Today, Sylveco is one of the better known and liked Polish brands of natural cosmetics. As a company with traditions, it is gaining more momentum in investments and product creation. New generation managing the company instilled the development of the company with fresh energy.
The company name, Sylveco, comes from two words: forest (Latin silva) and ecology. The company was founded in 1992 by Stanisław Piela, but initially, his activity was not strictly related to the cosmetics industry. From the beginning, however, vegetable raw materials and their use in many everyday products were Piela’s area of interest. He adhered to the principle that nature knows best what is best for every human being and that we should use its gifts when caring for both health and beauty.
At the beginning there was birch
The first component, today strongly identified with Sylveco, was birch and its bark, specifically betulin, a chemical compound isolated from the white part of the bark, highly valued by science due to its multidirectional action. In the case of cosmetics, antiallergic, antioxidant and regenerating effects work best, but in medicine this application is wider, from combating viruses, fungi and anti-inflammatory effects to oncological therapies. The birch bark extract became a distinctive component of the birch cream, which at the beginning was even registered as a medical product.
In 2006, after the death of its founder, the company was taken over by his son – Radosław Piela. The successor was looking for a distinguishing mark for the brand. Something that will definitely make it different from the competition. The natural cosmetics market was still small at the time, but the younger Piela was aware of the trends: he knew that this sector would grow dynamically.
Finally, an idea came to his mind to base his company’s philosophy on herbal plants typical for the area of Poland. – Birch has set the direction – jokes Joanna Darwińska, marketing director of the company. Research and implementation accelerated in the company. The assortment, consisting of a single type of cream in the past, has gradually grown larger since 2008.
Was it risky? In a sense, certainly. The trend announces what will develop in the future, but at that time it was still too soon to talk about the boom on natural cosmetics. However, it was a marketing niche. On the other hand, the conventional cosmetics market was already very competitive, and the natural cosmetics segment provided a lot of free space. However, acquiring new consumers for this type of products took a lot of time.
At that time, consumers had no such awareness about natural products as today. Our brand paved the way in this field – recalls Joanna Darwińska. Today we collect the priority premium among Polish consumers. We are a recognizable and liked company by Polish women. Our clients approach our new products with great trust. We believe that we will be able to develop such a level of trust in other markets where we are already present or will appear soon.
According to Darwińska, the strategy chosen years ago made sense. – While you may notice some boredom concerning shea butter or argan oil in cosmetics, our raw materials, such as the already mentioned betulin, but also sea buckthorn, common soapwort, linden tree, arnica, chamomile, calendula, sage and lemon balm generate a great deal of interest in many regions of the world – adds Sylveco marketing director. What is familiar for Polish people, is perceived exotic in other markets. And the exotic is intriguing …
Eco, but hypoallergenic
The company also had another ambition. Sylveco was to be a dermocosmetic brand. Challenge! Natural cosmetics, like any others, can be sensitizing. Allergies are quite complicated and individualized. Allergic skin is unpredictable and chimeric. It is not easy to create product formulas for allergy sufferers, especially in the segment of natural cosmetics, where even seemingly very mild chamomile might be the cause of allergy. However, at the cost of longer research and more detailed dermatological tests, a significant part of the offer meets the criteria of hypoallergenic cosmetics. The production of the company is based on ingredients approved by the COSMOS standard, and product compositions are short and simple, and dermatological tests are detailed and carried out on people with sensitive skin.
On the rise
Currently, the natural cosmetics market is growing rapidly. Many interesting cosmetics brands appeared in Poland in this segment: both Polish and foreign. The number of fairs dedicated exclusively to natural products is growing. Consumer awareness is increasing. Sylveco today has an established market position, high brand recognition, and a ready distribution network. All of these provide a certain advantage over startups, but at the same time awareness of growing competition does not allow the producers to sleep soundly, living solely off their popularity. Therefore, constant work on innovative solutions, multiple marketing activities, intriguing consumers with new products is crucial. Not moving forward is moving backward – pioneers of the Polish natural cosmetics market feel the competition breathing down their necks, but as they assure, it releases creativity in them. They do not want to imitate anyone, they do their own thing.
The company invests in new products and new brands. The well-known brands: Sylveco, Sylveco for Children, Vianek and Biolaven were joined in 2018 by three more. Duetus is a brand of modern natural cosmetics designed for skin care within the convention of minimalism, universalism and the emerging sharing trend. Unisex cosmetics: products for her and for him. Such pattern directs them rather towards young consumers (couples who like to share everything).
These are the first anti-acne, anti-pollution and at the same time unisex cosmetic products on the market. Aloesove – a series based on an extract of aloe, originating from organic farming and having an EU certificate for organic farming. It is dedicated primarily to people with a complexion that require strong hydration, without putting an excessive burden on the skin. Rosadia – cosmetics with a key guiding component (rose extract) – dedicated primarily to mature women with sensitive and couperose skin. In this way, the company spontaneously extends its target groups by creating further separated brands.
The strength of Sylveco lies in a young team. Real cosmetic product fans. Present at most international fairs. Ready for continuous improvement of brands and products. The team knows that the competitive cosmetics market is still telling players: I check. The consumers do not give their love once and for all. You have to keep striving for it.
Every year the company notices a 20% increase in sales. A modern production plant is ready for more, which is inevitable with the increase in exports. The company from Podkarpacie aspires to strongly develop its brands around the world. This is an expensive, but an essential investment. The Polish cosmetics market is becoming too small for large players, and young companies define themselves as born-global almost from the beginning. Can this success in the Polish market be reproduced in other markets? Time will tell. Sylveco is a company that can wait for its success, and it has proven this by entering the natural cosmetics sector long before it became so fashionable.