In collaboration with 10/10 HOPE
For you, what is beauty? What is the actual functions of beauty? Does beauty really possess power?
rahua 的新品發表活動開始之前，很幸運有一些空檔能和創辦人 Anna 聊聊天，更進一步認識 rahua 外，也了解 Anna 對環境與自然的想法。Anna 親切又和藹，她不只是單方面地回答問題，也不停提出問題。
當 Anna 一聽到我八月即將前往紐約讀書，她眼睛一亮，說：「紐約是座很迷人的城市。不過妳要小心，不要一來了就被她迷住，就這麼留下來了！」而當她聽到我要到 Parsons 讀時尚時，饒有興味地問了一個相當基本但至關重要的問題：
一直以來，我嘗試回答這個問題，但都還沒得到一個滿意的答案。對目前的我而言，時尚毫無疑問，是生活的各個面向、是美學於時間遞嬗中的流變。時尚絕對不只是消費、是衣服、是任何物質，她其實是「美」於生活中各種具象的表現。藉由這個大家都感興趣的領域與話題，我希望能試著傳達一些更深刻、更廣泛的議題與信念，而這剛好跟 Anna 創辦 rahua 的想法不謀而合。
曾經是時尚設計師的 Anna，從設計走到非營利組織再到天然有機髮品品牌 CEO，她認為，無論是時尚還是彩妝保養，都是美，他們只是以不同的形式呈現而已。對她來說，美是生活的精髓，環境保護與尊重自然更是。只是，現在大多數人都不喜歡嚴肅的話題，時尚或是美妝保養，就成了傳遞這些重要議題非常好的發聲管道。
I was lucky enough to have some time to talk to Anna before rahua‘s product launch, to know more about rahua, and about Anna and her thoughts on environmental protection and nature. Anna was so kind and caring. She did not only answer my questions. She asked me questions as well.
When Anna knew that I’m going to New York City this August for my second master degree, she told me, with some sparkles in her eyes, “New York City is so charming! Be careful not to be enchanted by this vibrant city and don’t wanna leave and just stay!” And when I told her I’m going to study fashion at Parsons, Anna asked me a simple yet rather important question,
“For you, what is fashion? And what do you want to do with it?”
I’ve always tried to answer this question, but I haven’t found a satisfying answer yet. For me currently, fashion in undoubtedly life, and also aesthetics changes within time. Fashion is never only about spending money or about clothes or any other kinds of materiality. Fashion is the representation of beauty in our everyday life. Through this very interesting approach, I would like to express some maybe deeper and broader topics and maybe trigger people to be more aware of important issues. Coincidently, I had very similar philosophy with Anna, and that was why she founded rahua.
In fact, Anna was a fashion designer before running rahua. From designs to non-profit organization and CEO of beauty brands, Anna always holds the same concept, that is, whether it’s fashion or makeup and skincare, they’re all beauty. Only do they display in different forms. For Anna, beauty is the essence of life, so are environmental protection and respect of nature. People nowadays, however, do no like serious topics. As a result, fashion and beauty become one of the best ways to express these vital issues.
“Fashion is beauty, while beauty is power.”
雨林的禮物－無意中發現 rahua 的秘密
Gifts from the Rainforest– Secrets of rahua
創辦人 Anna 的美髮師先生—來自厄瓜多共和國的 Fabian Lliguin—在一次參與亞馬遜地區的慈善工作中，遇見了一群有著柔順髮質的當地婦女。她們熱情地與他分享 Ungurahua 果實的神奇功效。Fabian 半信半疑下，將 rahua 果油帶回紐約實驗，一試之下驚為天人—不僅乾燥受損的髮絲重新恢復健康與彈力、染髮後髮色能維持得更長久，甚至短髮在果油的滋養下還能快速增長且更加強韌。這讓夫妻倆有了以 rahua 果油為主要成分，成立髮品品牌的想法。
然而，同為環保人士的 Anna 和 Fabian 卻擔心，如果要將亞馬遜雨林珍貴的 rahua 果實商品化，勢必得量產，而量產絕對會破壞當地的原生環境。不過亞馬遜部落族人卻要他們別擔心，因為 rahua 無法透過人工栽種，只能任由其自然生長，因此不會有破壞雨林環境的疑慮。於是，夫妻倆建立了公平貿易的管道，開始與亞馬遜雨林 Quechua-Shuar 部落族人合作。
It was like a coincidence for Fabian Lliguin, co-founder of rahua, to find the magical power of Ungurahua. During his visit to the Amazon rainforest, Fabian was introduced to the ancient beauty practice of rahua by the women of the Quecha-Shuar tribe. He brought the oil back and experimented with it, just to surprisingly find out the potency of the rahua oil. It not only preserved and protected hair, but also revitalized and strengthened damaged hair. This urged Anna and Fabian to launch a brand based on rahua oil.
However, both environmentalists, Anna and Fabian were afraid that if they were going to make rahua oil beauty products, then rahua must be put into mass production, which would definitely result in environmental consumptions and damages. Nevertheless, the tribal people of the Amazonian rainforest told them that rahua trees were not able to be grown by human, but should let them grow in nature, just like what they were at present, which would not harm the environment. Being assured this action wouldn’t harm the land, Anna and Fabian made up their mind to establish rahua, and then built up fair trades with the Amazonian indigenes.
