Interview: Paolo Braguzzi

We catch up with Davines CEO to talk about the family-run brand’s ethos of responsible consumerism


Davines, Interview, Products, Environment, Sustainability, BEAUTY

What is Davines’ ideal of beauty?

Our ideal of beauty is expressed in our manifesto and is the perfect balance between beautiful and good. It’s what we call “sustainable beauty”. Beauty for us has not just an aesthetic value, it has a deeper meaning. It is respect for yourself, the people around you, the environment and the world in which we live and work. The beauty in which we believe is based on appreciation for individuality and celebration of diversity. We consider ourselves as a tool in the hands of our clients to express their own personality in their own unique way. 

Beauty has a lot to do with ethics and sustainability - we feel responsible for the way we impact the world and the community around us, so we try our utmost to do the best for the world, impact positively and diff use sustainable practises through all of our stakeholder fields.

We try to minimise the impact on the environment using renewable sources, recyclable and CO2 neutral packaging, sustainable formulation, using natural ingredients enhanced with cutting-edge cosmetic technologies and an artisan spirit.

Sustainability seems to be a cornerstone of the Davines’ philosophy. Can you explain what the brand does to adhere to this concept?

Our vocation for sustainability is rooted in our history. In December 2016, we obtained the B Corporation certification, becoming part of the global network of companies that have redefined their business to make it a source of positive impact for the people and the planet. B Lab, the organization supporting businesses focused on creating a positive impact, recently named us with the award “Best for the Environment” in 2018.

A big step has been a move to our new home, located just outside Parma in Italy. Dubbed the Davines Village, it is not just a building, rather it’s a statement about the values we, as a brand, believe in. The village is carbon neutral, and functions on energy coming from renewable sources. It also becomes a tangible symbol of the journey inspired by the ideal of Sustainable Beauty that has been motivating our actions. The Davines Village stands as the highest expression of design, transparency - the same transparency we want to have in the relationship with all our stakeholders- and wellbeing. It is important to note that we also have an Ethical Chart, a collection of values that is key to understand how work is perceived to be within the Davines Group.

Developed by the staff with the contribution of a philosopher, it is a collection of professional values related to behaviour and work ethics, and how small everyday gestures can improve relationship between ourselves and within the work environment.

Tell us about the Davines Research Charter…

The Davines Research Charter is a collection of guidelines for sustainability that the Davines Research Laboratories strive to maintain in the creation of highly effective and innovative formulas, with an on-going commitment regarding the choice of ingredients, the formulation of new products and their performance.

The Research Charter favours ingredients of natural origin, organic or eco-certified, made from renewable sources, eco sustainable, not of petrochemical origin; made from environmentally friendly processes, possibly biodegradable and with low water toxicity; originating from crops produced in conformity with international eco-ethical standards, thus with no discrimination and exploitation of people or the environment.

How do you approach the Middle East region in terms of new product development?

We have a very strong assortment of product ranges and we try to develop across-the-world products, but we do recongise that in some regions there are specific requirements. The best-sellers in Italy tend to be the same as the UAE, as the common complaints that come from Southern Europe and the hair types found in this region are very similar to those in the Middle East. These issues differ from those in Northern Europe and its indigenous hair types. That said, OI is the best-seller worldwide, along with the energising line of natural hair care for hair loss.

Are you constantly on the lookout for new trends?

We don’t follow trends and we don’t take inspiration from them. Instead we follow our own way. For us, one of our key priorities is to increase the level of awareness of sustainable beauty. As we know, people are more and more conscious of what they buy. This is a real USP of Davines. The demand for transparency is growing almost daily and we are delighted to be at the forefront of this trend in the industry.

Davines works with a number of organisations that share the same ethical values. Can you tell us about some of them and why you have chosen to partner up with them? 

To celebrate our environmental ties, Davines decided to act in a concrete manner in protecting the forest with A Tree of You, an e-game that will let people create a virtual tree and name it to express their identity or ideals. The trees created by the users of the www. site, will populate an imaginary forest that can be explored on a large interactive map symbolising natural harmony.

A Tree of You was born as a game but, thanks to the collaboration with Treedom and the non-profit organisation Carpe Diem, it has now become a reality. The first 500 virtual trees created have been planted in Sicily since September of last year with the help of young people on the autistic spectrum.

Another very important collaboration we have had since 2014, is one with the non-profit organisation, Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. This foundation protects selected places, called Presidium, in order to safeguard the Earth's biodiversity. There are more than 400 Slow Food Presidia worldwide, which technically and financially support more than 10,000 small producers so that they can continue to grow plants that are typical of specific places, thus preventing the disappearance of a genetic heritage with an inestimable biological value.

Through this collaboration we sustain eight Italian Presidia by inserting in the formulations of our Essential Haircare line the active ingredients that comes from these Presidia. We also indentify the farmers that help us by providing us with the ingredients on the label of this line.

Who are your brand ambassadors?

Angelo Seminara, our artistic director is a key brand ambassador. At the moment, we are working on having ambassadors in the salons who work with the brand as they are the leaders who will communicate the message of the brand to consumers. We don’t look for big names.

Would you ever open your own “Davines” salon(s) in the region, like Aveda has?

No, we would not consider this. Diversity is important to us.  We consider ourselves as a tool in the hands of a salon that can use Davines and its products to express its own personality and aesthetics in its own way.

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