Aveda Talks Indigenous Sourcing at U.N.
NEW YORK — Aveda met with leaders from around the world at the United Nations last week, hosting its second annual forum on business partnerships with indigenous communities.

While last year’s event touched on how to create business models that protect natural resources, this year’s talks — part of the United Nations’ fifth annual Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which ran from May 15 through Friday — were primarily focused on land rights and resources, key issues for indigenous populations.

“It starts with clarity,” Dominique Conseil, president of Aveda, owned by the Estée Lauder Cos., said at the event. “Be­fore people start to do business, you need to clarify who owns what and [who] gets legitimate ownership.” Aveda believes in building a foundation of values, trust and partnerships at the beginning of the supply chain, which, the company contends, ultimately yields higher quality in natural products.

“For us, it’s about knowing who processed the raw materials,” said Conseil. “It’s based on a personal trust relationship, and we have complete visibility over the whole thing. We know they are producing high-quality harvests that are socially and environmentally responsible.”

Aveda has already formed partnerships with indigenous communities in Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, South Africa, Vanuatu and Peru, and it plans to develop similar relationships in Morocco and British Columbia. Aveda also supports the Global Green Grant Funds, a non-profit organization that supports young indigenous people around the world through education.

Aveda has reached out to indigenous communities, providing everything from education to advanced mapping technology. To Conseil, it’s all about capacity building and understanding global and administrative regulations. “The way to improve things is to give education, opportunity and help build their capacity. Education is at the heart of everything we do. When we do it well, it becomes completely independent from us, which is what we want.”
Michelle Edgar

Boss Skin Makes U.S. Debut
NEW YORK — Following a September debut in Europe, Boss Skin has made its way to the U.S.

Hugo Boss and its licensee, P&G Prestige Products Inc., introduced the seven-item, men’s treatment line in the U.S. at Bloomingdale’s and at Hugo Boss’ 30 stores in the U.S., a total of 59 doors, earlier this month.

This story first appeared in the May 31, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We wanted to build it at Bloomingdale’s first,” said Rebecca Masson, vice president of marketing for the prestige division of P&G Prestige Products, noting there’s currently no plan to expand upon that distribution network. “We felt they were the perfect retail partner because of their focus on becoming a leader in the men’s skin care category.” She hinted at potential expansion of men’s skin care areas at Bloomingdale’s.

Boss Skin is priced from $15 to $40 and is divided into groups dubbed Clean (face wash and scrub), Shave (shave gel and aftershave balm), Moisturize (moisture gel) and Specialty (serum and eye gel).

“Men are more concerned about their appearance,” said Sarah Stein, director of marketing for P&G Prestige Products. “Skin care is a big part of this,” she added, noting that 20 percent of Boss Skin users “never used skin care before.”

Industry sources estimate the line could do at least $750,000 in first-year retail sales in the U.S. Boss Skin will be promoted with an upcoming ad in the New York Times, via retailer catalogues, and with a sampling and direct-mail campaign.
Matthew W. Evans