hair legend Frédéric Fekkai

Five things hair legend Frédéric Fekkai is doing to be more sustainable

Beauty Lifestyle

Frédéric Fekkai is legend in the hair business. He opened his first salon in Bergdorf Goodman in NYC in 1989 and launched his eponymous hair care line in 1995. And when a legend such as this goes green, well, people stand up and take notice. I know I did!

The hair stylist and beauty mogul is leaning into the eco movement through a new brand he co-owns with his wife Shirin. Called Bastide (the line is part of the Clean Beauty section at Holt Renfrew in Canada), it has the sustainability at its core — think naturally sourced ingredients, glass packaging and eco-certified workshops for the artisans the brand employs. Being green became important to Fekkai after spending decades in the beauty business, and when, 10 years ago, he read an article about how plastic was fast becoming a major burden on the planet.

“Even if everybody does just 50 per cent effort, it’s incredible the impact that you’d have on our planet,” Fekkai told me. “I think it’s [about] lack of thinking, because we can replace plastic. We can replace it, so let’s figure out how to push packaging people and companies to change the plastic to recyclable material.”

hair legend Frédéric Fekkai

Bastide’s core line, currently in stores (the Rose Olivier Hand Cream, $16, is to-die-for!)

Bastide, which the Fekkai’s bought from an old friend in Aix en Provence, Frederic’s home town, consists of skincare (a new face oil and clay mineral mask will launch on August 1st), fragrance and home ambiance products, that all smell divine and are instant classics.

I sat down with Fekkai earlier this year to talk about his new raison d’être, and how he incorporates sustainable thinking into his every day life.

1) Start with the packaging. “It was very important to me that we use glass, aluminum, but not plastic, except for the shell obviously. We are looking right now — and we are doing this for my other company, for Fekkai — we are going using PCR, post recycled plastic for Bastide, which is great. It is 95 per cent from recycled plastic, and it’s going to be 100% recyclable.”

2) Ban plastic within the office environment. “Even in our office, banned plastic basically to certain degrees. But let’s say, “let’s not order it so easy.” Your order food and everything comes in plastic, and this and that. Now we ask everyone to refrain from that, which is important. And also I’m going to commit to a walk with a charity to help clean the ocean, which is very important to us.

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3) Go green from top to bottom when running your business. “So first of all, the idea was to work with an Eco-Cert lab, so that’s really important. It’s not easy, because we want to try to get as much of the ingredient as possible from the soil of Provence and that is organic. However, it’s very difficult to obtain those ingredients. So, we have one special agency that only does this, to figure out how to source these ingredients to satisfy our product. It’s not as easy as we think, we think we can go to a lab and say, “Okay, I want to do this and this.” They don’t have those ingredients available. They have to purchase them. So, this is why I think it’s important to be very aware, to have somebody that is in the house in your company to look for this.”

4) Cover your largest area with an eco-beauty staple. “One of the things I really, really, really love is the body cream, Corps-a-Corps. I get really dry skin, and I think it’s important for me to moisturize as much as I can.”

5) You are what you drink. “I only drink oat milk now, because it’s sustainable, more than almond. There is less water used for oat milk.”

Hair Legend Frederic Fekkai

Bastide Elixir II Nourishing Oil for Face & Décolleté, $130, is a super luxe oil made up of nourishing ingredients such as abyssinian, hazelnut and evening primrose oils, as well as cold-pressed pomegranate seed oil, tomato seed extract, hemp seed oil and Provence melon oil, which aims to protect the skin. 

All images provided by Bastide

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