Aveda stylists work on a model backstage at the Phillip Lim show. The company"s products are all plant-based.© Brita Belli
The amount of plastic particles in the oceans has tripled since the 1960s, plastic outnumbers algae in ocean waters 6:1, and it’s responsible for the deaths of over a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles each year. As of June 2008, according to the press release, Aveda has collected more than 50,000 pounds of plastic and returned it to use.
Keeping bottled water out of the hands of models and designers might seem a small part of that global effort, but the effect is noticeable. "The models say that at other backstages, there are hundreds of water bottles laying around," says Miller. No one remembers which bottle belongs to them, so they keep opening new ones. Labels with spaces to write names on the Aveda Sigg bottles solve the "Whose bottle is it?" dilemma.
The organic food Aveda provides has appeal among the models as well. "They want to eat healthy,” Miller says.
It’s all in keeping with their grander green mission—which includes natural hair and skin products that don’t strip the hair or irritate the skin, especially important to models going through some eight shows a day at the height of fashion week. Even Aveda’s hairspray contains no alcohol, and although the aerosol might be a contentious point in terms of emissions, the company offsets them by buying carbon credits. "We want our products to be useful for professionals, but we’re still concerned about offsetting," Miller says.
Aveda provided models, designers and other VIPs with emission-free pedicab trips between fashion shows.© Aveda
Designers are taking notice, and approaching Aveda about coming to their shows. Top of that list was Lim, a mid-thirties designer who won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for best emerging designer in 2007, and whose dresses have become ubiquitous on Hollywood starlets, including Rihanna, Diane Kruger and Lauren Conrad. His 3.1 collection was on display under Fashion Week’s most distinguished tent, before an audience that included actress Juliette Lewis, and it was a play of muted colors and ruffles, belts tied into bows and dresses that drape, all done under low lighting and set to thumping beats. But it’s Lim’s Go Green Go collection that’s got the real green cred. Available at Bergdorf’s and Barney"s, it’s got all of Lim’s signature drapes, gathers and details done in organic cotton and free of dyes. He even created his own tote bag for the show. "Phillip is extremely green," says Miller.
Aveda made its presence and mission known throughout the week by offering free pedicab rides for the models, designers and other VIPs, taking them from show to show as a fun, emission-free way to travel.
BRITA BELLI is editor of E.
CONTACT: Aveda; Phillip Lim