Devoted to Water How Aveda is raising money to bring clean water to needy communities, one candle at a time

Hair and skincare company Aveda takes their environmental commitments seriously—so much so that they celebrate all of April as “Earth Month” as opposed to the single Earth Day (April 22). The company’s main concern is the shortage of clean water in communities across the world—one in seven people worldwide lack access to clean water, and 2.5 billion lack proper sanitation facilities. The repercussions are immense: women spending days fetching water and unable to attend school; serious illness and death, particularly among vulnerable children. Now in its 12th year, Aveda’s Earth Month campaign has pledged to raise $4 million to fund clean water projects around the world. “Every year, to our amazement, we have exceeded our goal,” says Katie Galloway, manager of Aveda’s Earth Fund.

Aveda Light the Way candle

They’re aiming to achieve almost half of their $4 million goal through sales of the “Light the Way” candle, an organic, soy-based candle scented with notes of lavender and sage. All profits raised from the candle will go to Global Greengrants Fund, a grassroots organization Aveda has partnered with for the past five years to fund water-related projects in over 40 countries. “They rely on a network of advisors who are experts in their communities, so the projects that get done are the ones that are needed most,” Galloway says.

On a local level, each salon has their own “Appointments for the Earth” drives where, for example, on every Saturday in April, 100% of a salon’s profits will benefit a local clean-water organization. During the week of April 22, salons hold their annual Walk for Water, where participants walk four miles, the average distance a woman in a developing nation walks to access clean water each day. Last year, the Aveda Walk for Water in Dallas, Texas, raised $30,000 for their local organizations, the Gulf Restoration Network and the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper.

“The ability of our salons to fundraise has never ceased to amaze me,” Galloway says. “The issue of clean water is so fundamental that it resonates with everyone in some way. I think that’s why we’ve been so successful in inspiring guests to donate and support the cause.”

CONTACT: Aveda Earth Month.