Interview with Horst Rechelbacher of Intelligent Nutrients

Horst M. Rechelbacher, well-known environmentalist and founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients, was in Singapore recently to introduce his book, Minding Your Business: Profits that Restore the Planet, and also to introduce Intelligent Nutrients, his certified organic health and beauty brand.

Intelligent Nutrients

The Intelligent Nutrients philosophy believes that the only way to make health and beauty products better for your body with superior performance is to use nutritious organic food grade ingredients, certified organic to the highest standards. Horst’s belief is that what we put on our bodies should be as safe as what goes into our bodies.

Le Bono Collection

Horst was invited to Singapore by Le Bono Collection, a new social distributor of luxury, organic, sustainable and ethical products aimed at spiritual, environmental and social wellness that appeal to the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of people. Le Bono carries the Intelligent Nutrients range of products in Singapore.

Interview with Horst

We had the opportunity to interview Horst and learn more about his success as an entrepreneur and environmentalist, and how he managed to run an environmentally-sound and sustainable business in cosmetics and personal care products. Here are some of his thoughts:

Horst on what we can learn from nature and apply to business:

Nature has a preferred management system. If you look at our body, our body has executives and team leaders, they are called organs. It’s all interconnected, our body is a perfect business so use the body as a role model. In the body there is no politics, there is no conflict in the body, only support.

Become a student of biology, study cause and effect, what supports, what doesn’t supports, what supports is sustainable. So nature is our teacher, our body is nature, the environment is our teacher. Our job is how do we support nature, how do we serve each other, selflessly not manipulative, transparent, honest so that we can see good about ourselves.

Horst on business management:

We empower people to be in charge, we don’t want people to be managed, we want people to manage themselves. Humans don’t need to be managed, they need to be nurtured, and brought into situations where the experience itself become the teacher. That’s really our business.

There’s also something in the book called I, Inc. I’m the corporation and when I practise sustainability, what does it mean for me? What is your lifestyle, the food you eat, the house you want to built? This are the questions we ask. So we train people how to nurture themselves, we have facilities, the retreat, nature reserves, farms. Everybody in the company has to work the farm because we want people to understand biological principles.

We want people to write their own script and they can only write their own script when they become independent with wisdom. When they become comfortable with their own lifestyles, then they join the team and become We, Inc.

Horst on moving from Aveda to Intelligent Nutrients:

Aveda is pretty much where I started 33 years ago. I have taken my lessons, what to do, what not to do from my former company. So I have reinvented myself. I’m not Aveda anymore, I’m Intelligent Nutrients. I have now learned what I need to learn, how to service the planet and consumers in  a more sustainable way.

Horst on environmentalism:

It’s very successful and it’s the beginning of the success. The organic industry is growing by 20% a year, it’s the fastest growing segment in the food industry. The regular food industry only grew by 2% in the US. The organic industry even in the down economy had a 20% growth. That’s very interesting, why? Consumers are smart enough to understand how to protect their body. So it’s only going to get better.

It gets better if the government gets involved. President Obama has an organic garden at the White House and now they are installing solar system on their roof. That’s called leadership. Local states are now introducing taxes to those who pollute. That’s going to cut into the profits of the organisations, it’s going to force them to change their method. Also, the government gives rebates.

Horst on the issue of greenwashing or organic labels not being truly organic:

That’s a real serious problem because it’s consumer fraud. The consumer is very vulnerable, the consumer likes to believe what is advertised, the consumer believes what the company is telling. But the consumer is becoming smarter, they are learning about who is certifying what, thanks to the web, Facebook and all those information systems. Thanks to those who write articles and report on transparency, consumers are becoming smarter, wiser and the manufacturer is going to live up to the consumer’s expectations. I’m very optimistic about the future.

Image credit: Le Bono Collection

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