Holistic Hospitality: taking green into the blue

Holistic Hospitality serves as an online shopping service for superyachts with a strong focus on holistic, natural and marine life friendly products.

The principal philosophy behind the online company was born in 2005 while the founders, Ellen Oerlemans and Laureth Rumble were working on a ‘health conscious’ yacht in the Mediterranean.

Inspired by their love of the ocean, the earth and its people, and coupled with their perceptions of what positive changes could be brought to the yachting industry, the two began dreaming about ultimately making the ocean a greener place.

“We believe that luxury, quality and green integrity can indeed go hand in hand,’ says Laureth. ‘Our commitment is to provide top class, luxurious products and service solutions that enhance guest experiences at the finest yachts, resorts and boutique hotels around the world – without leaving any pollutant footprints.”Ellen & Laureth

Now with our shop the crew has the opportunity to choose from a broad range of biodegradable and environmentally sensitive products, coupled with the convenience of a concierge style one-on-one service ethos.

 “We personally understand the time constraints and stresses within the industry, and also the difference that innovative products and tools can make to alleviate these stresses. We wanted to start a company that would benefit both crew and the environment,” says Ellen. “Our ultimate goal includes spreading a greater awareness throughout the yachting industry of the products we use on deck and inside, enabling us to get to a point of zero harm to ourselves, the environment and aquatic life, whilst retaining maximum efficiency.” 

We had a chat with Ellen and Laureth, here’s what we talked about:

What were your most difficult challenges in setting up your global online business in this industry?

There is a common perception that natural products are not always as effective as the more established, and often more damaging brands. We find that clients sometimes need to be convinced by results in order to change their buying habits. This process can sometimes be challenging. We are starting to see an emerging group of natural environmentally sensitive brands that are focused on getting great results with excellent quality and competitively priced with more traditional brands. It is an exciting time to be part of the super yacht industry.

Which is your most common request from your clients when it comes to reduce their carbon footprint?

We find that clients are becoming more aware of the amount of waste created by the products they buy. This leads to requests for refillable amenities and bulk cleaning products for instance to reduce plastic waste and in turn lessen the carbon impacts of their purchasing decisions. 

In which onboard department do you think there is still lots to do in reducing toxic discharges?

We certainly feel that the general consensus in the industry is to do more to reduce toxic discharges. This has been somewhat easier previously in the interior departments with more solutions handy like natural cleaning products, however, we are very excited to see new products like Blueline for deck and engine rooms changing the way the exterior departments are now going about their work.

Operate a green yacht usually is a choice that starts form owners/management companies or individual crew?

We were lucky that on the yacht we worked on this decision came from the owners! Luckily more and more crew are conscious of their impact and making this decision and hopefully this will in turn make the owners aware and appreciative, especially when the prices are competitive.

In your experience how can we spread a more conscious environmental culture in our industry?

Definitely education is key! More exposure of the personal health risk and environment decline in using harsh, toxic products. New international and local environmental laws are very effective in changing the environmental culture of the industry. No one likes to be fined and when alternatives exist there really is no reason to resist the change from high environmental impact to low or no impact. We only have one earth so we better look after it!

Is our industry ready to switch to online shops for their season provisioning or are we still very agent depended so far?

The local agents still play a great part in provisioning, but as yachts are on the move and internet access improves all the time, we feel that online shops are becoming a convenient solution for hard working, time poor crew. Online supply is definitely a growing industry, but trust will remain imperative.

What was the strangest request you had so far from your clients?

Sheets that need no ironing! We would love to say we’ve discovered them, but not yet!

More infos at www.holistic-hospitality.com

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