Abhati has been 25 years in the making. What began with a humble trip to Maharashtra in Mumbai by Abhati founder Anju back in 1990, has grown into the heartfelt passion of a small group of individuals.
Uniting us is our dedication to the cause, and our vow to produce only the most luxurious and ethical beauty products. But all of this talk of ‘us’ and ‘our’ begs the question: who actually are ‘we’, and what is our story?
Well, we are a group of entrepreneurs that are based all around the world. While Abhati was born amidst the vast and beautiful landscape of Switzerland, other members of our team hail from India, England, Germany, the list goes on, and from all walks of life; from the spiritual worlds of healing, social work and yoga to cosmetology, cosmetic scientists and a herbalist.
It was Abhati founder Anju who brought us all together. Her travels to some of the poorest corners of the earth had brought the importance of safe sanitation and education to the forefront of her mind. It was a problem that she felt compelled to share, so she set about emailing all the contacts she could think of; her peers, her colleagues and her friends. But while we all agreed it was an issue that needed to be corrected, it wasn’t until 2001 that a small group of us took it one step further.
All the best things happen over food, and it was over dinner one evening in Paris that talk turned to the suffering in India that had been plaguing Anju since her trip a decade before. Every single person around that table was successful in their given field, but wanted the opportunity to be part of a bigger movement. We were inspired, and decided to pool our broad skillsets, traditions and networks to give back to those who needed it, in the hope of ridding the world of its taboo over lack of sanitation. But how?
Like everyone else, we are consumers: we buy and use a huge number of products; loving those that are the most beautiful and the most ethical. So that was what we decided to create, but with more passion than ever before: a company that funded our support for a mission close to our hearts by making the best possible products, and dedicating the proceeds to help empower girls and end unnecessary suffering.
Putting our heads and hearts together, we entered what is often considered a superficial industry, determined to overcome the irony, create a company with a personal touch, and make a difference.
Living in the age that we do, money was an obvious battle that had to be tackled head-on. Given the importance of what we were trying to do, we agreed not to charge the newly formed company for our time, ideas or efforts. And it’s stayed that way. Abhati has been funded solely on passion and support; created only when the various members of our close-knit team have managed to take the time out from their businesses to dedicate their efforts to Abhati. And for that, we are grateful.
There are many words that could describe the Abhati family: selfless, caring, passionate… and ‘patient’ is another. There have been many times along the way when it seemed as if Abhati was never going to take its first steps into the world, but we built each other up, constantly reminding ourselves of the impact we wish to achieve through our work.
It took until 2013 for Abhati to really launch. Our cosmetics line designed to generate awareness over sanitation in India and abroad, was born. And we are still learning. Working with plants in a collaborative space has taught us how people are an energy source and bring those much-needed nutrients to grow.
The customers that have come to us are the kind of customers we had hoped for: like-minded consumers who believe in enjoying beauty in its purest form. They care about themselves, respect traditional values, and want to help provide others with what we consider basic human rights — education and sanitation. You’re reading this, so we hope you fall into that category too.
To you, we say: the journey is not over, and we still need your help. We want to get our products into your local yoga studio, must-try restaurant, Saturday morning coffee shop and even your best friend’s bathroom to help spread the word of what we are creating and trying to achieve. The media have coined us ‘aesthetic activists’, and it’s a term that we think captures our persona perfectly. We love our work and are passionate about being a group of humanists trying to achieve something great; delivering happiness and changing children’s lives for the better. This is our mission, please help us achieve it.
— Zoe Louise Cronk