It is the fishing method used (either with a harpoon or by divers) that determines the area to be harvested. Our sponges are mainly harvested off the Tunisian and Turkish coasts.
We were charmed by Catherine Cypréos, her philosophy and her high-quality sponges. A small company in Fontenay-Sous-Bois, in the Val-de-Marne department of France, sharing a unique view of respect for the environment and eco-friendly fishing. Together, we have selected its finest sponges which we are able to share with you in our shop.
Eco-friendly fished sponges
Our sponges are not industrial products. They are hand-fished with a harpoon or by divers, by local people in Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt. A fishing method that respects both tradition, good practice and protection of the sub-marine environment.
Our sponges are from the genus Hippospongia Communis. The Latin name for these superior-quality sponges that are totally unlike industrially-produced sponges (most of which come from the Caribbean when they are natural).
Our sponges are 100% natural and biodegradable, but most of all respect the animal from which they are derived. Sponges have been fished since the time of the Ancient Greeks and were wrongly considered by early naturalists to be plants. Sea sponges are in fact part of the animal kingdom. However, it is not the animal itself that is fished but its skeleton, which mainly consists of spongin which, once fished, regrows (like the fleece of a sheep after shearing). To be precise, sponges are able to regenerate, even if they get crushed, shredded and sieved in order to separate the cells completely (experiment conducted by Wilson, Galstoff and Fauré-Frémiet): the cells are able to reform spontaneously to form new individuals. These abilities are used to breed sponges for human use, via a method known as budding, where individuals of the right size and quality are cut into pieces (generally four or eight pieces), and then trimmed to spherical shapes. Each piece will result in a whole new individual and begin to grow again. Human beings use and will continue to use living creatures and the resources that nature produces. For this reason, it is essential to control the conditions and identify the consequences of our actions on the living world, something which is extremely important for our entire team.
A perfect sponge, soft and hard-wearing
Our natural Mediterranean sea sponges are the perfect product for use in the bath or shower to care for your body and face.
Each of our sponges is unique in shape and granularity with a size that ranges from 10.5 to 13 cm. You will never find two the same.
Our sponges are hypoallergenic, soft and absorbent. They are suitable for all types of skin and for the whole family, even those with the most sensitive skin, such as the elderly, children and babies.
The fishing method and processing makes them sturdy and hard-wearing. They last for between two to three months, depending on how you use them.
They don't damage the skin, unlike face flannels and other sponges. They are very easy to use. Carefully wet your sponge with our soap and then wash your head and body. Remember to rinse your sponge in clean water after each use, then leave it to dry in the fresh air. Never use detergents, they may damage your sponge.
Naturally processed sponges
They are not lightened (by bleaching) and retain their natural colour. For centuries, industry put forward the idea that white sponges were cleaner. Clearly, this is no longer the case.
Once fished, the sponges are processed by treading, which removes part of the living tissue (the sarcode), and are then washed in sea water for 24 hours to remove the membrane that covers them, by dragging them behind boats.
After drying in the sun, the larger foreign bodies are removed by hand and their shape is trimmed to be more regular.
We pack them in a small brown paper bag (100% biodegradable, of course) before shipping them to you.