Our office is just a block away from the United Nations building in New York City, but I'd never visited until Aveda invited me there in May to attend the Women Together Awards. At the event, Aveda President Dominique Conseil accepted the Business & Institution Award from Women Together, a nonprofit organization based in Madrid, Spain. Each year, the organization celebrates the work of people and businesses, who by their example, commitment and hard work have contributed to peace between cultures and to the realization of the United Nations Millennium Goals. The awards are based on ethical, philosophical, moral, scientific and cultural values.
The Business & Institution Award recognizes companies that believe in sustained growth with a strong commitment to the environment. Aveda was recognized for its fundraising efforts, empowerment of grassroots organizations, and advancement of awareness on environmental issues. One of the initiatives Aveda is committed to is the Enio Bonchev distillery in Bulgaria that employs local peoples to harvest lavender flowers, creating the opportunity for economic independence and sustainability of the local communities. And since 1983 the company has collaborated with the Yawanawa, who live on the western edge of Brazil's Amazon rainforest, to organically grow urukum to color Aveda's Uruku collection. The partnership fosters economic independence for the Yawanawa.
The awards ceremony was followed by a gala dinner and fashion show, "The Colors of Bangladesh," which honored fashion designer Bibi Russell for her dedication to providing opportunities for Bangladeshi weavers. The Scott J Artistic Hair and Make-up Team used Aveda products to do the hair and makeup styling for the fashion show. —Marianne Dougherty, editor in chief, email@example.com