A few days ago, the fair “We Love Bio” ended in Pistoia. The same one was recently held in Florence and in Empoli. I knew that I could not visit either Pistoia or Florence, so I carved out a couple of hours to travel to Empoli. I did not want to go alone, so I decided to invite a friend to accompany me. And so, late on the morning of 15 March 2015, we left for Empoli. In addition to the clearly marked parking lot, the town also has a vast zone of “grey” parking that allows the more confident (or more courageous) to tempt fate; we old wolves preferred to lose a bit of time by parking in the official paid parking lot and thereby visit We Love Bio in peace and with a clean conscience.
The fair was cozy and the people, with very few exceptions (even we sometimes start off on the wrong foot), were very nice. We decided to follow the suggested route and, to tell the truth, only wanted to look around without any intention to buy anything. There is an economic crisis and everywhere one senses that superfluous things are put into second place.
No sooner had I walked five meters when I heard my name being called by the same person who invited me to the fair. The Italian lady, who represents an Austrian firm, was promoting a natural liquid toothpaste made from cinnamon and two other ingredients that I do not recall, while emphasizing that traditional toothpastes are filled with chemicals. Our good intentions vanished instantly and we were already prepared to buy some (who wants to ingest chemical additives three times a day?), but good sense suggested to finish the tour and then, eventually, to return to the stands with particularly interesting products.
Two or three stands further ahead we found a 100% natural makeup remover, based on the principle of micro-fibre cloths that are used in the kitchen without cleaning products. One uses two small gloves: one moistened with tepid water to wipe the face and eyes, the other containing silver fibres which stimulate the face’s blood circulation and disinfect the skin. All Made in Italy. This product also seemed original and promising. After a few small steps, we found ourselves in front of three irresistible products. The first was a natural epilator; namely, a glove which removes hairs from the legs and arms simply using circular motions, with a tiny version for delicate removal under the nose. We were a bit skeptical but still open to solutions for overcoming this ancient scourge.
The second product was a face cream made from donkey’s milk. Very, very seductive, considering that the ancient Egyptians and Romans used to entrust their beauty to this valuable raw material.
More difficult to appreciate, at least for me, was a facial cream made from snails. At first I thought it was only an unusual name to attract people’s attention, but the salesperson explained that in fact the cream uses the “slime” of the snail. Now, there are beneficial effects including anti-wrinkle, healing, soothing, nourishing, regenerating, and anti-stretch marks; but, the thought of smearing my face with snail slime – although mixed with other ingredients – made me decide to keep my wrinkles; indeed, I started to look at them with a certain affection.
We Love Bio, naturally, featured not only cosmetic products but also foods, fresh vegetables, breads, sweets, tissues, costume jewelry, and clothes, all strictly Bio. A reassuring future for our children.
After having made our way between oil of Argan, natural soaps, support soles for heel pumps size seventy and up, and relaxation eyeglasses designed for people who spend long hours working in front of computers, we arrived at the end of our rounds.
Despite our good intentions, we returned home with natural toothpaste (actually named teeth oil), the natural makeup and hair remover, a black soap famous for being one of the ten most moisturizing soaps in the world…
Farfalla di Toscana is a young “azienda agricola” created recently with a long life in front of it. Who knows, if in its future there will not be one of the products that we saw, tested, and purchased at We Love Bio?
Anneliese Rabl (translation John McAuliffe) x