Horst Rechelbacher died.
I just recently found out Horst Rechelbacher died. I did’t get a phone call or a notice, it wasn’t like that . I didn’t know him very well. He did launch Triassic as a real business though.
Horst was the founder of Aveda beauty and health products. After it sold he founded Intelligent Nutrients. I met him during the early years at a Vanity Fair photo shoot on the beach in California. I was wearing a dogbane cord and he was impressed that we were hand crafting and selling it for jewelry. He was trying to revitalize Osceola Minnesota where he was based part of this involved creating an “eco-shopping mall”. He contacted me and ordered and bunch of stone pendants with dogbane cord. That was THE moment I thought my hobby could actually be something more.
I admired and respected Horst because he believed in the knowledge of indigenous people, specifically plant knowledge, and worked towards using these natural elements in place of more modern/industrial materials. Simpler is sometimes much better.
He also believed in leading from the front; Being the change. He singlehandedly transformed the cosmenctics industry.
At Triassic we believe that the old ways are worth preserving. Whether that is an ancient cord making technique with an abundant plant or simply using wood that is available and being tossed for trash. We believe in using the materials that are in front of us.
We also believe in leading from the front. We see lots of intrinsic issues with both industrial/corporate America and in our government. But rather than begging/protesting/pressuring or asking for permission for the very system that we think is the obstacle to change, we have become the change.
We don’t have to convince city government or taxpayers to pay not to landfill trees, we just don’t take trees to the landfill. In Moab we now divert 80% of the trees waste from the landfill and craft it into useful stuff. Because we can, because it is the right thing to do. Just because we feel like it.
That is the great thing about America, you can just do something. There are tons of older industries being upset right now because someone has decided to do something different. The bottom line is that people, our customers, care. Check out a letter from Horst.
In it he challenges corporations to list what is in their products and to get rid of ingredients that are harmful.
What are in our wood products? Trees, just as they came from nature. Organic Canola oil and citrus oil, That’s it.
What is in our stone products? Rocks. Just as nature made them, but shinier.
What is in our dogbane cord? Dogbane, and a lot of hard work.
What is in our leather cord? Good fucking question. We currently use deerskin hide from Colorado. But did you know that most leather goods come from India, where they poison the rivers that most of the people there depend on directly for their drinking, bathing, cooking, and washing water. We are constantly looking for better leather. Can you help us? We are committed to solving this problem in a large way, even if it means we will be tanning our own hide (maybe sooner rather than later).
What is in our steel products? 80-90% recycled steel, and we recycle our own steel waste. Now with a forge we can pound our metal scraps, our consumables from chainsaws likes bars and chains into other things, closing that loop too.
What can you do? That is the challenge for each of us. And we are capable.