Aveda is a beauty company that manufactures flower and plant-based beauty products. Aveda, which is translated from the Sanskrit as “all knowledge” or “knowledge of nature,” is based on the fundamental connection of health and beauty and the healing properties of nature. Through its commitment to environmental responsibility in its products and business practices, Aveda is an example of environmental leadership for the beauty industry.
Aveda was founded in 1978 by environmentalist Horst Rechelbacher, who wanted to create personal care products using ingredients found in nature. Rechelbacher worked in a beauty salon in Minnesota and founded the company with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products. The company launched its first hair care product, clove shampoo, in 1978, and later expanded to institutes and salons. In 1989, Aveda opened its first Environmental Lifestyle Store on Madison Avenue in New York City and endorsed the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) Principles. In 1997, Estée Lauder bought Aveda for $300 million. Today, Aveda is one of the fastest-growing brands in Estee Lauder’s portfolio.
Aveda products are designed according to the company’s slogan: The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences. Aveda products are only sold in licensed salons or Aveda stores. Aveda’s product lines include hair products, such as shampoos, conditioning agents, and styling gels; skin care, including moisturizers, toners, and exfoliants; a full line of makeup; and scents based on pure natural ingredients. In addition to the extensive line of products, Aveda has also developed spas, which provide services based on Aveda’s mission, and created institutes to teach salon professionals the Aveda principles. Aveda emphasizes using natural ingredients in its products and using responsible packaging as a way to promote sustainability.
Aveda advocates sustainable business practices. Their mission and values are designed to foster awareness and create change in individuals and society to protect biodiversity and promote sustainable living practices. Aveda was the first company of its kind to endorse the CERES Principles, which promote higher environmental standards for corporations. The CERES Principles include sustainable use of natural resources, reduction of waste, energy conservation, environmental restoration, informing the public, and assessment and reporting. Aveda publishes CERES annual reports to inform the public of its progress in meeting these goals.
Aveda’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its products into community partnerships. In 1993, Aveda formed a partnership with the Yawanawa tribe, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, to source uruku, a red dye used in the company’s cosmetics. In 2007, Aveda became the first beauty company to use 100 percent wind power in its manufacturing and is the largest corporate purchaser of wind energy in Minnesota. At the 2008 New York fashion week, Aveda handed out refillable bottles filled with New York tap water. Aveda’s newest environmental campaign is CAPS, which asks consumers to bring their plastic caps from water bottles to Aveda stores to recycle.