Eco Interiors, article from Natural Beauty Yearbook 2011

Uniquely Organic EcoSpa in Hove, East Sussex is an eco day spa with a difference. From fair trade furniture to eco paints on the walls, this recently opened 2010 venture is proud of its green principles, as well as its progressive organic beauty ranges.

“We are a new business, so we implemented our eco principles right from the start” says owner, Kirsty Taylor. “All of the products we sell in our shop and use in treatments are certified organic, as are the towels and fragrances used to create the serene ambience in the spa. It was very important to us to show our clients that organic can be glamorous and highly effective, so through our products we have managed to put together a completely organic treatment list.”

And this ethos is carried through the entire spa experience via staff training, so that all staff fully know the product ranges and are confident about passing on relevant information to clients, says Taylor.

“It won’t take customers long to realise that to nurture and heal the body, holistic and beauty treatments need to be combined with organic products,” she says, “otherwise the products used completely contradict the true nature of the treatments.”

Products used

An important point of difference that’s sets Uniquely Organic EcoSpa apart from other spas is its decision to not only carry purely organic products, but to ensure that those products also carry a certification stamp, and are produced by an ethical company.

Already stocking four different brands, Taylor says the spa intends on increasing its organic treatment list for 2011, as well as introducing new products to its offering.

Pinks boutique is a professional-only range of spa products that is certified organic by the Soil Association. Founder, Kirstie Sherrif, supports Taylor’s view that carrying certification is integral to the brand’s success. “For us it (certification) is crucial and a key differentiating factor from most professional ranges,” she says. “The frustration for us is that the general public are still being misled in the beauty world and are not clear on what they should be looking for. The first training session we do with therapists is to inform them about certification, the different bodies, percentage levels and what is going on in the industry.”

Review from: “The Good Spa Guide”
Uniquely Organic EcoSpa, Hove – 4 bubbles

Uniquely Organic is an eco-chic city spa not far from Spa HQ on the Sussex coast. These treatment rooms offer a welcoming environment and some great organic therapies at reasonable prices. A commendable take on ethical well-being in an urban area.

First impressions?

Uniquely Organic EcoSpa is a shop-fronted spa in a row of shops and restaurants outside of the city centre. It is near a relatively busy road, but is set back far enough so you aren’t right by the traffic. The retail area and reception on the ground floor is very calming with clean white-and-wood décor, dim lighting and gorgeous bunches of fresh flowers.

How did they welcome you?

The receptionist was very friendly and polite. She greeted me by name and asked me to take a seat with a drink while I waited for my therapist. I soon found that my therapist, Lucy, was equally friendly!

What happens next?

Lucy took me downstairs to one of the spa’s three treatment rooms. The spacious room was neutrally decorated except for a huge picture of a chakra symbol on one wall. The room was furnished with a sideboard, low table and comfy chair, plus the massage bed, but was still fairly bare. The minimal look wasn’t a negative point, though; the room felt quite serene. Lucy gave me a soft, slinky (organic cotton) jersey robe and left me to change.

Which treatments did you have?

I had the Pinks Boutique Power Massage (90 minutes, £60).

What were the treatments like?

Lucy began with a foot cleanse. I sat in the corner of the spacious treatment room on the comfy chair while she soaked, exfoliated and moisturised my feet. Lucy gave me a scent test so I could choose the massage oil that most appealed. She gave me three little wooden bowls on a tray with three oils to choose from. I opted for the refreshing lemongrass oil. I then climbed onto the massage bed ready for my treatment.

Lucy began my massage without using oil, simply applying pressure at certain points on my lower back, moving slowly upwards. The massage contained a mixture of Eastern and Western techniques as it began with Shiatsu-like pressing and continued to include some Swedish-style stroking and kneading as well. Lucy focused her strokes on the areas of tension I had pointed out, but I could feel that she had located plenty more without my prompting. Although I had asked for firm pressure, Lucy never once went overboard and caused me any discomfort, checking I was feeling fine at regular intervals. I could hear the sound of water trickling from a misty water feature sitting on the sideboard.

After working on my back and limbs, Lucy asked me to turn over and continued on my front and round my neck. When the massage finally finished, it seemed like the treatment time had flown by — but only because I was enjoying it so much! I felt soothed but sprightly when Lucy finally left the room to fetch me a cup of herbal tea. I got up and sat in the comfy chair to drink my tea and nibble on the organic chocolate that arrived with it.

How did you feel afterwards?

Flexible and refreshed. I did feel relaxed, but not in a sleepy way, so was prepared for the remainder of the afternoon back in the office.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. I had an excellent treatment using delicious organic products in a friendly city spa – all without wincing at the price.

What else could you have?

A good range of natural and organic treatments using the Pinks Boutique range. The Spa Spies all love these products! There are eco-chic facials, scrubs and a back treatment, hot-stone therapy, deep tissue and Swedish massage. There is also a pregnancy massage for mums-to-be.

Beauty treatments include the Pinks Boutique Indonesian manicure and Himalayan pedicure, organic waxing and threading.

