My first visit to Japan last July was all about experiencing Shiseido's 140-year old heritage and consummate love for art. You saw how the brand evolved through the years and how it looks like today. You've read about the Shiseido Museum in Kakegawa, the Flagship Store, and the Parlour in Ginza. Now, I'd like to show you the Shiseido factory in Kakegawa, Shizuoka!
This is an exclusive feature as I am honored to be the first beauty blogger to tour this factory. I'm grateful to Shiseido for the opportunity, because they don't normally work with bloggers; they usually go with traditional media. I'm happy that they're beginning to support this medium! ^_^
Moving along! The Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa is about an hour and forty minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. It's a sprawling complex that produces Shiseido's makeup products, among them foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick. If I remember correctly, each building is dedicated to making only one type of makeup!
Shiseido Philippines Brand Manager, Jen Jimenez-Yalung, with myself
The background is actually a mosaic of real eyeshadows
I'll be talking more about the production aspect of the brand on Part 2 of this post. For today, I'll be discussing one of the brand's latest projects: a test facility right inside the Kakegawa complex.
You might be thinking: a test facility? What? That's boring! Guys, it's not. This is my favorite part of the factory visit, actually. The test facility is further proof of Shiseido's commitment to excellence. It was built because they want only safe and reliable plant raw materials for their active ingredients. They seek only the highest quality ingredients which are traceable to the source.
This facility is a preview of the things to come in 2014. It's only a small area for now, but the plan is to re-create it in a larger scale should it prove successful! The photo above shows a cube where various conditions like temperature, irrigation, light intensity, and carbon dioxide are controlled to get the best possible harvest.
Here's what's inside!
Shiseido observed that there is a global trend favoring organic and natural beauty products. There were also raw material scandals in the recent years, so the company wanted a more reliable way of sourcing ingredients. Of course, the end goal is to make the products as competitive as possible!
Water is coursed through these ducts
Shiseido is also testing out hydroponic farming. Instead of through the soil, plants receive their nutrients and minerals in the water.
I ate a leaf, hehe. So yummy and fresh.
Can you imagine how these plants will be used to create the active ingredients in Shiseido skincare, hair care, and even perfume? I love this direction, and I can't wait to see how the company will develop it in the future. :) It's so amazing how a brand that's already at the top of its game still pursue better ways to make better products!
The Shiseido team of researchers working on the test facility, with Jen Jimenez-Yalung
I hope you enjoyed this little tour. Now you know the level of quality you're paying for when you buy Shiseido! ;) Let me know what you think, ok?