For 18 years, makeup company Aveda has tried to pursue a unique economic partnership with the YawanawÃ¡ Amazonian tribe. Aveda gave them startup money and the YawanawÃ¡ are supposed to grow and supply urukum, a spiky red fruit that Aveda pays them for and uses to color their wares. It’s a great story, and Aveda weaves it into its marketing messages to help sell its makeup as being “green,” “sustainable” and “conscious.” There’s just one problem. WSJ probed and found the YawanawÃ¡ aren’t very good at making it in large quantities — they delivered none 2008-2010 and only 64 kg this year — and the economic lifeline that was supposed to save their tribe and make it self-sufficient could actually be tearing it apart.
Aveda's Weird Relationship With An Amazonian Tribe
By Ben Popken May 5, 2011
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