UK retailer Lush’s latest marketing campaign is exploring how cosmetics have the power to ‘rewild your routine’ and the planet.
The focus on wildlife draws attention to the strain on natural resources due to the increase in demand for cosmetics around the world. Lush highlights the pressure exerted on the natural world due to the sourcing of ingredients, but uses its new campaign to promote the products it sells which actually support biodiversity.
Green Retail World visited Lush headquarters earlier this month, and the team there were keen to highlight the need for collaboration among cosmetics companies as the business world looks to reduce the impact it has on the environment.
And in the new Lush marketing campaign, the retailer says the beauty industry is in a position to pivot toward protecting and enhancing biodiversity through its supply chains. It also suggests ways consumers can make informed choices that benefit the planet.
Ruth Andrade, Lush’s earthcare strategy lead, who this publication spoke to during the trip to Lush’s new Green Hub, said: “Because of the amount of oils, butters, essences, fragrance materials, flowers, and herbs traditionally used in cosmetics, the beauty industry is in a prime position to create a supply chain that works with life and not against it.
“From creating opportunities for livelihoods on the buffer zones of protected landscapes as alternatives to poaching and deforestation, buying salt from salt pans involved in bird conservation to producing ylang ylang oil in agroforestry systems, every natural or naturally-derived material we source has the potential to be regenerative.”
An example of how Lush is practicing what it preaches is through its lavender-based products. The Bulgarian supplier from which the retailer sources its lavender oil uses “organic, wildlife-friendly practices”, according to Lush, meaning pollinators such as bees are able to thrive.
Lush says it spends more than £90 million on purchasing raw materials from communities and suppliers in 80 different countries, and it believes this purchasing power provides an opportunity to invest in regions and organisations that can create positive impacts in their areas.
Instead of having a generalist sustainability strategy, Lush’s ambition is to contribute to the healthy functioning of living ecosystems. It’s a realisation that doing no harm or reducing the harm done by business is perhaps not enough in the midst of a climate and biodiversity crisis.
Lush has built this concept into its ingredients buying strategy. It considers key biodiversity and bird migration zones, and conducts its business while investing in the people and communities who are protecting and restoring these areas.
The company is not perfect but it certainly is an example of best practice in the retail space, having created so-called ‘sourcing hubs’ around the world where it supports local communities via the creation of local entities, to demonstrate how to grow ingredients in ways that are “biodiversity friendly and, often, regenerative”.
One example of this is a 44-acre area of land in south-east Lebanon, where Lush established a small bitter orange orchard as an example of how the neroli blossom could be grown in an organic and biodiverse way, in an area that is also a bird migration route.
This plot is now a no-hunt zone to protect migratory birds from being hunted. Lush also funded and supported the planting of more than 13,000 trees, and the creation of lakes to promote water for wildlife and “to heal the hydrological cycle”. The neroli oil from this source is contained in the retailer’s products such as its Salty body spray.
The new Lush marketing campaign highlights some of these products as well as examples of the work it is doing, but it is also aiming to influence the wider industry to think similarly about how it operates.
Have you read Lush co-founder, Mark Constantine’s green manifesto for the new king?
[Image credit: Green Retail World]