Avon celebrates 125 years of female empowerment

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On 15 September 2011 Avon, the global beauty giant, will celebrate its 125th anniversary. The world’s leading direct beauty seller has made a huge global impact, with 6.5 million Independent Avon Representatives in over 100 countries. Today the organisations selling power is staggering, with four Avon lipsticks and two Avon mascaras being sold every second somewhere across the globe.

Avon, the company for women

Back in 1886 a forward thinking David H. McConnell unleashed a revolutionary idea by creating the California Perfume Company. A pioneering business that he soon rebranded Avon, following a trip to the beautiful town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. With his flexible door-to-door sales model he offered women the opportunity of financial independence before they were entitled to vote. A whole generation of women was empowered by the company’s opportunity and a vast network of spirited, female, micro-entrepreneurs was born.


Stats and facts


Years before women had equal voting rights to men, Avon began offering women the opportunity to be the CEO of their own business and control their economic destiny.


  • Avon reaches women in over 100 countries through over 6.5 million independent sales Representatives.
  • Today, Independent Avon Representatives start up their own self-employed direct selling enterprises with an initial investment of just £15, and with hard work and determination, can turnover anything from hundreds to millions of pounds a year.
  • One in three women in the UK is an Avon customer and six million women in the UK see an Avon brochure every three weeks.


Innovation and affordability


125 years ago Avon launched as a small direct sales company in America, starting with a simple line of five floral fragrances and a range of everyday essential beauty items. Today Avon invests millions in R&D, developing over 1,000 new products every year and continuously improving existing ones.  As part of the brand’s reinvention, which has seen it tap into a younger generation, Avon has secured partnerships with celebrity ambassadors including Reese Witherspoon; Fergie; Ashley Greene and Yasmin le Bon.


Stats and Facts


  • Every second of every day, four Avon lipsticks and two Avon mascaras are sold somewhere in the world.
  • Avon scientists create and evaluate nearly 1,000 cosmetic, fragrance and toiletry products every year.
  • In 1992 Avon was the first beauty brand to bring Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Technology to the mass market with the launch of its ANEW skincare brand.
  • In the UK Avon sells three ANEW Clinical Eye Lifts every minute.
  • Avon sells two of its Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel every minute in the UK.


Supporting the causes that matter most to women


The Avon Foundation for Women was founded in 1955, with the aim of improving women’s lives. Today, Avon is the world’s largest corporate supporter of women’s causes, having raised more than $800 million globally. Focusing on the issues that matter most to women, the beauty giant has a dual mission to fund breast cancer research and care, as well as tackling domestic violence.  As Avon’s global ambassador, Reese Witherspoon plays a crucial role in helping to raise awareness for Avon’s philanthropic programmes.



Stats and facts


  • As the company for women, Avon is committed to supporting the causes that matter most to women – breast cancer and domestic violence.
  • Avon remains the world’s largest supporter of women’s causes, having raised and awarded over $800million to help improve the lives of women around the world.
  • The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade was launched in the UK in 1992 to raise vital awareness and funds for breast cancer research, education and care. Avon is now the largest global corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause.
  • To date, Avon UK has raised over £15 million for breast cancer charities and over £500,000 for domestic violence charities.

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