Our History


Company invoice from 1890
 
   Our Values
   Our Services
   Our Customers
   Our Certificates
 
 
The old warehouse in Kalymnos which still operates today
This small business eventually formed The Natural Sea Sponge Company which then became a Limited company in 1996. Today we are proud to continue the old traditions of sponge fishing to maintain the high standards of the industry and by working closely with the divers we support the local communities in those areas of Greece and Tunisia where sponges are fished. We continue to run our old warehouse in Kalymnos which collects and sorts the raw sponges. Our warehouse in London still hand processes the sponges in the old traditional style.
The old warehouse in Kalymnos which still operates today

How sponges were fished in ancient times is not much different today with the addition of a diving suit!
How sponges were fished in ancient times is not much different today with the addition of a diving suit!
    Sponge processing in the 1930s
Sponge processing in the 1930s
    Our modern day sponge processing is still done by hand. Here we are sponge sorting at the East Mediterranean warehouse
Our modern day sponge processing is still done by hand. Here we are sponge sorting at the East Mediterranean warehouse

The brand was born
In 1996 when the company became Limited we introduced other natural bath care accessories to complement the range of natural sea sponges and so the Hydréa London brand was born. In keeping with the high standards for our sponges, Hydrea London quickly became known as the most ethical and best quality brand available in the market. Hydrea London is now an international brand supplying luxurious bodycare all around the world!

Drying facilities at our London warehouse 1     Drying facilities at our London warehouse 2     Drying facilities at our London warehouse 3

 

Our Values


The Environment and Social Accountability
We are proud to be at the forefront of ethical sourcing and manufacture. In fact this and focusing on producing top quality, functional products is the driving force behind our company. Over the years we have driven the demand for environmentally sound products and helped increase consumers choice and awareness through our Hydrea London brand. We source the finest natural and organic raw materials from around the world and make the majority of our products in UK and Europe. We specialise in FSC® certified wooden products, organic loofah and much more as you will discover.
 
   Our History
   Our Services
   Our Customers
   Our Certificates
 
 

skin care For our Hydrea London product range, we have a strong commitment to ethical and environmentally sustainable procedures in the sourcing and manufacture of our natural body care range. We have been officially FSC® certified for many years which means we have established and are maintaining a chain of custody in a forest certification scheme ensuring all our wooden items come from a sustainable and renewable source in accordance with the procedures and requirements of the FSC®. In fact we were the first UK Company to provide a fully comprehensive range of affordable FSC® certified brushes and massagers for the spa and beauty industry! Our Egyptian Loofah is also certified organic. We source and manufacture the majority of our products in Europe to reduce our carbon foot print and none of our products or ingredients are tested on animals.

The Natural Sea Sponge Company has always had a very close relationship with our supply chain. We set high standards for environmental and ethical practices and social accountability, and through frequent visits and site inspections to the factories we ensure these standards are met. We also support local communities when sourcing our natural materials from around the world. Our company also welcomes third party inspections and we have successfully passed audits such as social accountability and SMETA, most recently in 2012.
skin care 1 skin care 2 skn care 3 skin care 4

Quality and Innovation

We take pride in being able to provide the most comprehensive range of high quality eco-friendly bodycare accessories and natural sea sponges at the best prices. Our products are distinctive in terms of:

- Eco-friendliness and sustainability
- Superior products in quality and design
- Luxury
- Functionality, durability and ease of use
- Value for money


The majority of our products are European in origin and made from the finest natural materials ethically sourced in 17 different countries.

We are closely involved in the whole production process from design of the product and manufacture to quality control. Therefore we can ensure the products have those extra special details that improve the performance and style. For example, we use the superior quality organic Egyptian Loofah and Egyptian cotton for our mitts and pads, as opposed to the Chinese Loofah normally found on the market. We also use FSC® certified wood for our brushes and massagers which are then specially finished for extra durability ensuring the bristles are cut in a way to facilitate exceptional brushing. Our natural sponges under go 42 stages of processing by hand to end to ensure that only the strongest best quality sponges reach you. This focus on quality and design also means we have the capacity to work closely with the customer on bespoke lines. We have a creative team who work closely together to continually research and generate new ideas for product development.

By maintaining our tradition of careful selection, monitoring and quality control we can offer premium quality products at competitive prices that are great value for the customer.

 


Service
Over the years we have continued to develop NSSC with integrity to become a leading manufacturer of natural sponges and body care products. Handling every stage of production in a committed and ethical way and by maintaining excellent communication with all parts of the supply chain, we are able to provide tailor made products for the customers' exact requirements. Our organisation is based in modern facilities in London. At this location the company has its offices, warehousing and processing facilities where the importing, exporting and preparation of sponges takes place, along with the conception of our natural product range.

We have a dedicated team of office and warehouse staff, who are able to provide specialist product knowledge to customers and can deliver a friendly and efficient service.

