How does sustainable behavior positively impact the environment and us as individuals, and what role does sexual well-being play in that process?
New Year’s is all about resolutions. People set goals for the coming year or years. Whatever resolutions are made, the turn of the year offers time for reflection. And more importantly, it provides time for self-care. As people who care about the environment, we often think about how a sustainable lifestyle and our actions can have a positive impact on the planet. However, we often forget how sustainable behavior also positively impacts us as individuals. Our health and well-being are inseparably linked to the health of our environment. And the interactions between these two components are extremely complex. It is important to realize that choosing to care for the planet and positively impact it through our own actions is also a step toward personal well-being. In addition, sexual well-being too has a vital role to play in personal well-being. The Berlin-based start-up VEDRA is tackling this very issue. The brand’s goal is to empower open communication about sexual well-being.
To meet this challenge, VEDRA has launched the first CBD-infused intimate moisturizer on the German market. With THE ESSENTIAL, the brand wants to embrace sexuality. The product combines the moisturizing benefits of water-based lubricants with the energizing effects of full-spectrum CBD: Unlike oil-based lubricants, VEDRA’s water-based CBD formula was developed with the human body in mind. The molecular design of the gel allows the mucous membranes to absorb the CBD faster, enhancing the effect and making the process more efficient, resulting in a stronger effect with a lower CBD content. “CBD is a great match with sexual well-being. It helps with natural lubrication and also promotes blood flow to the nerve vessels, which many consumers describe as an increased feeling of intensity and can even lead to more intense orgasms than without using the product,” says VEDRA-founder Fritz Meise. Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD, acutely helps relieve stress, inflammation and anxiety, or even pain. The use of cannabinoids leads to an inner calm – the so-called homeostasis. For this reason, CBD is believed to have an impact on our sexual well-being. “We use ingredients such as Urea and Allantoin. Urea is a humectant. This means it keeps your skin moist by drawing water from the deeper layers of your skin and the air. Allantoin also helps moisturize and reduce irritation on sensitive skin,” adds Fritz.
There are 15 mg of holistic full spectrum CBD in one bottle of THE ESSENTIAL. It is vegan, silicone free and full of beneficial ingredients. The colorless and pleasant scent keeps the experience as natural as possible. The product is made entirely in the EU; the glass bottles come from a manufactory in Italy, the paper packaging from southern Germany and the gel itself is produced with partners in the Netherlands. “We source all our products with attention on short transport distances and fair working conditions. We wanted to reduce plastic as much as we can,” says Fritz. Throughout the entire design process, the brand has had the goal of creating a product that can be comfortably left on the nightstand. VEDRA believes that an intimate moisturizer should not be hidden away, but can stand alongside other beauty or wellness products. Aesthetics, quality and values are VEDRA’s top priorities.
The name VEDRA comes from a mystical place in Ibiza, a spiritual destination to connect with your inner self and the moment. Legend has it that the Punic goddess Tannit was born there, the goddess of fertility. Just as VEDRA’s product is about finding sensuality and rediscovering one’s inner self, this rock called Es Vedrà, which means freedom, is about finding oneself through exploration.
Fritz Meise, the founder of VEDRA, thrives to create products that go beyond their purely functional use. In doing so, he wants to change the current standards of what a “sex product” is and what it looks like. With aware_, he talks about his vision to enable open communication about sexual well-being for all.
aware_: How did you get the idea to develop a CBD infused intimate moisturizer?
Fritz Meise: I grew up in the erotic industry. We have a family business called Fun Factory, which is the largest manufacturer of sex toys in Europe, with sex toys made entirely in my hometown of Bremen. Because of that, I never had hurdles talking about sexuality in general, as it has always been a normal topic for me. This helped me to understand the market and especially to see the potential of what is possible. I did not want to join our family business, but to create my own path, with a fresh perspective on the market and a young and thriving energy for the future.
aware_: What are the barriers to communicating about sexual well-being?
Fritz Meise: Even though the market is opening up and shady sex stores in dark corners of the city are a thing of the past, it is still difficult to talk openly about the subject as a brand. Especially because the channels of modern marketing via social media are limited, as it is still considered a private topic by Facebook, Google & Co. Therefore, we need to find our own solutions, even if society is already opening up for a conversation.
Our goal is to completely destigmatize sexual well-being.
aware_: How important is a sexual sense of well-being in order to be at peace with oneself and the environment?
Fritz Meise: We see sexual well-being as a holistic approach, as a connection of body, mind and soul. Feeling comfortable in one’s own body, with one’s own sexuality and also in society, no matter what form of sexuality one carries within oneself, is what we at VEDRA are committed to. We are all rooted on this earth and sexuality is a pure form of connection with our inner nature.
aware_: To what extent do you see a connection between sexuality and sustainability?
Fritz Meise: We choose sustainability in all everyday matters: how we dress, what we eat, how we travel. Sustainability plays a central role in our consumer behavior. So why should this conscious thinking stop when it comes to sexuality? Sustainability is a life choice. We at VEDRA want to give food for thought for a more conscious consumption. Sustainability does not yet play a major role in the erotic industry, because 99% of all sex toys are produced in China and have long transport routes. In addition, consumers have not yet developed an awareness that their sex lives can be sustainable as well.
aware_: How is THE ESSENTIAL different from other lubricants?
Fritz Meise: Before we began, we created an extensive survey of consumer behavior regarding lubricants. In this survey, we found that half of the participants could not remember the brand of their last or current lubricant. We analyzed the German market and found only non-innovative, cheap lubricants in colorful plastic bottles. So, we started to rethink this industry.
aware_: At aware_, aesthetics and sustainability go hand in hand. How important are aesthetics and design at Vedra?
Fritz Meise: Every product we create manifests the idea of designing it so that you can proudly leave it on your nightstand instead of hiding it under your bed. This is our driving factor and what makes us so special. We truly stand behind our design and pride ourselves on being pioneers when it comes to rethinking the sexual well-being industry in terms of design as well. We wanted to replace the cheesy colorful packaging and plastic bottles with a mature and inviting brand that people can identify with.
by Marie Klimczak