Sustainable Beauty

By producing organic, biodynamic and sustainable beauty products, Oway has paved the way for a new, made–in-Italy way for the cosmetic industry. From Bologna to the world

  • Sustainable Beauty
  • Sustainable Beauty
  • Sustainable Beauty

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.
SJ: It appears that the Oway concept goes far beyond the product: it is a vision, a lifestyle. 
LL: We call it Organic Way of Life: we like the idea of ​​promoting a healthy and positive lifestyle. Starting from our work environment, because a pleasant working environment is a necessary condition for what we do. In addition to this, we have opted for renewable energy, electric company cars and eco-sustainable furnishings. We recycle, offer yoga lessons in the office, and collaborate with local farms to bring organic, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables directly to our headquarters. By cooperating with international fair trade organizations, we support the economic and social development of local communities in strivng countries helping them access the market by using precious plants from Africa, South America, Indonesia, Indochina and Aboriginal Australia to obtain botanical extracts and oils. Finally, we support the Ocean Cleanup project, Boyan Slat's incredible sea cleaning enterprise.
How does the Organic Way of Life translate into your personal lifestyle?
LL: I commit to dedicating some time to all the things that take me back to a "slow" dimension: I perform breathing exercises every morning, and in my spare time I practice Chinese calligraphy and engage in farming activities at Ortofficina. A real blessing both for the mind and the body.

Author : The Slowear Journal


Okay  | Bologna  | cosmetics  | biodynamic  | sustainability  | Rolland  |

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