Soeurs de l'abbaye de Chantelle

Natural based cosmetics made in the Monastery of Compostelle, France

By Natasha Miteva

Soeurs de l'abbaye de ChantelleNear Saint-Pourçain, France, there is the monastery of the nuns of the order of Saint-Benedict. Here, the interesting thing is that the sisters have a factory for making natural based cosmetics. Situations like this are very rare, so we decided to make an interview with the main sister, Sister Pascale about what they are doing, how they make the goods and their way of work.

The sisters started with their work in 1954 and that lasts till today. The reason for their production is that they were too poor, and they needed to do something to survive. Suddenly there was an idea to make a production line for cosmetics on a natural base. For their work they needed ingredients that they couldn’t find around this region and they were walking to Paris and back for ingredients because they had no vehicle. There they would also sell their products.

Boutique de l'abbaye de ChantelleWhen the factory started with work, the only personnel were the sisters. Today there are 10 employees from 21 to 45 years old, by whom two of them are male. The sister we interviewed, sister Pascale, is the main sister who also does the work of being in charge of the factory.

“We are trying to make our goods on natural base, but we add some artificial ingredients too. But it can’t be too considered unnatural as most of our products are made with water… We are making toilet water, creams, liquid soap, perfumes, lotions etc.” – she said. They are selling their goods in a store next to the monastery, but they are also selling goods from other factories. Their own products they export in other countries in Europe, like Italy, Spain, Portugal as well.

If you are interested about this type of natural based cosmetics, we are warmly advising you to visit the accommodating sisters in the monastery and their store.