With a strong focus on direct-from-farmer ingredients, Avec is a new Australian skincare brand you should have on your radar.
The highly thought-out and curated range, which includes Bioactive Nutrient Serum, was created to put fresh, local and sustainable skincare on the map.
BD caught up with Avec founder, Jen Plahm, who shared all about creating a brand that filled a gap in the Australian skincare market, the importance of farmer relationships and the unexpected inspiration she draws from.
Can you tell us a bit about Avec, what the name means and why you decided to create the brand?
Avec is French and means ‘with’ - it’s also the name of one of my favourite farm-to-table restaurants in Chicago - where I’m originally from.
I started Avec because I wanted to develop a skincare range that offered the freshest skincare you could get anywhere on the market by working directly with - and supporting - small farmers in Australia.
What gap in the market is the brand filling?
While there’s plenty of beautiful brands out there I couldn’t find any brand that was offering direct-from-farmer ingredients, meaning there wasn’t the freshness and nutritional value to every ingredient I thought was necessary.
I get a lot of my inspiration from chefs I’ve met over the years who work directly with farmers to give their customers the freshest and best quality ingredients. I wanted to apply that idea to skincare.
What results have your customers seen so far?
We’ve seen some life-changing results for customers and we couldn’t be more proud. The results customers have been seeing include help with psoriasis and postpartum skin, softening of wrinkles and having skin glowing all day. They also have noticed the difference in quality compared to other oils.
Can you explain the 30 day herbal infusion the Bioactive Nutrient Serum goes through?
The organic herbs go through a one-month full-spectrum herbal infusion with fresh cold-pressed oils. Then the infusion goes through our unique extraction process that maximises the potency of the serum and takes the healing properties of the plants to the next level for your skin.
What does being an Australian brand mean to you and why was it important to have your products made locally?
Australia has an abundance of beautiful farms – and at destinations like Tasmania, it also has some of the freshest air on earth. I really wanted to show what Australia has to offer.
It’s important to have products made locally because I want to source the ingredients as close as possible to our headquarters, keeping the carbon footprint down.
You source ingredients from organic and sustainable farms, why was this an important practice for the brand?
It’s extremely important to me that I know where every ingredient is coming from. We developed these relationships over the last few years and the farmers press oils specifically for us and grow herbs specifically for us to bring the freshest product to our customer.
With most products sold online from bulk stores, we don’t know when the plant was harvested, who grew it and what the environment was like.
Many of these natural ingredients are mass produced and stored in warm warehouses for what can be many years. This means the nutritional value of the natural product can deplete over time and by the time it gets to your skin, it's sometimes been lost altogether.
Other countries which claim to use certified organic can be unmonitored, they can be using unsustainable farming practices, and the workers on the farm can be exploited.
I love working with small family farms not only for their dedication to their product, but also their love for the environment.
Can you share why the range has plastic-free packaging?
The beauty industry contributes to 120 billion units of plastic every year with most of it being non-recyclable and we didn’t want to contribute to that problem. I wanted our packaging to be 100% recyclable, using miron glass bottles for the oil.
Can you speak about the carbon footprint initiatives the brand works towards and why these processes were important to you?
Sourcing ingredients as close as possible to our headquarters is what we strive for.
Many brands like to source from all over the world which is great in some ways, but I wanted to source ingredients in Australia and know exactly what the supply chain looked like, not only to keep the carbon footprint down, but also so I know who grew the ingredient, when it was harvested and how it’s packaged.
In your opinion, where do you see the beauty industry heading in the future? And where does it need improvement?
I think ‘skinimalism’ will rise, which goes hand in hand with the no-makeup makeup look and less-is-more trend.
During the pandemic, many people have used multiple products on their skin because they have time at home, but some have hurt their skin in the process. So taking a step back by using only a few quality products is a good idea.
I also think indie beauty brands will continue to make waves in the industry. Consumers will always love heritage brands like Chanel but indie brands highlight many female founders in the space who are innovating products and putting a lot more thought into the product.
Innovative and recyclable packaging available to all is something that the beauty industry needs to work on. Many brands are owned by billion dollar corporations and have the money to offer this packaging and innovation.
Many independent brands would love to have this available and be as environmentally friendly as possible, but don’t have the funds or venture capital to make these new products.
What excites you most about the future of Avec?
I’m really excited about bringing Avec to different countries like the US (where I’m originally from), Canada, the UK, Hong Kong and other countries in Asia.
We have a few other products in mind but we don’t plan on having a full range, just a few hero products that are done really well.
Avec is also featured on BEAUTYDIRECTORY and you can access and download hi-res images here.
Image source: Supplied.