A collaboration between a brand and an artist is always a challenge for both parties involved as to find a common project that will bring added value to the brand and can be used as a powerful environmental communications tool.
The bio cosmetic brand Aïny has taken that environmentally conscious direction and has asked Peruvian photojournalist, Daniel Silva Yoshisato to capture the Peoples of the Amazonian Forest who are working in close collaboration with the brand: the Achuars, Ashàninkas, Yaneshas and Quechuas Peoples.
Daniel Silva Yoshisato’s work has been published in: Time Magazine, Paris Match, L’Equipe, Der Spiegel, Stern, Geo Lino, Le Monde, El Pais Semanal and received several photography awards.
Interview of Daniel Silva Yoshisato at the opening in Paris and Daniel Joutard founder of Aïny by Benjamin Kanarek Blog
Aïny products are based on ethno-pharmacologists properties which have been learned from Andean and Amazonian healers and shamans who have unequalled knowledge of plants. It is passed down from generation to generation after a long and demanding initiation. These healers help Aïny locate the rare plants that will provide ingredients for exceptional skincare, and also help translate in Aïny’s skincare products all the magic of their rituals. The natural diversity is preserved, where the peoples have maintained a harmonious relationship with their environment, penetrating lush and wild territories.
As a marketing tool, a lot of Cosmetic Labs are claiming to manufacture Bio products and are only using a very small percentage of Bio ingredients. They are able to get away with this by using the minimum percentage of Bio ingredients to come within the acceptable level for being classified as Bio, as quantities of Bio Labels have heterogeneous requirements.
On top of that International Cosmetic Laboratories have a tendency of patenting the formulas of the natives on the name of the brand and not paying the native population the rights they deserve for their medicinal formulas. They are basically pirating from the natives what is justifiably theirs.
Aïny is taking a step further in the rational for Bio products in practicing fair trade with the groups of producers and gatherers, by committing to buy quality plants at a fair price. Aïny pursues alternatives to biopiracy, respecting the peoples with whom they collaborate, as well as their traditional knowledge and wisdom. Aïny forms partnerships with indigenous organizations and commits to buying plants at a fair price, returning 4% of Aïny’s turnover to the peoples of Ecuador and Peru as usage rights for their traditional knowledge, and not registering any patents related to plants. The brand Aïny also assists these peoples in defending their rights.
Aïny means RECIPROCITY that has been applied to all of their actions.
Exhibition at the Galerie Véro-Dodat, LAB by Terry, Paris 1st: from January 14th until February 13th 2010.