Zero Waste Beauty

Sustainability is becoming more and more important to cosmetic companies as part of their brands. Our columnist Emily Cristobal talks about the environmentally friendly mission and impact of Lush.

As pollution becomes an ever-pressing problem in today’s world, beauty companies are starting to reduce packaging and use environmentally conscious formulas in their products. A pioneering company in this initiative is Lush.

Lush is doing so by making products such as shampoo and make-up in solid form. This switch to get rid of unnecessary packaging is what Lush calls “naked.” As of now, 35 percent of their products are sold naked, but by 2019 they plan to be the first package-free cosmetic shop in the United Kingdom, according to Lush Cosmetics.

Lush products are sustainable and ethical; their products are 100 percent vegetarian, 80 percent vegan, and cruelty-free.

Lush products are sustainable and ethical; their products are 100 percent vegetarian, 80 percent vegan, and cruelty-free.

After consumers finish their containers of other Lush products, they can either recycle the plastic or return the black pots to local Lush stores to receive free face masks as an added benefit for customers. For every five black pots, you receive one free fresh face mask. When you return these containers, Lush recycles them into new black pots for more of their products.

In 2012, Lush reduced plastic usage by making their clear plastic bottles thinner by 10 percent. By doing this, Lush Cosmetics saved about 13,500 pounds of plastic. Lush’s knot-wraps, which are square scarves made of organic cotton or a silky fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, are another sustainable solution to packaging products with added style. Naked products received in gift or mail order packages may also seem like they come in plastic bags, but they are actually made of 100% biodegradable cellophane. You can put this packaging right in your compost.

Lush has also partnered with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to use plastics recovered from the ocean in the bottles and pots they use for their products. Ocean Legacy Foundation is an organization that collects plastics from shorelines and works to find ways to recycle them, hence their partnership with Lush.

This need to reduce plastic consumption and production was reinvigorated by the #passonplastic campaign. The campaign was started by Sky Ocean Rescue with the help of Project 0. Sky Ocean Rescue works on limiting the use of single-use plastics and has created its own line of reusable canvas bags and metal water bottles. Project 0 also works on restoring and protecting our oceans, bringing awareness through conservation. Together, they have gained a following to stop the daily use of single-use plastics. This is an important issue because of the plastic that we use daily end up in the ocean, which affects the natural ecosystem of the plants and animals that live in the ocean and eventually affect our own health.

As Lush works toward zero waste, hopefully other cosmetic companies will follow suit in reducing their packaging and work toward a more sustainable future.

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