L’OCCITANE Charity Fundraising For the Blind Initiative 2015/2016


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Since the creation of L’OCCITANE in 1976 by founder Olivier Baussan, the Provencal beauty brand has stayed true to three of its core values: authenticity, respect and sensoriality. This is especially apparent in L’OCCITANE’s products, where only the best and most natural ingredients are used to create beautiful textures and formulas, all the while respecting Mother Nature and the rights of people who produce these ingredients. However, since the beginning of L’OCCITANE’s creation, Olivier Baussan has always believed that there’s more to a brand than just making beauty products.

Authenticity, respect and sensoriality – these three simple but powerful values are also translated into L’OCCITANE’s business practice. It’s more than mere philosophy; it’s a commitment to give back, carried on by Olivier Baussan and held by L’OCCITANE employees all around the world. In 2006, the L’OCCITANE Foundation was created with two long-term missions: to support the visually-impaired and promote the economic emancipation of women.

L’OCCITANE and the L’OCCITANE Foundation have been working hand in hand with many organisations that are dedicated to fighting blindness. Did you know that there are almost 285 million blind or visually-impaired people throughout the world? However, the shocking thing is that 80% of blindness is actually preventable! This problem is especially apparent in low- or medium-income countries, where 90% of the visually-impaired live. So far, more than 1,500,000 people have benefitted from eye care thanks to L’OCCITANE’s efforts to support the blind and visually-impaired.

Just like the sighted, the blind and visually-impaired should have equal access to everything, including knowledge, facilities and even personal beauty products and toiletries. All of L’OCCITANE’s product packaging comes with Braille text, which enables them to obtain the best of beauty in its natural state. Everyone deserves the opportunity and convenience to enjoy the feeling of being pampered, and in line with the brand’s philanthropy, L’OCCITANE recognises the importance of making life easier for the visually-impaired.

Beginning from year 2011, L’OCCITANE also presents the L’OCCITANE Sight Award, which awards 50,000 € once every 2 years to an ophthalmologist for his or her research work in contributing to the fight against avoidable blindness in developing countries. In 2011, the award was given to professor Volker Klauss for his work in Africa. In April 2014, the second L’OCCITANE Sight Award was attributed to Dr. Clare Gilbert, which helped to fund eye screenings of 10,000 children in Bangladesh.

On a local front, L’OCCITANE Malaysia began its charity for the blind initiative in 2008 to give back to the local community. The brand works closely with the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) to help improve the lives of the blind and visually-impaired in Malaysia. Since year 2013/2014, L’OCCITANE has also added St. Nicholas’ Home, Penang, to its list of beneficiaries.

L’OCCITANE Charity Fundraising For the Blind Initiative 2015/2016 theme is “The Fight Against Avoidable Blindness”

In conjunction with International World Sight Day on 8 October 2015, L’OCCITANE Malaysia is organising its signature charity campaign for its 7th year running. This year’s theme, “The Fight Against Avoidable Blindness”, will involve raising funds for MAB and St. Nicholas’ Home. The funds will be channelled into conducting eye screenings and prescribing glasses for those who require attention, among others. Through this initiative, L’OCCITANE Malaysia also hopes to create greater awareness on the roles played by the L’OCCITANE Foundation and L’OCCITANE Malaysia in sight-related charity projects, so that all Malaysians will know more about the causes.

This year’s fundraising initiative will benefit the Ipoh branch of MAB. Located in Kinta Valley, the centre helps many individuals from the low-income sector such as farmers, who have limited access to hospitals and are not exposed to information on eye disease and the prevention of blindness. Eye screenings will be performed on: a) elderly people who have cataracts, and advice for cataract surgery will be provided; b) children between 5 – 17 years old who have refractive errors, where spectacles will be prescribed to improve their vision; and c) students with low vision problems who will be prescribed with Telescopic Magnifiers or Pebble Magnifiers.

For St. Nicholas’ Home, the funds will be used to provide eye screenings for at least 500 students in rural areas, including pre-schools. At least 100 people from the low-income group will also receive free spectacles or intra-ocular lenses that help to correct their vision. As for the general public, awareness will be created by organising exhibitions and talks on eye care in schools and community centres. Last but not least, St. Nicholas’ Home will organise workshops and training for community workers, medical staff and teachers on the importance of eye screening as well as other vision-related issues.

Every year, L’OCCITANE Malaysia introduces a solidarity fundraising product. This product is then sold in L’OCCITANE boutiques throughout the campaign period, and all the profits gained will go to selected local NGOs to support the visually-impaired in various ways.

The fundraising hero product for this year’s charity campaign is one of L’OCCITANE’s bestselling products – the Shea Foot Cream & Tin Box Set (RM41). Enriched with 15% nourishing Shea Butter produced by women in Burkina Faso, Africa, the luxuriously rich foot cream also contains Lavender essential oil to purify skin. Arnica extract, with its anti-inflammatory properties, helps reduce redness and irritation. Massaged into the feet, Shea Foot Cream instantly nourishes, soothes and moisturises, leaving behind softer, smoother feet.

L’OCCITANE Malaysia’s fundraising initiative 2015/2016 will run from 7 October to 31 December 2015. The special-edition Shea Foot Cream & Tin Box set (30ml, RM41) will be available at all L’OCCITANE boutiques nationwide.