Q: You are hugely committed to living an organic lifestyle, and now launching in beauty – why beauty and why now?
A: I was inspired by the beauty of the countryside in this part of Wales, in particular Rhug Estate. Launching into beauty now seems a hard choice but I felt that everyone these days wants to know more about where their products come from, what goes into them and what the environmental impact might be. The Wild Beauty collection has a wonderful and unique story behind it because of all the beneficial ingredients we have found on the estate to use in it. These are hand-picked or harvested on the estate and chosen carefully for their beneficial attributes. We have tried to embrace everything that is sustainable and natural using glass bottles and recycled cardboard for packaging.
Q: What do you think of the organic clean beauty brand market and how does Wild Beauty fit within that?
A: The market for clean beauty is growing fast – customers want products that are toxin free, with traceable and sustainably sourced ingredients, presented in packaging which is as environmentally friendly as possible. We are applying the same organic and sustainable standards to our skincare collection that we do to our core business - organic, security of provenance, traceable, highest quality, healthy, natural and GM free. Wild Beauty embraces everything to do with this area of North Wales, mountains, rivers, fresh air, wild and beautiful.
Q: Who is the Wild Beauty customer?
A: Person who cares about the environment, who is aware of the impact their skincare purchases can have both on their skin and the environment. Someone who is looking for natural, organic, chemical-free and effective skincare products which will respect the natural balance of their skin whilst delivering results. Provenance is as important to them in their skincare as it is in their food. A person who is already aware of the Rhug Brand and everything it stands for.
Q: You already have your own green energy on the estate, a thriving organic farming business and now a fledgling beauty brand – what is next for Lord Newborough?
A: There will always be something, but the weight of my passion is what I am doing at the moment and doing it better and at the same time continue to grow our well respected Rhug Estate brand to further secure the future for Rhug Estate for generations to come. Work is my love and bringing employment to this rural part of North Wales is my reward.
Q: Do you have a grooming routine and if so, what is it?
A: In reality I should have thought about this long ago particularly knowing what I do now. Daily routine - believe it or not, I use the Nourishing Eye Cream with Elderflower, Treatment Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, Protecting Day Cream with Blue Tansy, Restorative Night Cream with Evening Primrose, once or twice a week the Replenishing Face Mask with Rhug Honey, body cream once a day and that's about it. I admit that even at my age I do see the benefits, so it's never too late!
Q: What is your favourite product from the collection?
A: I love the Nourishing Eye Cream with Elderflower - it works wonders on the bags under my eyes! My number one favourite is the Protecting Day Cream with Blue Tansy, it has a wonderful fragrance and rehydrates my dry skin.
Q: What is your favourite part of your day and why?
A: I am an early bird and love the mornings. I firmly believe that lifestyle has a lot to do with beauty and I like to work out every morning before walking to work. Morning time is inspirational, the sunrise, the birds singing, greeting everyone as they come into work and the general tranquillity of that time of day.
Q: What do you love about living on the Rhug Estate?
A: The sheer beauty of just living here - the rivers, the mountains, the fresh air, the wildlife, the seasons and the wildflowers in the Spring. The lifestyle opportunities are so much greater in the countryside. To work in this environment is a luxury in itself. This is my office - I am so lucky.
Q: How important is healthy living to you?
A: It is what life should be all about, as much as it is important to eat healthy organic food free from toxins, one also has the satisfaction of knowing that it is produced in an environmentally friendly way. I believe by creating our organic and natural skincare collection it will give people a real choice to use something that is produced in a way that is healthy, free from GMs, sustainable and truly beneficial. It is my belief that for too long people have been looking for a quick fix to their skin care when there is a wealth of other things to consider as well - lifestyle, environment, sleep and quality time to indulge in.... as you have slow food movement, there should be a new thinking of slow beauty which encompasses the same principles. Your body deserves looking after and healthy living is fundamental to this.
Q: What made you decide to convert the farm to organic farming when you took over from your father, it was a bold move?
A: There are so many scares about what we should eat and what is not good for us and the environment - I think it is foolhardy to ignore them all. The toxin residue in non- organically grown fruits and salads is quite frightening. Using chemicals to produce food is not good news; it is not good for the consumer and it is not good for the environment.
Sourcing anything organic in the 90's was difficult, so when my father died in 1998 my decision to go organic was made easy. It has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done and the Rhug Estate brand has grown from strength to strength. To see the Rhug Estate name on some of the most important menus in the world is proof in itself. Chefs want the highest quality products produced in the most sustainable way using the highest standards of animal-welfare – this is what organic farming is all about.
Q: You have been forward thinking for many years in your approach to sustainability. What was the driving force behind this decision to live and help others live more sustainably?
A: Working with what God gave us is key. There are no quick fixes to organic farming - you can't get the sprayer out, you can't use artificial fertiliser, everything has to be produced in the most natural way. It is understanding the benefits of clover, of herbs, the birds, the bees, wildflowers, trees and hedgerows as so much more. Did you know that organic grassland fixes the harmful carbon dioxide into the ground and 333 acres of organic grassland is equivalent to taking 117 cars off the road every year? If we are genuinely concerned about ensuring a better healthier world for future generations these are the things we must think about. Our Wild Beauty skincare collection embraces all these things, to me this is my passion and my belief creating something that holds all these values, this I believe is what our young deserve. This is the choice to provide a future for others.
Q: You are clearly very busy in your day to day business life. How do you achieve balance in life?
A: I like to keep fit by working out every morning as this makes me feel good at the start of every day. Having a dog means lots of walking and I love all sport - tennis, golf (with gritted teeth sometimes) and skiing. We are lucky enough to have a small house on an island in Croatia which we get to when time allows - this is my heaven, the sea, boating, friends to stay, lots of fun and eating delicious locally caught fish.
The reward of doing something you love doing and seeing the results of all one's hard work is very rewarding in itself. I am privileged to be doing something that I believe in and genuinely comes from my heart. I have a great team dedicated to what they do, they are my enlarged family, what more could one ask for in the balance of life.