As a manufacturer of natural cosmetics, I was, of course, against animal testing and the use of animal raw materials right from the start and also one of the first members of the animal protection association. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I had advertised this fact in all of my brochures. At that time, the IHTK (International Manufacturers Association for Natural Cosmetics without Animal Additives) did not yet exist, the German animal welfare association took over the contractual regulations. At the time, I had not only cosmetics in my range, but also accessories such as hair brushes and cosmetic mirrors made from fruit woods or natural bath sponges. One day a customer called angrily and accused us of breaking the contract with the guidelines of the animal welfare association. I vigorously defended myself. How dare she say that, I asked her that I was 150 percent under control.

"They sell natural bath sponges from the sea," she called angrily on the phone. "Well, that's good," I said, not understanding her problem. "These are animals," she cried. "Never," I replied, "someone has tied up a bear for you, animals move freely and sponges have grown on the sea floor like other plants." We declared each other crazy, and in the end I hung up. However, I was itchy to follow up on their claims, and later I had to admit sheepishly that sponges are actually animals. I wrote her a conciliatory letter ... the customer still buys from us today, but our dry range had come to an end with this dispute.