The legacy of Horst Rechelbacher extends far beyond the creation of Aveda. a pioneer of holistic beauty, and a champion of environmental responsibility, Horst’s purpose and passion have taken on a momentum of their own as part of a greater global movement toward balance and harmony, both individual and collective.
Born in Austria in 1941 to an herbalist mother and a shoemaker father, Horst began working in the salon across the street at the age of 14. “I was not a good student at all but I was very eager to be something different,” he said. Horst was a natural talent, and by 17 he was working as a stylist at a prestigious salon in Rome, tending to international celebrities. By the young age of 20 he had won the European Hairstyling Championship, which he used as a springboard to tour Europe and the United States. “What is a calling? It’s like almost a fire inside me and it keeps me alive,” he said.
A Life Long Student With A Lasting Vision A world-class stylist in his teens, Horst ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota by accident. Literally. During a stylist competition in 1963, Horst’s car was hit by a drunk driver. He decided to settle in Minneapolis, as a European hairdresser, and opened his own salon, Horst & Friends and then several others, becoming a successful salon entrepreneur in his twenties. In the late sixties, Horst suffered burn out from overwork and recovered thanks to herbal remedies prepared by his mother, as well as to the practice of yoga and meditation. Following a retreat in India in 1970, Horst integrated Ayurveda in his lifestyle and his salon business model. He adopted a holistic thinking, the belief that individual beauty is directly linked to the beauty of the world around us. His were ideas that would revolutionise the beauty industry. “We are the earth,” he said. “We are soil. We are water. We are everything. So go organic if you can. So become a farmer. Grow in your own house. Grow peppermint and make your own tea. Celebrate life.”
Aurevedic Roots 5,000 Years of Results Our earliest roots lie in Ayurveda, the Indian healing tradition based on the knowledge of life and the interconnectedness of all things. It has proven, over 5,000 years, that treating the whole person leads to greater balance and well-being, so we consider the effects of our products not only on hair or skin, but on body, mind and emotion.
Our relationship with Ayurveda began in 1978, thanks to two renowned Ayurvedic physicians and scholars, Drs. Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay. Globally sought for their expertise in Ayurvedic medicine, pharmacology, botanical research and aromatherapy, they brought 1,000s of years of Vedic and Ayurvedic tradition to bear on Aveda's work. Their guidance first helped us identify botanical actives for our products, allowed us to pioneer “functional aromas”(with our Chakra™ Balancing Blends), and helped us launch innovative, powerful plant derived formulas such as Outer Peace™ Acne Relief skin care.
Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of healing that strives to create balance in body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda means “the science of life” and it has been central to Aveda since the very beginning, when we partnered with the Ayurvedic Doctors Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay*.
A life of extraordinary leadership1978 — Horst founds Aveda with the mission of creating holistic beauty through wellness; Aveda is “knowledge of the whole” 1982 — The first Aveda Institute opens its doors in Minneapolis; Aveda Institutes are schools for aspiring professionals in the beauty industry 1987 — Horst publishes “Rejuvenation: A Wellness Guide for Women and Men” 1989 — Horst endorses the Valdez/Ceres principles of environmental sustainability, making Aveda the first company to sign on 1997 — Aveda is acquired by The Estée Lauder Companies and grows to become a global success story with a presence in more than 40 countries and 9,000 salons and spas 1999 — Horst publishes “Aveda Rituals: A Daily Guide to Natural Health and Beauty” 2004 — The beauty industry awards Horst a Lifetime Achievement Award 2005 and 1995 — Vanity Fair magazine names Horst one of the most influential environmentalists in the U.S. 2007— Horst receives the Rachel Carson Award for a Lifetime Commitment to Environmental Ethics & Integrity 2013 — The International Spa Association (ISPA) honours Horst with the ISPA Visionary Leader Award 2007—The Spa & Salon Professional Association honours Horst as an Industry Innovator & Legend for lifetime contribution to the cosmetology industry 2009 — The President of Austria awards Horst the “Decoration of Honour in Gold Services to the Republic of Austria,” an award given to exemplary Austrian business leaders
Our ingredient promise
At Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences, we believe that Nature is the best beauty artist of all. This is why we continually strive to increase our use of naturally derived ingredients whenever possible.
Naturally Derived: We define naturally derived ingredients to be those for which more than 50% of the molecule comes from a plant, non-petroleum mineral, water, or some other natural source.
Our commitment to deliver high performance, botanically-based products that are kinder to the planet – which is good for all of us -- goes much deeper than our use of naturally derived ingredients.
Aveda and green ingredients We connect our Mission with product development by using what we define to be green ingredients whenever possible. At Aveda, our goal is to ensure our products will benefit our guests through exceptional performance, while we deliver our continued promise of environmental and social responsibility. We work hard to ensure that ecological and cultural diversity is represented by responsibly sourcing key ingredients from different habitats all over the world. Through fair compensation, we positively impact the people and economies from which some of our products' ingredients are sourced. Aveda firmly believes that we will succeed in our goal by striving to use what we call green ingredients in our products whenever possible. Our definition of a green ingredient requires that it meet at least one of the following criteria: • Naturally derived, which we define to be those for which more than 50% of the molecule comes from a plant, non-petroleum mineral, water, or some other natural source. • Certified organic. • Sourced from sustainable or renewable plant-based origins, and does not negatively impact the ecosystems from which they are sourced. To Aveda, continued progress and improvement in the number of green ingredients we use in our products is an essential part of ensuring we honour our Mission commitment to care for the world we live in. Aveda's use of green Ingredients in practice: • Since 2000, Aveda has substantially increased our purchases of organic raw herbal ingredients and organic essential oils from 20%-25% of total tonnage to more than 90% for both while also increasing our total tonnage significantly. The exact percentage varies slightly from year to year due to product mix and availability of certified ingredients. • Aveda has established Soil to Bottle™ traceability for certain key ingredients, which allows Aveda to progressively document and expand the source of these ingredients while promoting quality through its supply chain. • Aveda's development of its exclusive Babassu Betaine technology is part of its efforts to develop and use sustainable plant-based alternatives to replace the use of petrochemicals whenever possible. • All of Aveda's essential oils are processed in an environmentally responsible manner through steam distillation
Ingredient sourcing Journey with us—to trace Aveda's ingredients back to the farm or harvesting co-op. We call it Soil to Bottle℠, and we do it to ensure fair compensation throughout the process. Aveda develops close working partnerships with certain communities and/or suppliers and seeks to use them as our primary source for specific ingredients. We frequently reference these relationships in our promotional materials. However, sometimes due to conditions beyond our control (e.g., drought, pests, and capacity limitations) these communities and/or suppliers are unable to meet our needs for an ingredient, including being unable to supply some or all of it. When such situations occur, Aveda uses additional suppliers to provide high-quality alternative sources until we are able to resume sourcing from the primary supplier.
Animals And Aveda
Aveda is a cruelty-free brand. We do not test on animals and never ask others to do so on our behalf. Our products are “people-tested.” Being a cruelty-free brand is an important part of our mission to care for the world we live in and for those we live with, and has been since our founding in 1978.
We strive to set an example for leadership and responsibility of caring, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world. Our commitment to caring for animals and wildlife reaches far and wide. In fact, we live and breathe it.