(AKA 'A way to care for the earth'. Excuse the pun!)
A couple of weeks back I had a little time to spare and was invited to Aveda's institute in London. I had been invited before but was away and unable to go! I was already a little familiar with Aveda and said yes! I don't say yes to everything, but this seemed to fit in with my lifestyle.
In their words, "Aveda™, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.
Aveda manufactures professional plant-based hair care, skin care, makeup, Pure-Fume™ and lifestyle products. Headquartered in Blaine, Minnesota, Aveda is available in Aveda stores, and in nearly 7,000 professional hair salons and spas in 24 countries worldwide."
I turned up at the Holborn Aveda training institute and Spa, and was immediately greeted like an old friend. The building houses a spa, the training institute and 'Le Pain Quotidien', a cafe/restaurant (more on that later). Aveda's ethos really impressed me. The brand is very much into renewable sourcing and recycling- caring for the earth while it is in our generation's stewardship. I was amazed to learn that every item in the salon is carefully sourced in order to meet Aveda's renew and recyle vision. All their products are manufactured in a way that does not contain or create nasty non-biodegradable end products or waste.
As I was shown round the salon, the attention to detail really struck me. The towels they use will naturally decompose after 3 months, and are not created using harmful and harsh cotton bleaching processes. The salon contains no cut flowers, only live plants (including cacti to absorb any stray electromagnetic/electrostatic rays from computer screens and phones). There are recycled rugs on the floor to insulate. Any leaflets and printing are done on recycled paper, that can be recycled again later. Even the large display posters are not coated in plastic and therefore able to be recycled later in their life. As I browsed the shelves, I was offered a cup of Aveda tea (in a recyclable cup). I am not really a tea or coffee drinker, but this tea is made of liquorice root. It's yummy and very detoxifying.
On the side note of food, I ate a light lunch at the restaurant. I found it hard to choose but ended up with Spinach and Ricotta puff pastry triangles with mixed leaves and a cooling glass of homemade limeade with mint. I took a seat at the communal large table. If you are unfamiliar with 'Le Pain Quotidien', their philosophy is very similar to Aveda's. Source natural, organic produce and care for the earth. Their restaurants always try to have a large communal table so that everyone can sit together with friends and strangers. (After all, a stranger is just a friend who you haven't met yet). My meal came to around £10, but I would happily pay that for the food on a semi-regular basis as it tasted lovely and came with a clear and healthy conscience! If you want to know more, then please visit their website ttp://www.lepainquotidien.co.uk
Overall the main room is light and airy. The large glass front lets in maximum natural light to enable nature's intended environment. The nail bar is situated perfectly in a secluded but open spot, where you could chat to a friend while having a treatment. It encourages people to relax but also feel free to interact and mingle. With a nail bar, hair salon, therapy suite, restaurant and shop all under one roof, this salon can cater for most therapeutic needs all in one go! To give you an idea, waxes start from £17 , Manicures from £25. Looking through the treatment menu (on recycled paper printed with natural soy ink), the breakfast blow dry catches my attention. A blowdry, breakfast and wifi so you can gently start the day in a relaxed environment while reading your work schedule AND walk out ready for any meeting with lovely sleek hair. I also like the fact that if you are having a consultation with a therapist, that they will wash your feet as they conduct the consultation prior to treatment. A lovely touch.
Aveda gave me a little goodie bag of products to try, which I will post about in due course. I had a lovely time at Aveda and can say that their salons and brands are worth a look. Some of their products and services might cost a little bit more than alternatives, however if you like beauty with a conscience, then I recommend that you research Aveda's natural, organic and sustainable options.
Disclaimer: If you are in any doubt about the integrety of this post, then I would like to add that I went back to Aveda at a later date. I liked some of the products and wanted to purchase some others with my own money. I chose to go back and was in a sense a 'secret shopper'. The service and advice was just as friendly as when I was the company's guest. I was offered Aveda tea again and ended up with a free '£20 off treatments' voucher. I am choosy about where I spend my money and would not have returned out of choice if I didn't like Aveda!
P.s. Don't forget my mega giveaway (click the right hand bar to go to the post!)