Speaking of rahua, unlike other botanical oils or widely-used silicones that only coat strands’ exterior, the extraordinarily small Rahua oil molecule deeply penetrates the hair’s cortex – bonding and repairing it – while simultaneously smoothing the hair’s cuticle.
Quechua-Shuar 部落族人採集、製作 rahua 果油的過程。
Respect the Rainforest and Make It Sustainable—
The Commitment of “Never Tearing Down Any Single Tree”
「不砍伐任何一棵樹」是 rahua 從來的堅持。
尊重自然之外，rahua 更透過公平貿易的管道，展現他們的社會關懷。創辦人 Anna 和 Fabian 每年會定期回到亞馬遜雨林 3、4 趟，和當地居民一起生活一段時間。除了更深刻地體會雨林文化、享受自然，他們還教導當地人貿易技巧與土地權相關知識，以免單純的部落族人受騙上當，也為他們打造太陽能面板與電腦實驗室，讓遙遠的亞馬遜部落能夠與外面的世界接軌，並改善生活品質。rahua 也將品牌的部分營收，投入雨林文化與環境保護。
天然、有機、無添加化學合成香精及色素外，無防腐劑、無麩質、無硫酸鹽、無動物實驗、素食者適用也是 rahua 的堅持。而在對人體友善、環境友善之外，rahua 更以實際的行動，展現了他們對亞馬遜當地經濟的支持，以及幫助提升當地部落族人生活品質更深刻的社會關懷。
“Never tearing down any single tree” is one of rahua’s commitments.
rahua focuses on sustainability, using only naturally mature rahua nuts as ingredients. This way, it not only won’t cause any damage to the environment, but also creates job opportunities for the Amazonian tribal people.
In addition to the respect of nature, rahua realizes their social cares through fair trade. Founder Anna and Fabian visit the Amazon rainforest 3-4 times a year, and live with local people for sometime. They experience rainforest cultures and enjoy nature during their stays. Also, they teach local people knowledges about trade and land rights, preventing the aboriginal from fraud. They build up computer labs and solar panels as well, bringing technology to help them connect with the world and to improve their standards of living. Besides, part of rahua’s profits are used to rainforest protections.
“The greatest difference between rahua and other organic brands lies in we do business not only for profits, but also for delivering the world the power of beauty from the Amazon rainforest. We also connect the world with the remote tribal people, helping them to live better.”
rahua is a brand providing quality beauty products. It is also a practitioner of their own beliefs.
rahua insists in making vegan, organic, sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free beauty products, while they also support indigenous economies and improving living standards of Amazonian people.
No Longer Thinking About How to Go Out, Rather the Young Indigenes Start to Ponder Through How to Protect and Maintain the Place they Grow up
在與 Anna 的閒聊當中，最讓我感動的，莫過於亞馬遜年輕人的決定。
rahua 剛開始與 Quechua-Shuar 部落族人合作時，Anna 發現當地的年輕人為了追求更好的生活，有能力買好看的衣服、鞋子，活在一個比較舒服的環境，拚了命地想往外發展。這個現象無可厚非，畢竟，人人都想過更好的生活。然而，當 rahua 的合作對象，由原本的一個家庭，擴展到 500 個家庭時，加上對族人貿易與雨林文化的持續教育，亞馬遜部落的年輕人開始意識到保存自己原鄉文化、維護雨林環境的重要性，因而漸漸不再那麼想離開家鄉，反而開始思考，該如何推廣、維護、經營自己生長的這片土地。與 rahua 的公平貿易能提供他們比原先更好的生活品質，而了解亞馬遜雨林文化的重要性後，維護當地珍貴的自然資源就成了部落年輕人責無旁貸的任務。這個任務不是旁人外加給他們的，而是部落年輕人打從心底認識、認同，進而做出的決定。
rahua 與亞馬遜部落的合作，並非一般企業與勞工這種上對下的關係，也沒有都市人對部落人的文明傲慢，而是站在對方立場思考，真誠地與族人相處的朋友關係。Anna 和 Fabian 每年都會親自造訪亞馬遜雨林，並在當地待上一段時間。雨林濕熱、處處爛泥，沒有冷氣也沒有柏油路，但對 Anna 來說，身處這個與自己習慣的生活截然不同的環境，真正生活在大自然裡，是靈感的來源。今年 2 月，夫妻倆帶著 2 歲多快滿 3 歲的女兒一起來到亞馬遜雨林，女兒和部落的小孩們玩在一起。
In my chat with Anna, the most impressive and moving story might be the decision the young Amazonian make.
