At Aveda, we’re proud to share how we trace our ingredients. We believe our consumers deserve a look at the improved transparency in ingredient sourcing of their products. We are forever indebted to the Earth and are committed to keeping the planet and all who inhabit it at the forefront of our product innovation.
That’s why in 2019, we launched a pilot program to leverage blockchain technology in our Madagascan vanilla supply chain. Madagascan vanilla, a natural resource and key aroma ingredient in our invati advanced™ collection, offers a signature scent that transforms each formula.
Below, we’ll share why we began to utilize blockchain and demonstrate how this sensorial ingredient plays a meaningful role in some of our invati advanced™ hair products.
Breaking down blockchain
We know “blockchain technology” can sound complicated, so let’s break it down. Put simply, it’s a system of recorded information that can’t be erased or tampered with, created by a series of information “blocks.”
In the case of our vanilla supply chain, blockchain technology provides ingredient traceability in real-time through a secure digital system. Mobile phones and QR codes create a tamper-proof record, tracing the vanilla beans’ path from farmers to processors to our primary manufacturing facility.
As a next step at Aveda we hope to help pioneer responsible tracing standards in the beauty industry and lead by example.
Traceability in action
Along with other pure flower and plant essences, Madagascan vanilla creates a signature aroma featured across our plant-based invati advanced™ collection. In addition to invati advanced™, organic blockchain vanilla will be included in more than 125 Aveda products.
Let’s take a deep dive into our 4-step supply chain journey and discover how vanilla travels to help bring our formulas to life:
STEP 1: HARVESTED IN MADAGASCAR — SAVA REGION, MADAGASCAR
About 80% of the world’s vanilla comes from the Republic of Madagascar, an island about 250 miles off the coast of East Africa. Vanilla beans are grown by farmers there and shipped around the world.
STEP 2: COLLECTED AT THE CO-OP — SAMBAVA, MADAGASCAR
Farmers bring their beans to the nearby Biovanilla co-op, where they are weighed and aggregated. The beans are dried in the sun, sorted and then graded for quality based on length, moisture content and appearance. The vanilla is then bundled and wrapped for shipping.
STEP 3: PROCESSED IN FRANCE — GRASSE, FRANCE
The vanilla beans are shipped to a premier company in France that is known for combining craftsmanship and science in producing the highest quality natural ingredients for perfumery and cosmetics. There, the vanilla beans are processed into a final extract.
STEP 4: MANUFACTURED IN MINNESOTA —MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES
The high-quality vanilla extract is shipped across the Atlantic to our manufacturing facility in Blaine, Minnesota, where it’s mixed into the formulas of invati advanced™ hair care and many other nourishing, high-performance favorites.
Each ingredient in every beauty or hair product has its own origin story. Blockchain technology traces that story, which helps to ensure ethical sourcing, high quality ingredients and more transparency for farmers as well as consumers. You will soon be able to trace the vanilla in our products back to the farmers who grew it—and farmers will be able to see where their vanilla ends up.
Blockchain also helps ensure fair wages for the people growing and harvesting the ingredients. It creates a positive impact on the sourcing communities and on the environment. Now that we have traceability, we are working to get certified organic to ensure quality products and ensure fair wages for the farmers.
Above all, information about the products you use can be powerful in caring for yourself and helping care for the planet. That’s why we encourage others to shop with the Earth and its inhabitants in mind.