An exuberant success story
In 2016, SPEICK family company will celebrate its 88th birthday. The natural cosmetics manufacturer is now in its third generation, managed by Wikhart Teuffel, the grandson of founder Walter Rau.
The company was founded in 1928, when anthroposophist Walter Rau established the ‘WALTER RAU Fine Soap Works’.
As the offspring of the Stuttgart-based family business ‘United Soap Factories’, Rau wanted to continue the soap-making tradition of his parents.
However, this was not enough – he dreamed of manufacturing more than just the curd soap that was popular for washing clothes in those days. His idea was to produce a gentle, natural body soap.
This idea was teamed with a special fascination – Rau was inspired by the unique harmonising medicinal properties of the Speick plant, (Valeriana celtica), which had been prized for centuries. Speick has a calming effect on the central nervous system while simultaneously stimulating the autonomic nervous system.
It became his vision to harness the benefits of this almost forgotten plant, and to make them accessible to people again.
A unique product emerged from this fascination and vision: Speick Soap. This natural, extra mild soap was a cosmetic revolution at the time, for body care – as opposed to washing clothes.
Nonetheless, Rau did not want the holistic philosophy behind his product to be limited to its manufacture and sale. Rather, the entrepreneur shaped the whole company according to his own anthroposophical principles and perspective.
Rau wanted to create something of value for people, based on a holistic understanding of humankind and nature. Employees received further training during factory hours, working mothers were offered company childcare and local recreational amenities were created.
The company continues to work according to these principles today. “Being seen as a person; being given the opportunity to grow and to learn” – employee development remains important for Wikhart Teuffel today. The founder’s grandson can see how vital it is that “tradition has a future” through the Carinthian Alpine farming families in Austria, who harvest the wild-growing Speick plant. The family farm has been taken over by the next generation and with it, the Speick harvest – by hand, as it has been for centuries. Approximately 1,800 metres above sea level, high up in the Nock Mountains Biosphere Reserve, the Speick harvest ensures that these families have an essential, additional source of income.
Employees of the family business who have visited the Nock Mountains and the alpine farmers that harvest the Speick plant left with an awareness of the finite availability of natural resources, as in the alpine ecosystem of the Carinthian Nock Mountains, and how “being human” is inextricably linked to the natural universe.
SPEICK natural cosmetics today. This is the continuation of a vision held for 88 years, combined with an awareness of the environmental and social fabric which weaves together the family business, the alpine farmers and the Nock Mountains Region.
Germany’s Most Sustainable Brand 2013
SPEICK natural cosmetics is the first brand in the cosmetics industry to receive this special award. The German Sustainability Award is one of the most renowned prizes of its kind Europe.
The prize for ‘Germany’s Most Sustainable Brand’ is awarded to the brand or company with outstanding commitment to sustainability and that pays special attention to aspects of sustainability in their brand management.
The jury – sixteen experts from business, the political sector, research and civil society – specifically commended how “this long-established company lives up to its environmental and social brand promises in a particularly authentic way.”
The internationally renowned award was presented in Düsseldorf on 22nd November 2013 as part of the German Sustainability Day.
- All SPEICK products today contain the worldwide exclusive valuable extract of the medicinal Speick plant which grows wild in the high alpine region, certified as being from biologically regulated wild harvesting.
- SPEICK is a German company founded in 1928, named so in honour of the plant Speick.
- SPEICK has 88 years of history, soap making and natural skin care expertise. We think you’ll love the unique aroma of the high alpine medicinal plant Speick, which is more potent in the long standing and well respected SPEICK Men range. SPEICK Men Active is a more recent addition which is Cosmos Natural certified and vegan.
- The medicinal properties of Speick were recognised as early as the 10th century.
- Speick has always been harvested by hand.
- Speick is also called Alpine Valerian and Valerian Spikenard.
- Speick’s benefits go far beyond its fragrant aroma, it relaxes without tiring and revitalises the body and mind.
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