Our work towards progress
At Aveda our mission is to care for the Earth, and that means all of those who live in it. As we live through the lens of this value, we see it as not only our responsibility, but our non-negotiable duty, to stand up against hatred and injustice.
One year ago, we shared our commitment to better support the Black community by helping dismantle systemic racism and expanding initiatives internally and externally to become better allies. This meant we had to look within. We had to listen in order to learn how to define Aveda’s responsibility to this community and the world. Today, we’re sharing our progress and using this one year milestone to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to inclusivity and diversity.
We believe that standing up starts with education and building bridges for opportunity:
BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS
One of our ongoing commitments is to double recruitment of employees and interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. In order to reach this goal, together with our parent company, we collaborated with Howard University to expand our talent pipeline.
In 2020, we launched our partnership with Howard by becoming a corporate sponsor for their “21st Century Advantage Program.” This is a freshman symposium in which corporate sponsors work with first year students and partner with them to complete a business challenge. This allows students to nurture their developing business skills by putting them into practice with the support of established companies. At the same time, it helps expose these same companies to rising talent from the Black community.
As part of this Howard partnership, we paired Aveda leaders with students. Students presented their final projects with Aveda in April 2021, sharing research and ideas to solve for a business challenge. Aveda awarded three $2,500 scholarships to students who excelled in the program.
Additionally, with our parent company, we recently launched a second initiative at the University titled, “She’s Howard: Own Your Power.” The program helps to foster the continued success of female Howard graduates through career coaching, professional training and self-empowering mentorship opportunities.
Through these programs with Howard University, we are discovering how our company can better represent the Black community and support their needs. We are fully committed to listening and learning in order to do the right work that makes a difference.
BECOMING BETTER ADVOCATES THROUGH LEARNING
Aveda held 14 brand-wide learning days focused on inclusion, diversity, awareness and activism. Aveda employees participated in discussions about environmental racism, plus they listened to panels about the experience as a Black employee at Aveda. We also held a workshop on examining allyship to further discuss what that truly looks like in today’s world, and how one can better advocate for the Black community.
In the past year, we also created a virtual Aveda employee book club to educate our organization about dismantling systemic racism, unconscious bias and more through reading and powerful discussion.
EXPANDING TEXTURED HAIR EDUCATION AND PRODUCT TESTING TO CREATE BEAUTY FOR ALL
The power of beauty can be transformational for mind and body, which is why it’s so important for all hair types and textures to harness its power in a deeply personal way.
We’ve scientifically formulated hair care for all hair types and textures and increased performance testing up to 5x to further ensure our products’ efficacy on all hair types. What does this process look like? For nutriplenish™ and botanical repair™, our newest hair care collections, our Research and Development team tested on a wide range of hair tresses, or hair samples, in-house. The team also tested through Aveda salons and with consumer panelists to get a full understanding of efficacy on all kinds of hair.
We also recognise that we do not live in a “one size fits all” world, especially when it comes to hair. Tight coils, curly, wavy or straight hair can all require different kinds of formulas. The density of hair can also dictate the formula texture needed, plus many people have preferences in terms of what they like to use on their hair. That’s why we’ve formulated products with more variety to be more inclusive of all hair needs—such as our botanical repair™ intensive strengthening masque formulas in both light for fine-to-medium hair and rich for medium-to-thick hair. Our salon treatments also offer customised options for different hair types and textures.
Last year we committed to expanding our in-house texture hair education team, and we launched an industry-leading Textured Hair education curriculum. This curriculum is now fully integrated into required training at Aveda Institutes. It is part of the education every student receives and during 2020-2021, we trained 12,000 Aveda Artists and students globally. This education has also been supplied to our partner salons to help them better serve guests with textured hair.
Additionally, this year we launched a new textured hair technique program with a cutting class and styling class. Our Aveda Texture Team also hosted two Texture Jams, in which Aveda Artists around the globe came together to showcase their expertise with waves, curls and coils. Our Jam sessions were another powerful platform to amplify Black talent throughout the Aveda network. This was a fun and engaging learning opportunity for the 50,000 members of our Aveda Artist community to learn more about cutting, colouring and styling textured hair. The first Texture Jam in summer of 2020 also raised over $20,000 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
For fall 2021, we are building upon our existing pool of salon educators by uplifting a new group of artists from the jams. This will help ensure our salon education team can learn from the future leaders and experts in textured hair care.
MORE WORK TO DO
In addition to these initiatives, we’re ensuring that all creative assets and content produced by Aveda are developed through a lens of inclusivity, in front of and behind the cameras. The Black community deserves to see themselves represented by beauty companies and the chance to equally contribute to a multi-faceted vision of beauty.
The progress we’re sharing reinforces our commitment to stand in solidarity with our Black employees, Black consumers and Black communities at large. We realise there is still much more to learn, understand and do in order to grow. We aim for continuous learning and to become better, stronger and more vocal allies.
We remain steadfast in our mission to help push for systemic changes and will continue to share updates on how we’re bringing this vision forward.