Complementary therapies on offer include reiki, ear candling, hypnotherapy, nutritional advice, and counselling for a range of issues.

Who do you think would like it?

Locals will love the affordable organic treatments and relaxed atmosphere; Uniquely Organic EcoSpa fits in perfectly with the ethos of Brighton and Hove. After all, this is the city with Britain’s first Green MP!

Why did you give the spa this rating?

Uniquely Organic gets a high 4 bubbles. My massage was fabulous, the surroundings calming and the naturally friendly staff put me at ease from start to finish. But it does feel a bit more like a holistic therapy centre than a spa. There are places to relax, but not a dedicated relaxation room. There is a lounger in a recess in the lower hall, covered with drapes, but it isn’t quite the same as a separate room to relax in with a magazine, or just to snooze in. And there is just one bathroom that contains both toilet and shower.

However, I think the team have done a fantastic job of making a serene spa environment. They’ve taken care over every sensory detail: the aroma in the air, the sound of water during a treatment, the fresh flowers dotted around every corner, the bunches of fragrant dried lavender in the bathroom, and the slinky robes.

Would you go again?

Yes, definitely. On this occasion I was invited to visit, but I know that my money would be well spent on a treatment here.

We visited Uniquely Organic EcoSpa in August 2010.

http://uoeco.rfd-site.co.uk/bookings-disabled/://uoecospa.com/bookings-disabled/://www.goodspaguide.co.uk

Health & Beauty: Unique Eco Spa Creates Ultimate Escapist’s Sanctuary

Article taken from La Luminata online magazine

I was lucky enough to visit Brighton & Hove’s new hotspot, the Uniquely Organic Eco Spa. Run by the visionary Kirsty Taylor, ‘Uniquely Organic’ is a new conceptual Spa based on the idea that Spa’s shouldn’t just be about nourishing the external facets of the body but also about balancing the mind, soul and emotions.

I indulged in the Anti-Ageing facial using Pinks boutique products that are 100% natural, organic and luxurious! What followed was an hour’s treatment undertaken by my thoughtful and lovely beauty therapist Lucy who firstly massaged my back, shoulders, and hands as part of the treatment. This process gave me so much more than I have normally experienced during a facial massage. As the focus was not just on treating the skin on my face, but also on relaxing my entire body, emptying my mind and indulging my senses. Relaxing music, scents and ambient lighting also helped me to completely let go and relax until I felt so utterly blissed out that I was in a state of semi-consciousness during the treatment.

This was followed by utter dedication and devotion to my facial treatment. Lucy gently applied layer upon layer of various products, which were either massaged into my skin or applied and then removed. At no point did her attention wander away from my wellbeing or the treatment. I was repeatedly immersed in scent upon scent, as each product was worked thoroughly into my skin. one minute I detected lemons, then rose, the next lavender. I had that wonderful feeling that you often get when you fall asleep on a beach mid-holiday and wafts of different scents float across the breeze reminding you of your exotic location!

Using super-charged rosehip products, scientifically proven to improve signs of ageing, reverse wrinkles and work on sun damage the treatment improves skin tone and firmness. This treatment is perfectly suited for the day before a big event or just when life has been getting the better of you and your looking more tired than usual. However, there are lots of other treatments available such as manicures, pedicures, reflexology, the list goes on! You could almost spend the entire day there…and indeed you also can, with their list of special tailor-made spa packages.

The treatment ended with a cup of relaxing tea enjoyed at my leisure and the most delicious, beautiful dark chocolate Buddha I have ever seen!

What really struck me about the spa is that there is a real focus on leading by example to over-hall the current beauty industry. They are extremely passionate about educating people about the long-term use of chemicals within certain products and how this affects the environment. This really struck a chord with me, as my main calling in life is to try to raise awareness of the destructive ways in which we are abusing the planet (and ourselves) through our consumer habits. It seems that the beauty industry is filled with chemical treatments that may make a short-term difference to a person’s appearance, but the harmful long-term effects are much too important to ignore. This is what spurred on the idea of creating an Eco Spa in Brighton, to cater to the new wave of individuals who care about what they put on their skin and into their bodies. Hopefully this will help to educate a few more people to embrace making these positive lifestyle choices too.

Kirsty’s own ethos has been to create a sanctuary of care and well-being that not only makes her clients feel good but also calls them to their higher purpose and teaches them to lead a more aware life free of harmful chemicals. From the treatment rooms being labeled under a healing chakra system to the soil association approved beauty products for sale in her shop, every aspect of the spa is geared to making being eco in a beauty-sense, absolutely obtainable. With a modern vibe and contemporary feel to the spa, Kirsty is also doing a very good job of quashing the presumptuous ‘ hippy image ’ that often comes with being eco-friendly.

So, what’s next for the spa? More facilities, new equipment, new treatments and eventually more spa’s across the UK. Watch this space for a Uniquely Organic Spa in your city!

The attention to detail at the Uniquely Organic Eco Spa is incredible and I just know that this is just the first of many trips there. I totally trust Kirsty’s team to make you look and feel as totally amazing as I felt.

 

Rachel

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