The brand YSL Beauty manages, desde 2013, a project in Morocco that combines business resources and a social approach to support women.
«The bond between Monsieur Saint Laurent and Morocco is a deeply rooted passion that inspired the designer for more than 30 años»Explica Stephan Beza, Director General International of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. That is why in 2013 YSL Beauty began to bet on producing part of its raw materials to 30 kilometers from Marrakech and thus the Community Gardens of Ourika were born.
What began as a "test crop" and a bid to reinforce the social focus of the area has become a must-have asset for the beauty brand. He defines it as «a new chapter in its history, one dedicated to women and their search for truth, transparency and authenticity«.
«But this sun-drenched part of the Moroccan Atlas mountain range is also a great opportunity to create and reinforce meaningful initiatives that promote the independence of the region's women., that grow renewable raw materials vital for the composition of the products of belleza YSL Beauty»Explica Beza.
As the brand itself indicates gardens are many things at once: a growing area with 64 square surfaces arranged in a polychromatic symphony, not to mention its more than 200 botanical species, an experimental and observational laboratory testing promising plants from which active ingredients are developed, and a decorative garden that pays tribute to the iconic flowers that inspired Yves Saint Laurent.
Here you can see the dates that have turned the Ourika Community Gardens into something fundamental and emotional about the beauty brand:
What are the YSL Beauty Ourika Community Gardens like?
The garden is divided into three independent zones. The first covers 64 grounds of crop intended for production and collects from plants that will later be used in YSL Beauty products. The second, by name
"Botanical collection", is a sandbox to experiment with new ingredients. Por último, the "legacy" area pays tribute to Yves Saint Laurent and his passion for flowers with key plants and flowers in the history of the designer. On the whole, it is a vast garden with more than 200 botanical species grouped in one place.
In Community Gardens of Ourika, the main garden created by the landscape designers Éric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières encompasses 20.000 metros cuadrados. YSL Beauty respects the specific cultural and agricultural characteristics of the region by exclusively selecting Moroccan species.
A social and feminist project
From its origin this project was based on social and feminist concepts. A women's cooperative was created to grow all the plants in the gardens. This program strives to promote the skills of the inhabitants of the region in order to foster their economic independence..
The first objective of YSL Beauty's experimental mission in the high Ourika Valley in 2015 was to meet the Berber women who live in the five villages of the Tnine Ourika region. The goal was to observe, interview and listen to the inhabitants with the help of Berber-speaking interpreters: «We asked them what they wanted and what their priorities were. The answer was always the same: have a place to work together and earn an income », comments Caroline Nègre, Biotherm International Scientific Director – Giorgio Armani Beauty – YSL Beauty.
In the Community Gardens of Ourika, in order to promote the economic independence of these women and their entrepreneurial spirit, training courses were developed in which
teach them to work in the gardens and in the cooperative. In addition to literacy courses, women attended introductory courses on sales and administrative management (budgets, bills, shipment preparation and processing).
These last five years, in addition to growing cosmetic plants, the work of the women of the cooperative has evolved and diversified to include the management of production nurseries, selling cereals, herbal teas and cookies and even cooking classes for tourists. Working in the gardens twice a week throughout the year has enabled the women of Ourika to have a stable job and learn new skills..
As support for the work of these women, YSL Beauty promotes fair payment by guaranteeing a minimum price based on the purchase price, along with a development bonus.