L'Occitane is now over 30 years old. Its past has gone from one story to the next and now it has reached an age where it can give life to its own Foundation. On 12th October 2006, which was World Sight Day, the Foundation was launched and has already been enriched by the donations and actions of L'Occitane.
The values of authenticity, respect and sensoriality - instilled into L'Occitane by its founder, Olivier Baussan, in 1976 - lie at the very heart of the Foundation, which has three missions:
• Support projects to help sensory-impaired individuals
• Support sustainable economic development projects lead by women in poor countries
• Preserve “nature's knowledge” in Provence.
With Braille labelling on many products, a history of working with Orbis (the charity which aims to eliminate avoidable blindness) an established fair trade agreement with a women's group in Burkina Faso and an employee association ‘Provence dans tous les sens' which helps sight impaired people learn about fragrance, many of these objectives are not new to L'Occitane, but with a commitment of € 3 million over 5 years, the Company will be able to greatly upweight, formalise and continue its support.
To further strengthen its commitment to the women of Burkina Faso, the Foundation will help to create a literacy learning centre there, with the aim of giving these women more autonomy in their daily life. And Provence - the soul of L'Occitane - will have the pleasure of seeing the exceptional site of the Ethnobotanical Museum in Salagon extended and made accessible to the sight-impaired. The Foundation will also sponsor a room in the International Perfume Museum in Grasse.
These 30 years of commitment by L'Occitane to the sight-impaired, to nature, and to those who work with nature, make the birth of this foundation a logical progression. It is a wonderful story of respect – a tale that will take shape and continue to be told through the chapters of the Foundation...