COMPANY HISTORY

Thomas Haase: Organic and natural cosmetics for everyone everywhere

Their passion for natural cosmetics brought them together. Defying all his critics, Thomas Haase started developing 100% natural and effective cosmetics, founding the company Laverana on November 23 1987 with the brand lavera. The company name Laverana already reveals that the brand and company are inextricably connected, as 'lavera' stands for 'the real thing' and 'na' for 'natural cosmetics'. At around the same time, on November 1 1988, Klara Ahlers established one of the first natural cosmetics specialist shops, the 'Cremetopf' (Cream Pot) in Göttingen, Germany. In a time when everything revolved around chemicals, Thomas Haase and Klara Ahlers discovered their lifetime dream and since then have dedicated their lives to their vision of 'organic and natural cosmetics for all'. They have worked together since 1988, developing the market for natural cosmetics – and since 1997, they have both managed Laverana until September 2017. Thomas Haase will continue managing Laverana. The driving force behind Laverana since its foundation remains its goals of democratisation, differentiation and internationalisation. They don't just want to be a short chapter in a book: they want to write history and make a lasting impact on the world of personal care products.

MILESTONES

  • 1987 // Company founded in Rethen near Hanover
  • 1989 // Exhibitor at BioFach since 1989 – since the very beginning
  • 1992 // Reconstruction of the buildings following fire damage 
  • 1994 // Development of the export business 
  • 1996 // Move to Wennigsen 
  • 2004 // 'lavera. natural. effective. beautiful.' New brand identity with the lavera family 
  • 2005 // New field warehouse in Empelde opens in January 2005 
  • 2007 // Managing director Thomas Haase is named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Hanover region 
  • 2008 // Launch of advanced advertising campaigns for lavera 
  • 2009 // lavera office opens in France
  • 2010 to 2012 // Introduction of SAP and supply chain management
  • 2013 // lavera receives the Green Brand award for the first time 
  • 2013 // From 19 August, lavera Naturkosmetik is the first manufacturer of natural cosmetics to advertise on TV in the media mix 
  • 2014 // All departments (except for R&D) move from Wennigsen to Ronnenberg. lavera Naturkosmetik is available in approximately 40 countries worldwide
  • 2015 // For the second time in a row, lavera receives the Green Brand award 
  • 2015 // Since June 1992, lavera Naturkosmetik has been awarded the top ratings 'excellent' or 'good' over 740 times
  • 2015 // According to the GFK market research institute, lavera Naturkosmetik was ranked 33rd out of 2,000 brands in Germany 
  • 2016 // In January, Laverana is tested by TÜV Rheinland and is now certified according to ZNU (Centre for Sustainable Leadership) Sustainable Economy
  • 2016 // Launch of the new advertising campaign in the home market with Yvonne Catterfeld as lavera brand ambassador

THOMAS HAASE

Founder and Managing Director of Laverana GmbH & Co. KG

I've been developing natural care products that help everyone to feel comfortable in their skin since 1987. Nature is the only true beauty care for me. The wish has endured and continued to develop, and is called lavera. For my natural beauty care, the desires of our customers were always be the focus of research and development from the very the beginning. Product quality is our highest priority. And that's why we have produced everything in-house in the Hanover region since the company's foundation. From the very beginning, our goal has been natural cosmetics of the highest quality. We produce over 300 organic ingredients and more than 300 natural active substances ourselves. Our customers are my inspiration and guides. The needs of our customers are the focus of research and development – for me and for the company.

What is your vision?

I had skin problems in my youth – and as it later turned out, it was a case of atopic dermatitis. I searched for natural care alternatives instead of the cortisone creams, and I researched the effects of natural ingredients in old pharmaceutical documents.
My first product was a lip balm for a holiday in Denmark in 1975, which can still be found in our product range today. 

My scientific curiosity was piqued. For my natural beauty care, the desires of our customers were always be the focus of research and development from the very the beginning. Product quality has always been imperative, and so we have produced everything in-house in the Hanover region since the company's foundation, in order to guarantee our customers the highest product quality.

Where does the name lavera come from?

