R.I.P., Horst...

We'd just like to pay tribute to one of our natural beauty 'heroes', who died at the weekend. (Way too young, at 72.) Horst Rechelbacher was hugely influential in the world of natural beauty. Born in Austria, Horst began as an apprentice in the beauty and salon industry aged just fourteen, and went on to found the Aveda brand, borrowing from Ayurvedic beauty principles, using plant-based ingredients. We were fans from the moment we first discovered the range in the States, in its very early days.

Horst - who we met countless times, and hugely admired - was passionate about environmental issues, and helped to show that it's possible to marry style and beauty with a concern for the environment. His philosophy was simple: 'We shouldn't put anything on our body that we can't digest or doesn't have nutritional value.'

After selling Aveda to Estée Lauder, Horst stayed on board until 2003, then set up a new venture, Intelligent Nutrients. Passionate about sustainability - Horst was voted by Vanity Fair as one of the most influential environmentalists in the US in 1995, and again in 2005 - Horst achieved the highest organic standards for his new range, insisting that it should be organically-certified in many different countries (even though that's a lot of hoops to jump through). He was also committed to the use of renewable energy to fuel production of his ranges.

We will sorely miss his commitment to research into natural beauty and the therapeutic properties of plants, and we'll miss his good company. And we're also sad not to be able to send him a copy of our forthcoming book, in which so many of the products he has in one way or another been responsible for creating feature.

As his website says, 'The planet has lots one of its most passionate friends. So have we. To know Horst was to wake up to the world around you, to your own potential, to a new way of thinking. His impact truly does live on in salons, shops, fields and minds worldwide. And his mission continues.'

Auf wiedersehen, Horst.