HJ Reports

HJ Heads to Italy to Find Out More About The Blue Tit x Oway Partnership

by charlottegw / last updated December 3, 2019

blue tit oway

Earlier this year Blue Tit London were announced as the global creative directors of  Italian haircare brand Oway. HJ headed to the brand’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy to find out more about the exciting partnership.

The Oway brand values

Oway proudly describes its range as the world’s first professional haircare, treatment and colour line that’s made with pure essential oils, zero toxic ingredients and cruelty-free ethos. Six years ago the brand made the decision to go plastic-free and they are now 99% plastic-free (HJ learnt that the brand are still searching for a viable plastic-free alternative for their dispenser pumps). The majority of products in the range are housed in amber glass bottles, but ‘tree-free’ paper and aluminium materials are also used.

The Oway farm estate

The trip began with a tour of Oway’s farm estate, Ortofficina in the heart of rural Bologna. At Ortoficcina Oway ingredients are grown using a biodynamic farming method. Created by philosopher and scientist Rudolph Steiner in 1924, biodynamic farming focuses on the needs of the farm first.

The Biodynamic Association defines a biodynamic farm in the following way: “Each biodynamic farm or garden is an integrated, whole, living organism. This organism is made up of many interdependent elements: fields, forests, plants, animals, soils, compost, people, and the spirit of the place. Biodynamic farmers and gardeners work to nurture and harmonize these elements, managing them in a holistic and dynamic way to support the health and vitality of the whole.”

At Ortoficcina we saw and smelt the ingredients, including lavender and sage, that go into the Oway products. Fun fact – Oway colour is actually 35% sage, as it’s great for scalp health and acts as a hair treatment. All of the natural ingredients are grown in this biodynamic way at a number of different estates throughout Italy.

Oway Spazio and Artigano wood laboratory 

Next stop on the itinerary was Oway Spazio the brand’s lab, academy and showroom. Spazio welcomes Oway salon stylists and hair professionals from all over the world to engage in education and training. There are training classrooms, a stage for events and shows and even a screening room – all in a plastic-free environment, with eco-sustainable furnishings designed and built at the nearby Artigano wood laboratory. The very same wood laboratory was next on our Oway hit list, here we met the lead designer who is responsible for all the salon furniture, window displays and wooden packaging. The emphasis is on sustainability which can be seen everywhere from the wood offcuts being used to heat the building to the wood waste being used to make some of the product packaging.

A ‘Sloway’ pace of life

Next we travelled to the centre of Bologna city to visit the Oway store on Via Ugo Bassi. Spread over four floors the store brings the Oway story to life. In the basement visitors can go on a virtual tour of the Ortofficina farm estate and on the ground floor retail space visitors can touch, smell and feel the the Oway products. The first floor consultation area provides visitors with a free assessment to work out what Oway products suit their needs and the Sloway salon on the fourth floor introduces them to a slower pace of life. Here hair appointments last at least an hour (highly uncommon in Italy, we learned!) and various essential oils treatments are used throughout a client’s appointment. As with all the Oway spaces we visited on our trip, the furniture and fittings of the store have all developed in the Artigano wood workshop.

The trip brought to life the shared values that Oway and Blue Tit London hold – namely that of sustainable practices, environmental awareness and a respect for both the environment and the people working within their businesses.

Blue Tit London and Oway offset the carbon impact of the flights taken for this trip to Italy. A further report can be found in the January 2020 issue of Hairdressers Journal. 

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