Advertisement
Advertisement
WORDS
REPORTING
TAG
BROWSING
SHARE
Facebook
WhatsApp
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email
Twitter

Oway, Bologna. An Italian beauty brand supporting a circular business model

The ability to breathe life into used goods, reduce waste, promote sustainability. In conversation with Luca Laganà, CEO of Oway, the Italian sustainable beauty brand

Sustainable Agricosmetics

Oway – a word which amalgamates ‘organic’ and ‘way’ –  is a lifestyle brand that opened in 2005. Evolving over decades, it specializes in sustainable Agricosmetics®, treatments, and products. The brand coined the term ‘Agricosmetics’®. It, in fact, encompasses its vision. Luca Laganà is the CEO of Oway. He explores the Italian brand’s narrative, detached from the Oway founders or the generations that followed.

«The brand took its first steps as a family business. A cosmetics company born in the 1940s specializing in botanical extracts. The venture evolved in the 1990s with interest in natural ingredients before landing in the biodynamic field in recent years. Oway would not be what it is today had it not embraced, and put into practice, sustainability in the form of the biodynamic agricultural methods, glass and aluminum packaging, the refusal of over-packaging, and the use of natural and plastic-free materials».

Defeating the linear business model at Oway

Laganà emphasises the fact that Organic Way, or Oway, is a system with several facets. «Its values are concrete proof of the changes that we need to implement, promote, and put into practice through the power of teamwork rather than through its founder’s portrait. One person can start the race. But to spark widespread change, one person cannot be – nor should hope to be – alone in this».

Defeating the linear business model is the race in question. Oway supports a circular business model, following ecologically-sound blueprints. The goal is to sustain one hundred percent carbon neutral practices and achieve complete sustainability. «It is no longer the age of the linear economy. The development model that sees the creation of a product, its life for a certain period of time and then the end of its path in the non-recyclable waste bin is no longer the market’s reference paradigm. Sustainability is a value that addresses what has been produced. It has the power to plan and reinvent production processes on a global scale. This way, we can regenerate continuously and independently, [tapping in to] an infinite system of renewable energies»

Oway is following ecologically-sound blueprints, PH PIETRO CAVALLARI

Lampoon review: Ecodesign – one hundred percent recyclable packaging

As for its Agricosmetics® ethos, Laganà says, «Agricosmetics® means growing zero-mile plants, medicinal and aromatic shrubs on our Ortofficina estate, located on the hills of Bologna. We choose the biodynamic method – the healthiest and cleanest method – to obtain ultra-effective essential oils, hydrolates and extracts. These become active ingredients in Oway treatments. Agricosmetics® means packaging Oway formulas in glass and aluminum. Protective and completely recyclable materials. It means eliminating plastic and unnecessary packaging and making the necessary tools in natural materials. We use renewable energy for business processes to reduce the environmental footprint. Agricosmetics® is therefore putting care in every choice and action, and creating products that respect the environment and people».

Oway was the first Italian brand in the professional sector to choose one hundred percent recyclable materials for its containers in 2013. This circular business method ensures an infinite lifespan of its creations. Once it is used or finished, a product finds usefulness again via recycling or upcycling.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution of ‘Industry 4.0’

«Glass bottles and jars can become vases for flowers, holders and multifunctional containers. Objects and tools can be recycled because they are made of wood, glass, cotton, metal, bamboo, paper and other natural materials. They can also be re-contextualized, becoming containers for pencils, trinkets or valuables».

Further, Oway follows the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or ‘Industry 4.0’. By using smart technology, automation and recovery, the brand is capable of achieving a sustainable business model that is free from carbon emission. «We eliminate one hundred percent of our company’s carbon emissions through eco-design, the use of zero kilometer raw materials from biodynamic agriculture, production processes, renewable energy, and our offset projects. This means that we have revised and improved company processes to minimize CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. The inevitable residual quota of CO2 is zeroed by investing in projects which neutralize it in equal amounts». This care and attention to detail has given Oway certification as a zero-impact company, says Laganà. 

Head.SPA line

Oway today offers an assortment of beauty and lifestyle products that support ecologically-friendly daily practices. The collection, which spans skincare and hair products, features also utility and homeware products, like dishwasher tablets, water diffusers, teapots, textiles and day planners. «Since the early 2000s, we have been creating ultra-concentrated formulas. We started with haircare and then moved on to skincare catered to specific needs. As we evolved, we have created solutions, products and tools dedicated to an ecological lifestyle. Oway Life is a collection of objects for everyday use made with natural materials. For example, products to take care of your home and your wellbeing, made with over ninety-eight percent naturally-derived ingredients». These materials include cotton, wood, bamboo, glass and natural rubber.