When rahua just started collaborating with people from Quechua-Shuar tribe, Anna found out that local youth tried their best to leave the Amazon rainforest for better lives. They wanted beautiful clothes and shoes, and wanted to live in a more comfortable place, rather than the humid and hot jungle. The youth were not to be blamed; after all, no one would not like a better living. However, when the families collaborating with rahua soared from 1 to 500, along with continuous education on trade and rainforest cultures, the young indigenes surprisingly changed their mind. They embarked on thinking how to preserve and promote the land they grew up. rahua’s fair trade with the aboriginals make them able to afford better livings. As the youth got a broader and deeper view of the importance of Amazon rainforest, it becomes their responsibility to protect these precious natural sources. This is not a task demanded by others, but a decision made based on the young indigenes’ realization and acknowledgments of protecting and maintaining their hometown.
Instead of the relations between enterprises and labors, or any arrogant attitudes of urban people toward tribal people, the collaboration between rahua and the Amazon tribes are just like friends. Anna and Fabian stand in the tribes’ shoes, rather than only thinking about profits. Every year, Anna and Fabian visit the Amazon rainforest several times and stay for a while. Even though the living condition is poor, with the temperature soaring high, humidity surrounding, and no tarred roads, Anna still feels inspired living in mother nature. This February, Anna and Fabian brought their 2-year-old daughter back to the rainforest. She enjoyed the nature and playing with the tribal kids.
“It’s very important to feel the grass and mud with your bare feet.” Anna said slowly.
Anna 從小在鄉村長大，微風、青草和泥土對她來說都是生活中不可或缺的一部分。其實在 2007 年成立 rahua 之前，Anna 就已經成立非營利組織 Ecoagents，為環境付諸心力。
主打保養產品的 rahua 不僅提供消費者一個對環境友善的選擇，還幫助了亞馬遜族人提升生活水準，並維護雨林文化。「這樣的工作很有意義。」Anna 說。
被稱為「地球的肺」的亞馬遜雨林，每天每天，製造了全世界超過 20% 的氧氣，並提供西方醫藥 25％ 的原料，更是地球生物多樣性的關鍵聚點。保護雨林，不單是亞馬遜部落族人或是 rahua 的工作，而該是每個生活在地球上的人都該努力付出一點心力的責任。
Anna grew up in the country. The breeze, grass and soil are part of her daily life. In fact, before Anna founded rahua in 2007, she had already established a non-profit organization, Ecoagents, to work for the environment.
rahua is a brand providing consumers with earth-friendly beauty product choices. It also improves the living standard of tribal people in the Amazon rainforest, and protects the environment. “This is important,”Anna said.
“We seem to only help the local people, but we actually help ourselves as well. Environmental protecting is never only for a certain group of people, but for the welfare of all human beings living on earth. I hope when I’m old, the rainforest will still exist. No, it should still exist. I hope my daughter can still see the rainforest in the future. Protecting the rainforest is our responsibility.” Anna stated firmly.
The so-called “Lung of our Planet” Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen everyday. It also provides 25% of ingredients for western pharmaceutical drugs. Not to mention the rainforest is the vital spot for biological diversity. Protecting the Amazon rainforest is not only the jobs of Amazonian tribal people or rahua, it should be the responsibility of all human beings living on this planet.
rahua’s Color Full Collections
今年 7 月才要在台灣上市的「花妍煥色亮采洗潤系列」，延續了品牌經典的 rahua 養護果油成份，能修護受損髮絲、撫平毛麟片，這個護色新系列針對染髮後的髮質狀況，又加入了紫丁香與朱木槿花萃取。植物中天然的矯色成份與抗氧化因子，能延緩髮絲褪色，並維持頭髮的潤澤彈性，而植物天然正負電荷的平衡，也能溫和鎖住色彩。這個新系列依舊貫徹 rahua 天然、有機、無化學合成添加的理念，就算敏感性頭皮也能安心使用。
With its decent beliefs in environmental protection and social care, rahua also grows with trends, developing products that fit people’s needs.
rahua’s new collection, Color Full, adopts its classic rahua oil, which repairs damaged hair and smoothes hair’s cuticle, and moreover adds extracts of gardenia and lavender essence, which prevents fading and maintains gorgeous color with vibrant long-lasting results. This collection still carries out rahua’s beliefs in vegan, organic, natural, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free, which can also be apply on sensitive skin.
與 Anna 短暫卻深刻的談話，繞了地球大半圈，從台北市的咖啡館，一直延伸到遙遠的亞馬遜雨林；從我們習以為常的都市生活、個人保養，來到原始的叢林部落穴居、群體合作。在冷氣放送的店家裡隨手可得，看來光鮮亮麗的 rahua 保養產品，實則默默地支持著幾百個沒有冷氣吹、辛勞工作的部落家庭，也維護著亞馬遜雨林的生態環境。這時，我好像有點懂了品牌「美麗即是力量」的標語。
The short yet impressive chat with Anna seemed to bring me to travel for a long distance, from the cafe at Taipei City, to the remote Amazon rainforest, and from the urban life and personal skincare I’ve been acquainted with, to the aboriginal jungle life and group work. This colorful and luxurious brand that is available in many shops with air conditioning system, actually supports hundreds of families without AC who work so hard to make a living, and also protects the rainforest. Just till now, did I seem to understand the meaning of rahua’s slogan, “Beauty is Power.”
“Fashion is beauty, while beauty is power.”
Indeed, beauty is the most tender yet influential power in life.