We are closely involved in the production process to ensure the product is luxurious yet functional for the end user.

Our Vision
We know that natural sustainable products are playing an increasingly important part in the market place. By developing a team of happy and dedicated staff, we aim to continue expanding the company and our products under a progressive brand identity associated with integrity and eco-friendly ideas.

We are always seeking innovative ideas to increase customer choice while raising awareness of luxurious, yet affordable and functional products that care for you and the environment.
 
 

Our Services


Private Label
We offer a sophisticated own branding service. Choose from any of our existing products and personalise them with your company and brand logo. This service is available for volume orders so please contact the sales team for further information.
 
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New product development
Our creative in house product design team, our manufacturing capabilities and our experience in sourcing raw natural materials means we are perfectly placed to create new products unique to your company, whether it be promotional items, gift sets or new range products. We support this service with expert advice and can offer total confidentiality. This service is available for volume orders so please contact the sales team for further information.

We are proud to have worked and developed products for the following brands: Boots, No7, Unilever – Dove, Geo F Trumper, Sothys, Nature Cos, Bodecare, Aromatherapy Associates, Molton Brown, J Conran, J Rocha, Cowshed, DR Harris, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Armani, Duchy Originals.

skin care services


Internet shopping
As we are manufacturers, the Natural Sea Sponge Company does not offer this service. Instead we let our experienced eCommerce customers supply directly to the general public. We are proud to be associated with the following web based brands: Beautifully Organic, Look Fantastic, Gorgeous Shop, Bath & Unwind. Many of our retailers also provide internet shopping so please click here for the stockists.

Merchandising
Hydréa London offers an effective merchandising solution for retailers in the form of our custom designed oak wood display stand. This allows a comprehensive range of Hydréa products to be displayed in an exciting way. Our stand has proved to lead to increased sales and a high turnover in just one square meter of retail space! We have also developed eye catching displays for chain and department stores.

For more information please Contact us

skin care services 2     skin care services 3     skin care services 4     skin care services 5

 

Our Customers


We supply all sectors of the professional beauty and spa industry, the department stores, major high street retail chains, pharmacies as well as supplying products for high volume promotional campaigns and hotel industry, both in the UK and abroad.

Hydrea London is now an international brand supplying luxurious bodycare all around the world!
 
   Our History
   Our Values
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Another section of our business is providing natural sea sponges for the painting and decorating, fine art and ceramic industry, where our sponges are used for creating textured effects.

skin care customer     skin care customer 2

We are delighted to supply the following companies with our Hydrea London branded products: Debenhams, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Bentalls, Selfridges, Fenwick, Floris, Lloyds Pharmacies, Toys R Us, BHS, Dunelm, Hoopers, LG Harris, Heals, Dobbies Garden Centre, Ana Wiz, Oxfam and Care By Mail.


bentalls harrods selfridges toys-r-us fortnum and mason
lloyds debenhams bhs hoopers
stephensons online ana wiz liberty of london content natural organic
beautifully organic burford planet organic heals






 

Our Certificates


Product certification
Here at the Natural Sea Sponge Company we are proud to be at the forefront of ethical bodycare products. We have held FSC® certification for many years and we were the first UK Company to provide a comprehensive range of affordable FSC® certified brushes and massagers for the health and beauty market.
 
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     What is FSC® certification?
This stands for Forest Stewardship Council. FSC® certified forests are managed to ensure long term timber supplies while protecting the environment and the lives of forest-dependent peoples. The Natural Sea Sponge Company holds the chain of custody number SA-COC-003038 which traces forest products through the supply chain to the end-consumer.

We also hold organic certification for our Egyptian loofah



We hold Phytosanitary certification for all our cactus and loofah products
This means the raw material have been inspected by the NPPO in the country they are grown to ensure plant health and protection.

We hold Fumigation certificates for our timber products and animal hair bristles. This ensures that the materials are sanitised before being processed

Our sponges are inspected by the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, for health, quantity and size, and certification is issued before export.

We regularly inspect the goods during and after manufacture to ensure our standards for quality are being met. At each inspection issue Quality certification.

We rigorously test our finished products before we launch them on the market to ensure they are fit for long lasting professional use. we use hot water immersion tests and tensile tests for both our textile and wooden products as well as using the product over a period of time to see how it behaves.

Audits

As well as auditing our own supply chain for environmental, ethical and quality standards, we welcome third party inspections at our factory too. We successfully passed a Social Accountability Audit (SA8000) in 2010. In June 2012 we completed a SMETA audit and became members of SEDEX which empowers ethical and responsible practices in the supply chain. We also undertake annual FSC® audits (the latest being November 2012).


In August 2013 we attained ISO 9001 certification (quality management standards) and ISO 14001 certification (environmental standards) by an UKAS approved body.
 
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