Fashion, Beauty Salons and the Cosmetics Industry are the golden ingredients to shooting a fashion photography editorial. One cannot exist without the other and sustainable beauty products would be nothing without Horst. The founder of the Aveda Corporation in 1978, Horst would help create a sustainable business model for future generations. Raised as Horst Rechelbacher in Nazi-occupied Austria, his family was very poor. He stopped going to school in fourth grade in order to help support his family. Instead of receiving a formal education, Horst began apprenticing as a hairstylist at the age of fourteen. His reputation for being a talented stylist spread quickly throughout the hair industry and club scene.
In 1965 Horst was in a bad car accident and he opened his first salon at the age of twenty-four to help pay off his medical expenses. To better manage his pain and fast paced lifestyle, Horst began studying Eastern philosophies and meditation. It was then that he heard a lecture by Swami Rama at a local University and followed him to India. Horst lived in India for six months. While in India, like his mother who was an herbalist, Horst studied plants and herbs that helped support a hollistic lifestyle in order to maintain optimum health. When he came back to the United States, it was then he began creating products for his salons using what he had learned about plants essential oils.
Horst was not only a passionate environmentalist, he was a supporter of creating sustainable products from the design of the packaging and the marketing, down to the ingredients inside them. He had a passion for protecting the earth from pollutants. Aveda would partner with farmers in different parts of the world to grow and harvest his ingredients sustainably, while helping to raise communities out of poverty by supporting their local economy. Horst made sure his products did not contain synthetic or petroleum based ingredients and that they were not tested on animals. Horst was a genius and he paved the way for the environmental businesses we see today. Horst pushed all things eco long before it became the movement it is now. He sold his company, Aveda to Estee Lauder in 1997 for $300 million in cash.
Not bad for what some might consider a visionary hippie.
What we need to see more of today is Horst’s business ideas and corporate responsibility pushed into creating and manufacturing all Fashion, Beauty Salon and Cosmetics products sustainably, moving more eco lines onto the fashion runways, and producing non glossy catalogs and fashion magazines that can be recycled. Together, these three industries can deliver much more than the image of just another ‘pretty picture,’ they can support corporate and environmental responsibility. Horst proved through Aveda Corporation that Eco is not a trend, it is a successful and profitable way of doing business.
In honor of his Horst‘s vision and his ability to balance Profit, Eco Capitalism and Environmental Products with a touch of Spiritual Awareness. Check out this Balancing Ritual gift set by Aveda for the inner hippie in all of us seeking to balance our every day life in the midst of the holiday rush.