Business partner: The RNIB and L'Occitane en Provence

The UK branch of the fragrance retailer has raised more than £30,000 for the RNIB so far

L'Occitane labels its products in braille
L'Occitane labels its products in braille

The RNIB saw the fundraising potential of the fragrance maker L'Occitane en Provence by chance. The sight-loss charity was prompted to speak to the French-based firm, which labels its products in Braille, after getting positive comments from its beneficiaries.

"We got in touch and awarded it exemplar status, which is given to businesses that are accessible," says Natalie Fox, corporate partnerships manager at the RNIB. "As we entered into a conversation, we found that the firm had a huge passion for supporting people with sight loss."

That passion translates into L'Occitane donating about £410,000 a year, through a company foundation, towards combating sight loss, mainly by financing eye operations in Africa.

But since the RNIB partnership began in June 2012, part of that fundraising has been directed towards the UK, where the international company has 66 stores.

"We wanted to work with a local UK charity," says Shimon Kalichman, L'Occitane PR manager. "We worked with Orbis before on an international level with its flying eye hospital, but we wanted to do something local."

The UK branch of the company has raised more than £30,000 for the RNIB so far by donating all proceeds of the sale of scented candles and by fundraising among staff, which was match-funded by the L'Occitane Foundation.

There is potential for more. The firm is committed to launching one product each year to benefit the RNIB and is implementing a scheme in which customers round up debit or credit card purchases and donate the extra amount.

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