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YSL Beauty Ourika Gardens, a socially responsible garden nestled in the Atlas Mountain

“Yves Saint Laurent has always been about women autonomy. Through these gardens, and the revenue the cooperative generates, the 32 women have been able to significantly improve their standard of living”- Caroline Nègre, Scientific Director YSL Beauty

A project designed and implemented by PUR Projet and its local partner High Atlas Foundation, the YSL Beauty Ourika gardens are niched away from the buzz of Marrakech, where Yves Saint Laurent found refuge back in the 60s. Shielded by mountains, they benefit from a unique microclimate, with desertic summer and cold winters, providing optimal growing conditions for vegetation. Today, over 40 botanicals species, from marigold and saffron to lemon, verbena, geranium pomegranate and jasmine grow in the gardens.

   

“The Ourika Gardens while being challenging at times, has proven to be a good example of a project taking into account the social context. We have been able to design a socially responsible garden supporting local women’s needs, supporting the local community along with responding to YSL Beauty demands regarding their products and values.” – Aurore Oberlé, Program Manager

Respectful of the environmental challenges faced in the region, these gardens champion the ancestral savoir-faire of the artisanal and agroecological practices of the 32 women beneficiaries, forming the 100% female-led cooperative Aboghlo. A socially oriented project, it has been supporting housewives providing them with alphabetization training, garden management and administrative autonomy training as well as providing with fixed and fair revenues.

The Ourika is the bountiful site where YSL Beauty grows many of the ingredients used in its creations. Looked after by the beneficiaries, the flowers are then dried within the local cooperative before being sent out. Today, over ten species are sold to YSL through the Aboghlo cooperative providing the women workers with a significant income, and regular training useful for their professional and personal life.

“YSL Beauty had the desire to create and implement a social program championing local women expertise as well as respecting the surrounding ecosystems », declared Aurore Oberlé, PUR Projet Program Manager. “The Ourika Gardens while being challenging at times, has proven to be a good example of a project taking into account the social context. We have been able to design a socially responsible garden supporting local women’s needs, supporting the local community along with responding to YSL Beauty demands regarding their products and values.”

4 years into the project, the beneficiaries have grown together to build and manage a cooperative in charge of the securing and diversification of YSL Beauty supply chains as well as providing them with financial autonomy.

Aside from this type of responsible garden, PUR Projet supports companies in their desire to create and implement sustainable projects within their own cosmetics and/or agricultural supply chains. For more information, please contact us.

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