, and the good weather!”
Dragana is not alone. These little berries spark joy at every stage of the process, from bush to bottle.
Not only are these unassuming fruits increasing the opportunity to work for an otherwise largely unemployed community, but they’re providing a degree of financial security and independence for the collectors too. Because of rosehips, families like Dragana’s are planning for the future. They can invest in their children’s education and secure a more comfortable life for themselves, all the while, doing work that they love, in a way that respects the environment that they’ve grown up in.
We source our ingredients in the most respectful way we can, paying due care and attention to the provenance, the community and the earth. This care and commitment continues at our eco-factory in Dorset, England, where our Wild Rose Beauty Balm, a customer favourite and hero of our Wild Rose Collection, is still hand poured surrounded by green fields and wildflowers. We do this so that you can continue to enjoy our products, safe in the knowledge that they’ve been produced with a genuine commitment to preservation and the utmost care.