The Oway Head.SPA line is an additional branch of the brand. It is the first professional haircare line based on biodynamic extracts. «Its use is not solely for the hair and the scalp. But the face and the entire body as well. By changing application gestures and leave-on time, you have a complete treatment for the face, décolleté, body, and a peel for the scalp. These products and the wellness techniques used by Oway hair stylists combine quality and sensorial comfort, because wellbeing starts from the head. For the Head.SPA line, we use biodynamic active ingredients from Sicily. These include biodynamic laurel, bergamot oil or sea salt from Trapani. We then add fair trade ingredients, including Kalahari melon which is rich in essential fatty acids to promote skin hydrolipidic balance and softness».

Creative process and ingredients sourcing at Oway

The creative process and ingredients sourcing begin at Oway’s Ortofficina farm estate in Bologna, Italy. «Each formulation starts with the selection of the healthiest ingredients from biodynamic farming. Some of them are cultivated directly and at zero km in Ortofficina. They can also be purchased from consciously involved and certified growers who share our mission of sustainability. We have been supporting clean and ecological agriculture since 2010. In 2020, we decided to take a step forward, certifying our entire supply chain from the field to our formulation with the biodynamic product certification».

A portion of the product development process takes place at the brand’s estate. It is here, in fact, that Oway’s biodynamic farming methods are implemented to grow the plants, shrubs and herbs which become the active ingredients, essential oils, extracts and hydrolates in Oway’s formulations.

Biodynamic farming methods

«The biodynamic method is free from pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and synthetic fertilizers used in conventional agriculture. This farming method allows us to obtain the most concentrated active ingredients while respecting the ecosystem. Each product follows advanced green chemistry principles, starting from the reasoned and weighted selection of each individual ingredient, evaluating its natural qualities, together with its environmental impact and its effectiveness. Ingredients are harvested in their balsamic period. The aromatic herbs are distilled using a process called ‘steam extraction’, which does not involve the use of synthetic solvents. Essential oils and hydrolates rich in properties are the results of this distillation», says Laganà.

«To ensure maximum purity, we use water subjected to two natural treatments. Reverse osmosis and ozonation, without the use of ionizing, radiation or chemical disinfectants on our machinery and products. Our offering is cruelty-free PETA certified. Further, our formulas are vegan, free of components of animal origin, with no tests carried out on animals». In addition to cultivating its own raw materials on the grounds of the estate, Oway partners with fair trade enterprises across the globe. «To enrich our products with ingredients not found within Italy’s biodiversity, we rely on partnerships with international fair trade purchasing networks».

Oway supports a circular business model, PH PIETRO CAVALLARI

The Artigiano workshop

Oway engages with a network of approximately twenty-five thousand beauty and wellbeing salons in over seventy countries spanning five continents. Laganà explains that in these salons, «it is possible to experience every aspect of the Oway Agricosmetics® philosophy, from our ninety-nine percent plastic-free choices [in our packaging] to the use of biodynamic, ethical ingredients, the creative reuse of containers, and the sustainable furnishing and communication accessories».

These salons become a reality through Oway’s woodwork facility, which creates eco-friendly store fittings in addition to directing the brand’s packaging. «The Artigiano workshop guides the customization of the furnishings for beauty salons and our packaging. The internal Creative Department supervises the designs. These follow the principles of multi-functionality, durability, essentiality and waste reduction. We use wood, metal and other natural materials highlighting soft colours for the eye as well as material textures that are pleasant to the touch. The woods used are FSC certified to promote the responsible management of forests and plantations. Once the packaging, objects, materials and furnishings leave our wood workshop, they go to furnish the Oway salons and our stores worldwide, providing sustainable alternatives to conventional objects and furnishings»

Oway’s training programs

To expand Oway’s mission, the brand also hosts training courses for those keen to adopt environmentally-friendly practices in their everyday rituals. Oway’s training programs feature eight critical paths. Universe, Webinar, Essential, Color World, Care World, Cut & Styling World, For the Hair Salon and International. «For the Oway Academy 2021, we did not want to come up with a list of seminars and workshops. But rather a real journey into the world of Oway Agricosmetics®», says Laganà. «Spazio, our academy, is a place where participants can completely immerse themselves in the Oway brand and its values. Wood, glass and plants dominate the space, with classrooms and academic areas to immerse our clientele in the Oway Agricosmetics® experience».

Looking to the future, Laganà confirms that there are projects in the pipeline. Further expansion of the brand’s ties with global spas and online training for those who wish to engage with Oway’s programmes from home are in development.

As for its lasting impact, Laganà states, «we maintain that to change the global perspective, it is fundamental to conceive an object by focusing on its duration and believing in the possibility of its reuse. Since our goal is to pursue true circularity, we cannot leave to chance even the slightest detail. Through the aid of modularity, locally-sourced craftsmanship, and strong values ​​of durability, resistance and customization, we have found the key to achieve sustainable production. The behaviour of a single person cannot spark a revolution for the entire world. But our life is full of infinite, conscious choices that, once added and repeated, can make a difference. We choose therefore to be active players and to follow our words of sustainability with concrete actions in the supply chain».

Oway

Oway is a lifestyle brand that opened in 2005. Evolving over decades, it specializes in sustainable Agricosmetics®, treatments as well as products.

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

SHARE
Facebook
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email
WhatsApp
Twitter