It’s hard to think of a better setting to unwind and relax than Italy. It is here, among the rolling hills of Sicily and Puglia’s shady olive groves, that beauty entrepreneur Irene Forte has chosen to launch her spas this spring.
As the daughter of hotel mogul Sir Rocco Forte, it will come as little surprise that the brand new spas are set to open at four of the family’s properties: Villa Igiea in Palermo and the Verdura Resort in Sicily, Masseria Torre Maizza in Puglia and Hotel de la Ville in the heart of Rome.
Getting to this point has been quite a journey. After years working for the family business, Forte struck out on her own to set up her eponymous ethical skincare label championing natural plant-based products backed by science.
The luxurious collection is made using ingredients grown at the Verdura Resort 550-acre organic farm in Sicily – the setting for one of her new spas set to open at the start of April. Right from the beginning, Forte was eager to build sustainability into the DNA of her business working with local artisans to craft her products in Italy, creating eco-friendly refillable packaging and using upcycled ingredients.
“Since the brand’s inception, it has been hugely important to me that my line is as sustainable as possible,” she explains. “Our environmental impact is considered at every level of the business, from sourcing ingredients to production, to supporting our community and packaging. It is more important than ever for us to protect our environment and businesses need to do their part to not cause further damage.”
The hard work has certainly paid off. Forte’s skincare brand was recently awarded the prestigious B Corp certification. “This was a significant achievement for me as it proves that we have taken and will continue to take the necessary steps to be a truly sustainable and responsible brand, not just for our customers but also for our entire workforce,” she says. “It was a rigorous process, however, one that was extremely important to me.”
Of course, the beauty entrepreneur has shown the same dedication to minimizing the environmental impact of her latest venture, Irene Forte Spas. Forte collaborated with the Sustainable Spa Association to implement long-term eco-friendly business strategies, and positive change agents including First Mile to recycle all professional products, and B-Corp certified WAMI to supply water.
So what can guests expect at the brand new spas? From the moment you arrive, it’s difficult to imagine you are anywhere but Italy. The floral scent of orange blossom fills the air, locally made Burgio Bells are rung at the beginning and end of each treatment and handcrafted Sicilian ceramics feature throughout.
And when it comes to the products themselves, you’re in for a serious treat. Clinically approved for sensitive skin and certified vegan, the luxurious lotions and oils are made with ingredients from the organic farm in Sicily that transport you straight to the idyllic Mediterranean countryside (think sweet almonds, roses, apricots and olives).
Highlights from the wide range of treatments available include the Etna Age-Defying Facial which uses hot and cold volcanic stones from Mount Etna to tackle signs of aging and the Sicilian Earth and Sea Toning treatment which features a wrap made from Trapani sea salt, nutrient-rich algae and clay mud to leave you feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated.
Irene Forte Spas has also partnered with The Amethyst Trust – a charity that provides therapies for those living with and recovering from cancer. The Restorative Facial and Nurturing Massage is carefully tailored to personal needs by a Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care (SATCC) accredited therapist and includes guided breathwork to help both body and mind relax.