Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’ initiative towards sustainable farming, the ‘Sustainable Lush Fund’ (SLush Fund), is collaborating with farmers in the Middle East and around the world to start or further develop sustainable projects. As of December 2014, the SLush Fund gave seed funding to over 32 projects in over 19 countries, totalling to almost AED 7 million.
One community supported by the SLush Fund in the Middle East is Marda Premaculture Farm in Palestine. Marda Premaculture Farm addresses community needs through the demonstration of permaculture and traditional Palestinian farming practices, sharing with the village methods to grow food well, on small areas of the land, without the dependency on fertilizers and pesticides. The olive oil produced on this farm was used in Lush’s Close to You massage bar and is now used in Olive Tree gourmet soap as well.
Not only does the SLush Fund initiative allow the brand to continue its practice of using fresh, organic ingredients in its products, but it also helps communities worldwide within a network of supportive partnerships with farmers in less economically developed countries. Jo Bridger, Research and Ethical Trade Coordinator for the SLush Fund, comments: “We started this because we wanted to move beyond simply buying fairly traded ingredients and instead, developing supportive partnerships with the communities that produce them. It’s really great that we can offer products with truly traceable, beautiful ingredients… a bit of each of these projects.”
Another example of an existing community further supported by the SLush Fund is Ojoba Women’s Shea Cooperative in Ghana. Stable employment for women has helped to build their confidence, and allowed them to afford child health insurance and school fees, as well as access to literacy classes. Lush also co-funded the community library, in partnership with the cooperative, through investment from the SLush Fund. Lush products such as British Nanny, Dirty shaving cream and Prince contain Shea butter from the Ojoba Cooperative.
Lush is revolutionizing the cosmetics industry through ethical products and practices. The brand has achieved several milestones globally through its initiatives supporting causes such as ethical buying, combatting animal testing and supporting fair trade and community trade. Other examples of Lush products containing ingredients from the SLush Fund include Lush Pot Hand & Body Lotion, which contains 7 SLush Fund ingredients including Ylang Ylang oil from Ghana, Geranium oil from Kenya, and Rosewood Oil from the Peruvian Amazon, Peace Massage Bar contains Fair Trade Colombian Cocoa butter and Happy Hippy shower gel, which contains Frankincense oil from Somaliland.