Emilia-Romagna, the northern Italian region just south of Lombardy, is home to cities such as Parma, Bologna and Ferrara, and more often associated with culinary delicacies than makeup. Yet, the region is second in cosmetics manufacturing only to Lombardy, accounting for 10.2 percent of the country’s beauty production.
Davide Bollati, a Parma native and founder of Davines and Comfort Zone professional brands, has combined twin passions for good food and innovative cosmetics in a deal with Italy’s Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. The foundation protects and coordinates efforts of local small-scale farmers, cheesemakers, growers and others, and works with projects around the world to promote environmentally and culturally sustainable agriculture.
In its new Essential Haircare line, Davines offers a range of nine product “families,” each of which relies on a specific ingredient — such as yellow melon, lentil seeds, capers or buckwheat — harvested by slow-food producers in Italy.
“In creating ‘beauty,’ we want to encourage people to take care of themselves, of the place where they live and work, of what they love,” said Bollati, noting that he has always been sensitive to environmental issues — for instance, the plastic used in the Essential Haircare packaging is food-safe and recyclable. In addition, the names of individual farmers appear on the labels.
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“We wanted to be transparent all the way in our communication with clients,” Bollati noted.
“By including farmers’ names on the labels, we guarantee the traceability of the supply chain, not just the slow-food association that we work with, but of specific farmers that are part of it,” he said. “Every active ingredient in the Essential Haircare line has the face, story and name of the person who harvested it with care and passion.”