B Corporation-certified Italian haircare and skincare brand Davines enters India to up the ante on sustainable beauty
The global wellness industry’s value grew from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $4.2 trillion in 2017 worldwide, reporting a growth of 12.8 per cent, says a non-profit 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report. And personal care and beauty accounted for $1.082 billion in 2017. The one major reason for the rapid growth is people’s obsession with wellness and detoxification, both in terms of diet and products. And if it’s environment-friendly, it’s better.
Cashing in on the growing demand for natural, sustainable products, Davines, a global haircare and skincare brand, headquartered in Parma, Italy, entered the Indian beauty market four months ago, with its haircare range. Mainly suppliers to salons across 90 countries, Davines is a dedicated B Corporation-certified sustainable brand, 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.
Founded by the Bollati family in 1983, Davines employs a 360 degree approach to sustainability. Their headquarters, Davines Village, is an emission free site, which only uses renewable sources of energy. All the label’s products are packaged with carbon-neutral material, for which the company is setting up a special carbon offsetting proprietary project. Even during formulation, the label uses easily biodegradable ingredients.
The green promise
For Davines, sustainability means many things. They are committed to minimising the impact on the environment and not compromising on the quality or quantity of natural resources used in the products. They give importance to the effectiveness of the products and the safety of their customers. Freedom of creation is another must. “Our decisions are led more by intuition than calculation. Our pioneering spirit guides us to explore ideas beyond trends,” says Divya Kohli, Spokesperson, Davines India, Founder of Salon & Spa Studio by Tangy Rose.
They also practise sustainability with regard to ethics. “Being a family-run company, we make our professional environment a homely place where we create sincere and trustful relationships with others, based on transparency and collaboration.”
In India too, along with upscale salon partners such as BBlunt, Bounce, Looks and Ravissant, in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai, Davines wants to up the ante for green, sustainable, safe and ethical haircare industry. “We have been studying the Indian market for some time now,” says Davide Bollati, Chairman of the family-run business. From the company’s perspective, India is a high sales potential market, which is constantly growing. It, thus, made a lot of business sense to be here. “Also, at a personal level, I have always felt a special connection with Indian culture. I think that Davines’ values can effectively connect with the local culture and values of the people here, which also propagate the responsible use of resources.”
Globally and in India, Bollati feels that Davines’ consumers are design driven and socially and environmentally responsible. “After starting our business in India, we realised that the market was unexpectedly ready to hear more about sustainability and partake in the green movement,” says Bollati.
The origins and the base of old beauty practices in India were quite sustainable. However, as time went by, consumers and producers started looking at quick fixes, without thinking about the harm caused to the environment and to humankind. But as the toxic levels rose to an undesirable level in the world, causing severe ailments to humans, we realised that the old methods were the best. “Today, there are thousands and thousands of conscious consumers in the Indian market craving for good sustainable beauty brands, and there will be millions in the future. India can soon become the biggest market of sustainable beauty if the companies put their hearts and minds in creating a better tomorrow,”says Kohli. “Indian consumers want products that are free from toxicity and that care for the environment and yet give them beautiful results,” she adds.
Transparent and responsible
Hence, Davines also launched its We Care project here, which promotes eco-practices amongst consumers. Together with Bounce, one of Davines’ local partners, they opened a one-of-its kind sustainable salon in Chennai, which is built on the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ model, minimizing the use and hence the wastage of everyday resources. It uses upcycled furniture, reuses the water collected during hair wash in its lavatories and 70 per cent of its overall operations use solar power energy.
“Transparency is another attribute that Davines not just subscribes for its in-house operations, but also extends it to their customers. Conscious luxury stands for acquiring the best products or a lifestyle with a conscious mind, wherein every buyer must know the source of the product, the kind of fair practices used in sourcing the item, and the ingredients used in the same, and the product’s and the brand’s intent and ability to help the entire community and the natural world,” says Kohli.
Started as a research lab in 1983, The Davines Sustainable Beauty was born in 2005 and with time the idea of sustainability acquired more consistency and concreteness. “From purely environmental sustainability, we have begun to embrace a more global idea of sustainability, which affects all areas of the company and aims to generate a positive impact on the ecosystem in which the company operates,” says Bollati.
Davines Group acquired a B Corporation certificate in 2016 and signed a Declaration of Interdependence, which Bollati believes has not yet been sufficiently lived in today’s world. “The growing awareness of the interdependence between the complexity of the actions we perform every day and the health, well-being and resilience of people and the planet motivates us in our pursuit of Sustainable Beauty. This interdependence is a fact for us today and, despite confronting the outside world, we realize that not everyone thinks like us. However, nothing distracts us from the determination of being on the right path,” says Bollati.
THE GREEN LEADERS
Davines Group’s legacy commenced in 1983 with a research lab that produced premium haircare products for other cosmetic brands globally.
Nearly a decade later in 1993, the family-run business started creating exclusive haircare products for salons. Davines’ international distribution began in 1994, and soon in 1996 it launched a premier skincare line for spas and introduced a skincare regimen brand in 2018.
In 2005, Davines began its sustainable journey, launching Davines Sustainable Beauty. In 2016, the group also acquired their B Corp certificate. Davide Bollati, the current chairman started his career as a product development chemist in Davines’ research and development lab.
A few years later, he led its marketing and sales operations in the Italian and international markets, and then went on to become the General Manager of the company before finally helming Davines as its Chairman. Bollati holds a degree in Pharmacy and Cosmetic Science, along with a recognition from the Harvard Business School for the President Management Executive Program.