KIEHL’S ACTS FOR RAINFOREST
Byline: Matthew W. Evans
NEW YORK — Susan Sarandon did more than simply shop during a visit to the Kiehl’s Since 1851 flagship on Tuesday.
The store on Manhattan’s Third Avenue hosted Sarandon and designer Todd Oldham, who both appeared on behalf of the Amazon Conservation Team to ceremoniously accept $43,097 in profits from the sales of a Kiehl’s bag that Oldham designed. Sarandon and Oldham, who are both ACT board members, were joined by Luciano Mutumbajoy, a representative of the Colombian Amazon’s Union of Yage Healers, a group of shaman elders.
The Kiehl’s bag, 2,600 of which were produced and sold beginning last November at the company’s two freestanding stores and Kiehl’s counters in 35 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, was apparently a hot commodity.
“I couldn’t get one — I had to pull strings,” admitted Sarandon. “When I went to the store, they were all out.
“I always use Kiehl’s products, and we were just incredibly lucky because Kiehl’s was very generous,” added Sarandon, whose association with ACT president Mark Plotkin goes back 20 years. “Kiehl’s has always been supportive. They came through for me once before with Mother Teresa and sent [product] to India.”
Oldham, who said he is a lifelong Kiehl’s fan, said the bag was a gesture of thanks, which “they turned it into a fund-raiser.” He explained that ACT has helped “map indigenous people’s land to prevent government encroachment” and helped “unite many shaman groups throughout South America, [which] is essential for their longevity.”