Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, the leading international exhibition for cosmetics and beauty, was held on 20-23 March at BolognaFiere, a huge exhibition centre in the north of the beautiful Italian city of Bologna.
Siam Botanicals was there, with a stand in the Thai ‘Country Pavilion’. We always like to stand out in a crowd (and there was certainly a big crowd at Cosmoprof, with nearly 2,500 exhibitors and 248,000 visitors over four days!) so, in contrast with the clean, white, bright, clinical stands all around us, we went for something altogether more colourful!
It certainly made people sit up and notice us! What do you think?
The Siam Botanicals team at Cosmoprof
Here’s our crack team of Siam Botanicals experts, who were on hand at Cosmoprof to talk to anyone and everyone about 100% natural skincare!
We were able to take a little time out to wander around the exhibition. It’s a huge event that attracts all the major names in hair, make-up and beauty and is certainly not specifically targeted to the green market. There was, however, a ‘Green Pavilion’, so we headed straight there to check out what our competitors are up to!
This will come as no surprise to many of you, but we couldn’t help but notice the amount of greenwashing going on. Products that are loudly and proudly advertised as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ were anything but; when we pointed out a dodgy ingredient listed on a product billing itself as 100% natural, the rep said ‘well, there’s only a tiny bit of that in it’. Riiiiiight. So… 100% natural – apart from the synthetic bits!
When we asked one salesman what the ingredients were in one of his hand creams, he looked baffled and replied ‘I have no idea!!’, as if it was the craziest question he’d ever heard. Funny – I would have thought that one of the key selling points of a genuinely natural hand cream would be its ingredients…
Another product had ‘100% ORGANIC’ emblazoned across it in huge letters, and then underneath, in a tiny, almost unreadable font, ‘lavender essential oil’. When pressed as to whether the WHOLE product was organic or JUST the lavender essential oil (which would of course constitute a TINY percentage of the total ingredients), the representatives were evasive – or perhaps they have themselves been misled and didn’t know the answer).
At Siam Botanicals we don’t have a problem with companies using synthetic ingredients, or consumers choosing to use those products – IF the information about what’s in them is freely available and not masked behind a mass of misleading marketing. As we’ve discussed before, everybody has their own personal limits of acceptability, and we do not believe in scaremongering about artificial chemicals. We just wish that terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ weren’t bandied around quite as freely (and untruthfully) as they are. Still – at least it shows that the appetite for cleaner, greener products is growing, and that’s a good thing.
Anyway… I’ll get off my soapbox now!
When the working day was over, we had a bit of time to explore Bologna. It’s a lovely city, the region’s capital, with a rich history. It is home to the oldest university in Europe, founded in 1088. It also takes its food very seriously; in fact, it is considered by many to be the food capital of Italy. It’s well worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to Italy! We stayed in this lovely apartment within walking distance of the historic centre. If you’d prefer a rural, off-the-beaten-track base that’s still within reach of Bologna and the other main cities of Emilia Romagna, we can also recommend these properties in the Appennini mountains (full disclosure: they are owned by the founder of Siam Botanicals and so – added bonus – all the toiletries provided are our own!).
Siam Botanicals in Europe
The exhibition marked our first foray into the European market, and the interest in our products certainly reflected the fact that natural, clean, green skincare is rapidly becoming much more than just a ‘niche’. We hope to share more news with you soon about the availability of Siam Botanicals in Europe! Watch this space…
Were you at the show as an exhibitor or a visitor? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.