I derived the name from the Latin word 'verum' – 'the truth'. For me, lavera is the one true, natural beauty care – pure nature – my concept for beautiful skin.


Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

A few years ago, I obtained my pilot's licence and when the weather's nice, I enjoy relaxing in the skies. 

What are your three favourite products?

I like very many products and I'm still heavily involved in development today. I'm especially fond of the products that started everything – the basis sensitiv lip balm and the shower gel – and the Men sensitiv shaving foam, which we were able to launch in March 2013 after a long time in development.

KLARA AHLERS

Former Managing Director

I've wanted to sell fairly manufactured products since I was a child. Naturalness, effectiveness and beauty are the best trio for perfect skincare. With innovations and award-winning product developments such as the self-tanning lotion, sun sprays, mousse make-up and sleeping cream, in our segment we have revitalised the image of natural cosmetics, without making compromises in our formulas. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy beauty care with natural cosmetics, and each day it is a fresh incentive for me to conquer new markets worldwide and  to make innovative product ideas a reality. Natural cosmetics are a luxury for the skin and are part of a modern, green lifestyle.

Why did you decide on a career in the cosmetics business?

I'm actually living my lifelong dream. As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in her herb garden, and as the eldest of four sisters, I began mixing my own creams early on, trying them out and selling my products in my play shop.

After training as a nursery school teacher, at the age of 22 I decided to open up my own shop. The 'Cremetopf' ('Cream Pot') in Göttingen was one of the very first natural cosmetics specialist shops.

Years ago, basics such as the biodegradability of raw materials, ecological materials and the refilling aspect were at the forefront. These basics have remained but have been vastly expanded in consumers' wishes. Customers desire genuine natural cosmetics, coupled with the effects of conventional cosmetics. Customers also want beautiful, cosmetic packaging in the field of natural cosmetics. They want to know exactly where the resources come from, who the manufacturer is. And they want a broad product range, including natural self-tanning lotions, sun sprays, mousse make-up and sleeping cream.

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy beauty care with natural cosmetics. For this reason, it has always been my objective to conquer new markets and to make innovative product ideas a reality. To me, natural cosmetics are a luxury for the skin and are an integral part of a modern, green lifestyle with an awareness of sustainability and beauty.

What motivates you each day anew?

Every day, I consider it a  gift to be involved with one of the world's most wonderful industries, and furthermore to be firmly rooted in the organic field, in which fairness, friendly trade relations and sustainability play important roles alongside the economic aspects. 

It motivates me and us to face new challenges and to overcome them, both in the product world and in the field of production. In order to offer product innovations, the research and development of new manufacturing and production processes are necessary, and our products are always developed using nature's finest gifts – in organic quality wherever possible.

What three things in life could you not do without?

That is my profession, my family and my friends, all are inseparable parts of my life. 

What is your favourite product?

The Repair & Care hair treatment

THE COMPANY IN BRIEF

The company Laverana can be described in just a few words: made in Germany, in the Hanover region, certified natural cosmetics are produced in a closed value-added competence chain. Production is carried out preserving natural resources, with respect for human beings and nature. 

This is combined with the highest quality standards for natural ingredients, packaging, product landscapes and production processes, as well as a profound sense of responsibility – above all towards the customer.

  • Founded in 1987, manufacturer of certified natural cosmetics
  • Headquartered in the Hanover region, in Wennigsen and Ronnenberg
  • Founder and executive Partner Thomas Haase
  • Laverana is constantly on the lookout for new employees and, in recent years especially, has had a successful recruitment record, boosted by the company's positive development. Laverana offers many career opportunities and a range of different training programmes

THE NATURAL COSMETICS MARKET

Natural cosmetics have advanced from being a niche product and have established themselves as a consistent market driver, experiencing disproportionate dynamic growth. In Germany in 2014, revenues of over 1 billion euros were achieved for the first time. By the third quarter of 2015, natural cosmetics experienced around 9.7% year-on-year growth over the previous year, achieving an overall market share of 8.7%. The positive sales trend can be seen across all categories – facial care remains the fastest-growing segment in natural cosmetics.

*Source: Branchenmonitor

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