The sky is a winter blue, creased with highlights of a glorious sun. The forest forms an interesting canopy as you hit the trail and travel almost a kilometre in before you arrive at a clearing which has been set up to perfection. Vials of plant extracts and bottles of finished products jostle with raw ingredients like turmeric root, ginger, coconut oil, licorice and pomegranate skin pounded to a fine power; this is the ideal setting at The Oberoi Sukhvilas (on the outskirts of Chandigarh) for brand Aveda to launch its hair care range in India. For a company that is 40 years old and relies heavily on ancient ayurvedic wisdom to formulate its products, the move to debut in India was a well-calibrated one.
Aveda, which is part of the Estee Lauder portfolio of beauty brands, was made for our times and taps into a growing urban mass that is conscious of consumption patterns and wants to make mindful choices.
Horst Rechelbacher, an Austrian hairdresser who founded Aveda in 1978, was inspired to create this brand after travelling extensively across India, where he was drawn to the principles of Ayurveda He championed holistic living and believed in sustainability, using organic, nature-inspired and plant-based ingredients to create a world-class product back then.
There’s the lingering smell of lavender, or it is hibiscus, perhaps rosemary, tinged with herbs and plants that form the core of what the brand stands for. Aveda ticks all the right boxes; bottles are 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled), the brand is cruelty-free-it is tested on people, not animals, the aromas are naturally distilled using plants and flowers, it sources chiefly organic ingredients from across the globe, its skin and hair care ranges are manufactured using a green process (operations are 100 per cent powered by wind) and the brand is carbon positive.
The products now available in India are all in the hair care space.
At a time when sustainable consumption scores big, it is easy to see why someone would choose to see money spent in green brands as an investment in the world around us. According to Cindy Angerhofer, executive director, Botanical Research for Aveda, “Sustainability is a challenge and quality control at the highest level takes place both in procuring and processing ingredients. We work with suppliers to ensure the plant or flower is grown and harvested in the right way. A cosmetic company has to have traceability and that is closely linked to our suppliers.”
The extensive R&D that goes into formulating the products has resulted in hair care ranges as varied as Invati, which focuses on hair loss and thinning and uses ingredients like organic amla which is rich in protein, an ayurvedic herb blend with ginseng, certified organic turmeric, tangerine peel and Japanese knotwood all of which are known to boost scalp health and keratin. This strong collaboration between earnest ingredients and fantastic formulations is what gives the products such a strong consumer base.
With its sight set on becoming a vegan beauty brand by 2020 and already present in more than 24 countries, it is truly a homecoming for the once small brand which defines mindful luxury. Available in India exclusively on www.sephora. nnnow.com and www.nykaa.com
With love from Mumbai
Designer Samant Chauhan brings his aesthetic to Maximum City
The city of Mumbai has been well encapsulated as muse and inspiration by many. She makes yet another appearance in designer Samant Chauhan’s new store, which shows deep influences of the city by the bay. The store, his second after Delhi, is located opposite The Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba and reflects the architectural style and aesthetic of the neighbourhood during the Colonial era. The 700 sq ft space makes ample use of restored teakwood and brickwork, while adding nostalgic touches like Colonial-era switchboards.
The store is reminescent of Mumbai from yesteryears.
Chauhan’s latest collection Do Not Allow Me to Forget You was also unveiled at the new store. The collection, centred around Bhagalpuri silk and handwoven clothes, is inspired by the designer’s memories of the city and you find snatches of Mumbai visuals like steelwork sunsets, orange skies that dissolve into black, and deep dark lanes of Kamathipura, all part of the city that never sleeps. Where Roosevelt House, Opposite Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai.