Beauty & Haircare Brand Aveda Removes Beeswax From Products, Goes 100% Vegan

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Aveda, the globally present cruelty-free haircare brand, has announced that it is removing beeswax from its products, and in doing so, reformulated more than 500 products, strengthening the brands’ commitment to offering only 100% vegan products. 

Founded in 1978 and owned by The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), the brand has been cruelty-free and mostly vegan except for a selection of products that used components like honey and beeswax. 

By eliminating all beeswax and beeswax-derived ingredients in its products, Aveda is now fully committed to decrease its impact on the planet. 

In an interview with Bazaar, Aveda’s Vice President of Research and Development, Christine Hall said, “We have spent the last three years reviewing more than 900 ingredients to ensure that they were 100% vegan throughout the supply chain. When we first set out to make this transition, we began by looking at any possible animal-derived ingredient that could find its way into the supply chain. And there are a lot in the beauty industry—even I was surprised. For example, sugar can sometimes not be vegan, because it can be processed with bone char.”

Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics skin care routine

Also, by taking out beeswax from its production, Aveda has reportedly faced one of its biggest product development challenges yet, given that beeswax is known to help create texture, structure, color payoff, and smoothness. Usually, a common alternative to beeswax especially for lip products is synthetic beeswax, a wax that is derived from petroleum. 

Petroleum-derived synthetic beeswax ‘wasn’t an option’ for the natural-focused brand. One thing led to another, and Aveda ended up creating its very own beeswax alternative from ‘naturally derived waxes and butters’

Christine Hall, Vice President of Research and Development, Aveda

Aveda has chosen to create a unique mixture of plant-based butters and waxes that are supposed to be strong enough for application and claims to feel good on your lips.

In her conversation with Bazaar, Hall added, “Our lipsticks used beeswax for product strength, color payoff, and smoothness. In styling products, beeswax provided structure and the ability to spread easily through your hair. And petroleum-derived synthetic beeswax ‘wasn’t an option’ for the natural-focused brand. One thing led to another, and Aveda ended up creating its very own beeswax alternative from ‘naturally derived waxes and butters’.”

Apart from this initiative, back in September, Aveda launched a free programme that offsets 100 percent of carbon emissions from products purchased on its website and shipped to U.S. customers.  

The company’s headquarters are in Blaine, Minn., and the 58 acres of land is certified by the National Wildlife Federation. The main building is powered by a 3.6-acre, 900-kilowatt ground-mounted solar array. The campus features vegetable gardens supervised by employees, running trails as well as charging stations for electric vehicles.

We are a brand that has had environmental sustainability in our DNA since our start

Barbara De Laere, Global Brand President of Aveda

To further strengthen its commitment to being sustainable, Aveda has named its first sustainability advocate, the fashion model Arizona Muse. In a conversation with WWD, Barbara De Laere, Global Brand President of Aveda called Muse a ‘devoted climate activist’. “She has become this real force for change. She herself has been using Aveda since her childhood.”

De Laere further added, “This year, when the coronavirus pandemic caused hair salons to close, Aveda’s salon partners relied on its online sales programme called A-commerce. Salon sales through A-commerce rose by an average of 147 percent compared to last year. Stylists saw an 885-percent increase in new guests compared to 2019.”

Aveda’s Lip Balms

Apart from this, Aveda is also involved in a vanilla traceability ‘pilot’ project, making use of mobile phones and QR codes to trace the journey from a cooperative of 450 smallholder vanilla farmers in Madagascar to LMR (Aveda’s fragrance partner in France) to Aveda’s manufacturing facility in Blaine, Minnesota. 

Speaking to Business Green, De Laere said, “We are a brand that has had environmental sustainability in our DNA since our start. With this technology, we can make that extremely transparent. We can also do this in a very objective way. It’s not just us saying this, and people have to take our word for it.”

Aveda has also partnered with Veganuary, inviting people to sign up to go vegan for the entire month of January. The challenge also provides helpful tips and suggestions for those wanting to go vegan.

Aveda’s newly vegan formulations can be found on its website as well as in salons, spas and stores.


All images are courtesy of Aveda’s Facebook page

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