I’m a hairdresser and clean beauty product developer who is out to save the planet! Born into a family of hairdressers in Ecuador, I had high ambitions which brought me to New York to open my own successful beauty salon. I loved cutting and coloring hair and working with clients, but after a while there was this strong pull in me to do something much more meaningful.
My background of Inca descent drew me to visit the Amazon Rainforest, and I was devasted when I saw areas that I had visited as a child now destroyed by modern businesses. It was then and there that I decided on a much greater purpose to fill my heart and I became an Ecoagent, an environmentalist determined to help save the Amazon trees and the indigenous people who have been preserving the Amazon Rainforest for thousands of years. Trees consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, but you may not realize that more than 20% of the world’s oxygen comes from the Amazon Rainforest. Everyone can do their part, no matter how large or how small, to support our planet. Ask me what my favorite day of the year is? Earth Day, of course! Here are my 7 favorite ways to support the planet by buying from businesses who truly care about our future.
— Fabian Lliguin
1. Get Around Town Without Gasoline
I live in Manhattan and beat the traffic, get exercise and reduce my carbon footprint by biking around the city. Most cities have bike programs, so get peddling and give back!
2. Get Smart About Your Vehicle
Bike riding doesn’t fulfill all my transportation needs as I do need to travel outside of the city at times, but you won’t catch me driving an SUV, Minivan or even a Crossover. I can’t help but ask, are these large vehicles really a necessity? Why not swap out that SUV for a compact, eco-friendly vehicle that embodies efficiency? When I leave the city, I’m so happy to jump into my Smart Car and I can also feel good about the parent company, Daimler, which supports research between humans, environment and technology.
3. Choose Beauty Products that Support Survival of the Species
Preservation of the earth’s species reflects our love for fellow human beings. Humans, mammals, birds – we all co-habit this planet and need to respect each other’s lives and environment. When my wife Anna and I honeymooned on the Galapagos Islands, we became enchanted with the beautiful but endangered pink flamingos. Impassioned by the plight of the birds, we created Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray and committed a portion of its proceeds to the Pink Flamingo Project, an environmental clean-up effort covering theirnatural habitats. This is critical because the lagoons have become infiltrated with trash that washes ashore from garbage buildup in the ocean. Our donations fund the ongoing removal of trash that will detoxify the habitat, improving the feeding and breeding areas where they flamingos have lived for many years.
4. Save a Tree
Okay, you can call me a tree hugger, but did you know that mature trees consume 48 lbs. of carbon dioxide? If we save 100 trees, that translates into us cleaning 480 lbs. of carbon dioxide. By saving 100 acres of trees in the Amazon Rainforest, we help erase the carbon footprint of 300 people. By supporting companies that preserve the rainforest you help erase carbon footprints. Rahua supports Land is Life, a wonderful organization that supports the preservation of forests and forest people worldwide. A purchase of Rahua hair and body products helps save trees.
Recycling helps protect our environment. It minimizes pollution and supports our natural resources such as water, timber and minerals. We can all do small, easy efforts like recycling paper, plastic cups and water bottles. I like to take my efforts a step further by supporting brands that are made of 100-percent recycled items such as plastic bottles. After hearing about BottleCloth, thankfully now my home kitchen is adorned with an innovative, modern day line of placements and table runners made from 100% recycled bottles. Thank you for taking care of the earth!
Listen with your Ears Wide Open
I love music. It’s good for the soul, it lifts you, it influences you, and it creates memories like no other sense can do. When I heard about House of Marley I was truly inspired that I could now listen to music through headphones and speakers crafted with earth friendly, sustainable materials such as bamboo, recycled aluminum and paper, along with high quality performance! The purchase of a House of Marley product helps plant one tree and a percentage of sales goes towards supporting reforestry through One Tree Planted.
Reduce Living Space
Ten years ago, right before the Great Recession, there was a trend across the US with Americans building McMansions. Thankfully, the pendulum has swung the other way and the new trend is towards Tiny Houses. It’s not surprising, as countries like Japan have embraced a simplistic, minimalist lifestyle that proves to be not only more economical, but less stressful. My family of three (almost four, as my wife is expecting our second child) lives in a one-bedroom, streamlined apartment that keeps us close-knit! I embrace the idea of tiny houses as they have a great impact on the environment, utilizing less space, less materials and more importantly, often recycled materials, reduced energy usage, less waste and, due to more time spent outdoors, a closer connection to nature. I love Operation Tiny Home, whose mission is to support people struggling with housing instability the ability to maintain a life of dignity through high quality tiny house solutions.
Rahua by Amazon Beauty co-founder Fabian Lliguin grew up in Ecuador to a family of hairdressers who came to New York with high ambitions to open his own salon, which he was successful in achieving. Lliguin, who is of Inca descent, always loved the lush, magical flora of the rainforest. When he discovered that an oil company had filled a beloved pond with cement, he took action and formed Ecoagents®, an NGO dedicated to protecting the Amazon Rainforest, its people and their culture.
While working with Ecoagents® in the forest, Fabian was introduced to a beauty secret of the Quechua tribal women. A natural oil, called Rahua, which was derived from the ungurahua nut, kept the women’s long hair healthy and shiny. The women even demonstrated an informal ritual where they applied the oil to each other’s hair.
“I was on an environmental mission deep in the Amazon forest when a group of indigenous women from the Quechua-Shuar tribes approached me, says Lliguin. As a hairdresser, I was astonished by their extremely long and healthy beautiful tresses. I asked them their secret, and they told me it was Rahua. The women introduced me to the highly potent, restorative Rahua oil, which is hand-harvested and processed through centuries old, ceremonial processes and what they believe to be the secret to their thick, flowing hair. I had heard of the legendary Rahua oil growing up, but it wasn’t until I brought it back to my salon in New York that I realized its potency. Research followed, a product line was developed, and Amazon Beauty® and the Rahua® product line was born.”
Born of a passion for beauty, natural ingredients and ecological preservation, Amazon Beauty®, Inc. and the Rahua® product line presents Rainforest Grown Beauty, ingredients from the lush Amazon that produce healthy, superior benefits for hair and body using plant-derived ingredients. Lliguin has made an impact on the beauty industry and real change to the environment by creating earth-friendly, plant-powered, clean, sustainable, naturally beneficial hair and body care products rich with hand-harvested Amazonian nontoxic ingredients.