True Stories

Ute Leube, co-founder of PRIMAVERA LIFE GmbH

Photo: Ute Leube, PRIMAVERA LIFE GmbH

Ute Leube, co-founder and member of the advisory board of the German natural and organic aromatherapy and cosmetic company PRIMAVERA LIFE GmbH, started blending her own natural and organic cosmetics when she was a teenager. Her fascination for essential and plant oils led to the creation of PRIMAVERA in 1986. Along with the development of massage oils, which were ones of the first in the market that were certified as organic, PRIMAVERA also developed in its early years balms and emulsions used particularly in aromatherapy. In the nineties, after some internal changes, PRIMAVERA changed into PRIMAVERA LIFE GmbH, co-founded by Ute Leube and Kurt Ludwig Nübling.

Today, after over 30 years in the market, PRIMAVERA is a leading example in the natural and organic cosmetics sector for their conscious and respectful commitment with the environment, nature and humankind. With over 300 products in the market, PRIMAVERA is nowadays a consolidated and trusted brand in the natural and organic cosmetic sector in Europe and worldwide.

NATRUE: PRIMAVERA is one of NATRUE’s founding members and a benchmark company in the natural and organic cosmetic sector in Europe. What values do you think that PRIMAVERA brought into NATRUE’s creation?
Ute Leube: PRIMAVERA is a pioneer and expert company in natural and organic essential oils, plant oils and hydrosols, all essential ingredients in the natural and organic cosmetic sector. Our philosophy since the beginning of our activity is to protect nature and to offer true natural and organic products with authentic cosmetic benefits. These core values of transparency and authenticity can also be found in NATRUE’s label.

PRIMAVERA is committed to supporting NATRUE since the association’s creation in 2007. We contribute to NATRUE’s work by transferring our knowledge and experience so that EU regulations impacting cosmetics are shaped taking into account the high standards for quality, transparency and rigor that the NATRUE’s label represents.

NATRUE: Why did the pioneers of the natural and organic cosmetic industry in Europe decide to join forces and create NATRUE? What were the other existing certifications missing that made it necessary for NATRUE to be created?
Ute Leube: At some point, all NATRUE founding members realized that we all had the same issues: natural raw materials were being taken off from the market in an indiscriminate way (for example, based on the results of a single study or becoming exclusively used by the pharmaceutical industry). On top of this, greenwashing was ever-growing and undermining consumers’ belief in natural and organic cosmetic products, and the great number of unspecific labels did not help consumers to recognize truly natural and organic cosmetic products. We decided then to create NATRUE so it could be the voice of authentic natural and organic cosmetics in Europe.

NATRUE: How was the NATRUE Label created?
Ute Leube: NATRUE’s label was created in 2008, one year after the creation of the association. Shortly after NATRUE’s creation, we started to discuss in detail what consumers really expect from a product that is classified as “natural and organic” and what was the common ground that we could all agree on. We agreed that it was necessary to create a rigorous standard for truly natural and organic cosmetic products in order to establish a benchmark to protect and promote authentic natural and organic cosmetic. The result of our discussions was the creation of the NATRUE label’s criteria, which set a minimum of strict, basic principles to formulate natural and organic cosmetics. Many NATRUE members, such as PRIMAVERA, can and do in practice go beyond this benchmark, showing their commitment to offer consumers authentic natural and organic cosmetic products.

NATRUE: How do you think that the natural and organic cosmetics sector has changed in the last 10 years?
Ute Leube: It has changed dramatically. Consumers have become more aware of the importance of sustainability when purchasing products. They also have now more means to be better informed than 10 years ago, and they deeply care about what they put on their skin. Consumers do not search only quality anymore; they also want transparency and diversity of products.

NATRUE: What would you say to brands that want to join NATRUE? And to consumers that look for truly natural and organic cosmetic products?
Ute Leube: NATRUE works closely with decision makers within the EU institutions and international organisations in order to protect and promote the interests of all NATRUE members and label users, as well as producers and consumers. Particularly for consumers, NATRUE labelled products represent the guarantee of a right choice to support a strong definition and benchmark for authentic natural and organic cosmetic products.

NATRUE invites all natural and organic cosmetic companies that share our values to join us. The more we are, the more our voice can be heard.

Download this interview here.