When Tata Harper's step-father was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 his oncologist advised him to make a number of lifestyle changes – start eating organic food, take various supplements and reassess personal care products.
The latter piqued Tata's interest. Upon returning home she went through her beauty closet and realised that everything she used on a daily basis contained the synthetic ingredients the doctor said it was best to avoid. Dissatisfied with the products available to replace them – which were either greenwashed or just plain didn't work – she set about creating her own.
The line launched after five years of meticulous development and received rave reviews. Everything is made at the Harpers' purpose-built production facility on their 1,200-acre farm in Vermont and formulated without GMOs, fillers, gluten, dairy and synthetic fragrances, dyes, or preservatives. Some of the products contain cera alba (beeswax) and are therefore unsuitable for vegans.
At present the range includes cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers, oils, eye creams, masks, body scrubs, lotions, tinted lip conditioners, lip-to-cheek blushers and four aromatherapy treatments, all of which can be purchased through the Tata Harper website or from various online retailers, including Content Beauty.
I spoke to Tata about the importance of natural ingredients, the company's commitment to sustainability and what will come next.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START TATA HARPER?
I set out to create the line of products that I was looking for but couldn't find anywhere – skincare that delivered real, visible results using advanced anti-ageing technology without a single drop of synthetic chemicals. To me, it was the piece of the modern lifestyle puzzle that was missing.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT'S IMPORTANT TO USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS?
Natural ingredients are the healthier choice; the ones we use are known to be pure, non-toxic, biocompatible and effective – in fact they are as, if not more, effective than their synthetic counterparts. When the skin is nourished with an entirely natural skincare regimen, it glows with a healthy vitality and really looks its best. Skin is like a sponge and absorbs 60% of whatever we put on it – for that reason alone I think it's important to use ingredients that come from the natural world.
FROM WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
We source our ingredients from all around the world; from labs in France, Israel, the Czech Republic, Madagascar and more. Here on our Vermont farm, we grow and produce an ingredient called the Estate Grown Beauty Complex which is a concentrated blend of herbs and botanicals that delivers nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR PRODUCTION AND PACKAGING PROCESSES ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE?
Running our company in the most ethically responsible and environmentally friendly way was always a priority for us, which is why we decided to manufacture all of the products here in Vermont, under one roof. Typically, beauty companies outsource all aspects of production so all of the materials and components get shipped all over. Keeping everything in one place means that our manufacturing has a very small footprint. Plus, each of our ingredients and packaging components is validated by EcoCert as socially and environmentally responsible.
YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT IN THE LINE:
Definitely the Elixir Vitae serum. I can't live without it!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR TATA HARPER?
So many things. Right now we are concentrating on expanding our SuperNatural collection.
THE SECRET TO RADIANT SKIN IS...
Great question. I think it's a combination of lifestyle choices and keeping a consistent skincare regimen. Radiant skin comes from drinking lots of water, having a nutritious diet, using excellent moisturising products so that the skin looks plump and dewy, and exfoliating every day.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
I believe in eating a colourful, balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, but I am a food lover and I enjoy all types of food – whether that's an Italian pasta dish or sushi or classic Colombian cuisine. I believe in listening to your body and eating whatever makes you feel most energetic and healthy.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
The most important things I do are exercise and meditation. With exercise, I try to have as much fun with it as possible, and use it to learn new skills – right now I'm taking tennis and TRX lessons.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Spending time with my children, visiting family in Colombia, dancing, friends, amazing food and beautiful sunny afternoon on our Vermont farm!