VOYA first came on my radar after my Mum visited family in Ireland, she brought me back a face serum and I was instantly hooked.
Not only was the brand cruelty free, they had an environmental ethos and their products are packed with natural, skin saving ingredients. Not surprising I feel in love is it? I mean they help rescue seals ffs! I’ve spoken about the brand before, they featured heavily in my 10 step skincare routine, their products are great for sensitive skin. Bonus point is that they all smell good enough to eat.
Don’t eat them tho, put it on yo body!
I caught up with VOYA founder Kira and found out just how the company started, why they decided to go cruelty free and what the future holds for the brand.
HOW DID VOYA GET STARTED?
I had took self- redundancy from a job that I had devoted 7 years of my life and figure it was time for a new start. I was dating a fabulous guy from the west coast of Ireland Mark Walton whose family own a seaweed bathing house. He also lost his job through the recession years. Returning to his family business with myself we created VOYA Beauty Products a spin out from the Walton family’s famous VOYA seaweed baths based in Strandhill, county Sligo. We started Research & Development in 2002-2003 and Launched in 2007.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NAME?
The inspiration was easy really we asked all our clientele how a seaweed bathing experience made them feel. And the most popular mind-set that people came back with was just having time out, being able to close the door behind them and relax, enjoying their own, me time and their own “personal voyage”. That phrase resonated with us – ‘personal voyage ‘especially ‘voyage’. And it was just there staring us in the face VOYA!
WAS IT A CONSCIOUS DECISION FOR VOYA TO BE CRUELTY FREE?
It was a given before we even started. But to be honest, it was a big challenge for VOYA and it would have been a lot easier if we decided this was not going to be an important factor. Marks father Michael Walton was one of the original founders of the Irish Organic Association. So when we had a group meeting to decide what way forward we should take VOYA Beauty Business it was an imperative factor without a doubt. It has an impact on every area of development for VOYA. Packaging, formulation, harvesting, ingredient selection. Every year we help with multiple seal rescues from the reefs alongside the Seal Rescue Ireland.
In our packaging we use FSC board with water based inks. We also recycle and blend off-cuts of our seaweed with our board, wasting nothing in our manufacturing. Corn starch is used in the production of our lip balm case so it can easily biodegrade over time when discarded. We use recyclable tubes and most of our facial products use glass. Taking into consideration the impact our packaging has on the environment.
VOYA uses the EU organic standards to harvest. Our selection of ingredients and formulations are an important factor to our end consumer. And whilst it is very important how it feels on the body and its efficacy, inevitably we wash Voya and every other beauty product down our drains. It then makes it way to the very end user being the land and our oceans that we inhabit. It is very important to us that we do not disrupt or damage these ecosystems.
IF YOU HAD TO TAKE ONE VOYA PRODUCT TO A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Oh that is a tough one! Nearly all really but I would have to say ‘Softly Does It’ body lotion. Oh and our fabulous body oil ‘Angelicus Serratus’.
WHAT DIRECTION DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF SKINCARE GOING? BACK TO BASICS OR MORE COMPLICATED?
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR VOYA?
We are currently in a phase of new product development. VOYA is expanding into the UK and America. VOYA hopes to launch a Beauty Supplements product in 2018. We are very excited about this. But looking at the very big picture VOYA looks to an integrated approach to wellbeing using a sustainable resource.
IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU WOULD WANT THE BRAND TO BE KNOWN FOR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A product that has come out of a multigenerational indigenous traditional therapy. Unfortunately and fortunately there is so much to talk about VOYA, regarding our products and spa experiences. It is difficult to pin point to just one thing.