AVEDA Partners with Hope For Women to Complete Record Setting Fair Trade Transaction

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Hope For Women partners with Aveda to complete the single largest Fair Trade purchase of a sustainably harvested rainforest product in Colombian history.

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Fair Trade is particularly compelling during the holiday season – giving a Fair Trade gift propagates a virtuous cycle, benefiting the person who gives the gift, the giftee, and the people that crafted it.

As Fair Trade increasingly becomes an important part of the brand DNA of major corporations globally, AVEDA in partnership with Hope For Women has completed the single largest Fair Trade purchase of a sustainably harvested rainforest product in Colombian history. This year, every AVEDA Holiday 2010 Collection gift will include a tagua hair band, sustainably handcrafted in Colombia under Fair Trade practices. Tagua is a sustainable rainforest product long used by artisans who craft it into a variety of art and beauty objects. People indigenous to the rainforest regions of Colombia, where the tagua is harvested, are increasingly under pressure from the clearing of the rainforest in which they live. Due to this Fair Trade purchase, these communities, along with artisan groups in Bogota, are able to produce a valuable product, that serves to preserve rainforest habitat and benefit their communities.

A consumer driven movement that was still fairly obscure even 10 years ago, Fair Trade practices are moving into the mainstream and being adopted by leading consumer-focused businesses, according to Evan Goldsmith, President of Hope For Women, the company AVEDA partnered with for this transaction. “Fair Trade has entered the mainstream consumer consciousness, the way that environmentally sustainable business practices did over the last decade. Consumers increasingly want to know that the products they buy are not only good for the environment, but that they are also good for the people who make them – that these people are paid a fair wage, have sustainable long term employment under good working conditions, and that their entire communities benefit.” Goldsmith points out that, “Fair Trade is particularly compelling during the holiday season – giving a Fair Trade gift propagates a virtuous cycle, benefiting the person who gives the gift, the giftee, and the people that crafted it.”

AVEDA has long made socially and environmentally responsible business practices integral to every aspect of the firm’s business. Chris Werle, AVEDA Vice President of Global Communications, notes that, for AVEDA, “It goes beyond fair trade — paying an equitable and sustainable price for ingredients. We believe in benefit sharing, a holistic view of hair, body and mind, and naturally co-existing with your environment and community. We want to make permanent and positive differences in people’s quality of life through the way we do business, and Hope For Women is the company we’ve partnered with to accomplish this. The tagua hair band we’re featuring in this season’s AVEDA holiday gift set represents the single largest Fair Trade purchase of a sustainably harvested rainforest product in Colombian history. That’s remarkable by any standard. It speaks volumes for Hope For Women, and why they are such a valued partner.”

According to Goldsmith, Hope For Women is seeing strong and growing interest in Fair Trade, even through the recent economic slowdown, as firms look for compelling ways to differentiate their brands. For example, the company executed recent programs for Seventh Generation, Isis, KeyBank, and Boston Common Asset Management.

AVEDA’s Holiday Gift Sets will be available worldwide this holiday season, and can be purchased at select AVEDA salons and online at http://www.aveda.com . They come pre-wrapped, and ready for giving.

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Iza Socha
PMG PR
(802) 863-3929 x 105
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Evan Goldsmith
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