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Aveda Corporation
FoundedBlaine, Minnesota, United States (1978)
FoundersHorst Rechelbacher
ProductsSkin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care
ParentEstée Lauder Companies (1997–present)

Aveda Corporation is an American cosmetics company founded by Horst Rechelbacher, now owned by Estée Lauder Companies, and headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine, Minnesota. Aveda manufactures skin and body care, cosmetics, perfume (internally called "pure-fume"), hair color, and hair care products, and trains students in cosmetology, massage, and esthiology at the Aveda Institutes in Minneapolis, New York City, Des Moines, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Vancouver, Calgary, Phoenix, Denver, Toronto, Tempe, and many other cities.


Aveda product

Aveda (pronounced ah-vay-da) was founded by Horst Rechelbacher in 1978. In 1970, Horst, on a trip to India, was introduced to the science of Ayurveda (the Hindu traditional holistic system of medicine and surgery from India), and suddenly his vision for his company was born. Horst formulated the first product, a clove shampoo, in his kitchen sink.[1] Today Aveda is part of Estée Lauder Companies Inc., based in New York. Rechelbacher sold Aveda to Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., in 1997 for $300 million,[2] although Aveda continues to be run as a semi-autonomous entity.[3] Upon selling the product to Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Horst also sold off the chain of salons to his successor, David Wagner. The salons formally known as Horst and Friends was renamed Juut Salonspa. In 2004, Aveda was awarded the prestigious Corporate Achievement Award at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.[4] Aveda was one of the first beauty companies to endorse a set of principles designed to encourage greater environmental responsibility in business, known as The Ceres Principles (originally named The Valdez Principles).

While the company's website previously stated that "Aveda" is Sanskrit for "all knowledge". The website currently states on their about page,

"A LIFE OF EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP 1978 — Horst founds Aveda with the mission of creating holistic beauty through wellness; Aveda is “knowledge of the whole”"[5]

removing the Sanskrit connection. "Aveda" written phonetically as "अवेद", translates to "non-vedic" (or म्लेच्छ) a term used by the ancient Indians originally to indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behavior, and also used as a derogatory term in the sense of "impure" and/or "inferior" people[6][circular reference]

This word was commonly used for 'outer barbarians of whatever race or colour'[7][8]


Aveda sells natural and organic cosmetics. Aveda also offers certifications to some spas, and training to employees of its affiliated salons and spas.[citation needed]

Aveda has a partnership with the Yawanawa tribe of the Amazon Basin as a source of annatto pigment.[9][non-primary source needed]

Since 1995, Aveda has financed the construction of and training for a babassu processing facility, a soap-making facility, and a paper press for processing babassu fibers in the Amazon.[citation needed]

Aveda does not test their products on animals, but rather on willing human participants.[citation needed]


Through a partnership with Native Energy Aveda has helped fund wind turbines. Aveda claims that it purchases enough wind energy to power its primary manufacturing facility.[10] The company "sends sustainability surveys to publications to help decide where to place its ads".[11]


Aveda was criticized for using the brand name "Indigenous" and subsequently discontinued the product line to demonstrate its support and respect for native people.[12][13][14]


  1. ^ "Aveda Corporation - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  2. ^ Canepoopdy, Dana. Canedy, Dana (November 20, 1997). "Estee Lauder Is Acquiring Maker of Natural Cosmetics". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  3. ^ Kuehlwein, JP; Schaefer, Wolfgang (2015). Rethinking Prestige Branding - Secrets of the Ueber-Brands. London: Kogan Page. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0749470038.
  4. ^ "Aveda Cosmetics". Elleview.com. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  5. ^ "Aveda Corporation - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  6. ^ Mleccha
  7. ^ ^ Basham, A. L. (1954) The wonder that was India, pages 145–146, Sidgwick and Jackson, London.
  8. ^ ^ http://www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/mleccha
  9. ^ https://www.aveda.com.au/living-aveda/aveda-cares
  10. ^ Newman, Eric. "Aveda Thinks You Would Look Better in Green". Brand Week. Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  11. ^ Story, Louise. Story, Louise (October 25, 2006). "The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  12. ^ "Indigenous/Traditional Knowledge & Intellectual Property - Examples of Use and Misuse of Indigenous Knowledge". Web.law.duke.edu. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  13. ^ "Indigenous Rock Star Wins Lawsuit Against Aveda". Cultural Survival. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  14. ^ "Aveda and the indigenous". web.williams.edu. Retrieved 2020-01-02.

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