#BEAUTY: Reducing the beauty industry's environmental impact

MOST consumers today look towards beauty brands that are eco-conscious and champion sustainability, whether in terms of using minimal packaging, encouraging the recycling of plastics, or being cruelty-free.

In the beauty industry unnecessary packaging contributes to the bulk of waste generated and adding to this impact is the fact that plastic bottles containing shampoos, body lotions and shower gels are often single-use items and rarely recycled.

As consumers today are more aware of the beauty industry's impact on the environment, many have wised up to the fact that minimal packaging and active recycling should be the way forward.

Handmade cosmetics company, Lush, is catering to these needs through its packaging-free innovations that have saved a substantial 13.8K tons of plastic globally.

Through the introduction of "naked"products such as bath bombs, shampoo bars, and pressed conditioners, it has successfully prevented the production of plastic equivalent to the weight of 76 blue whales.

Lush Malaysia director Dr Harvinder Harchand, says the idea behind "naked" products or products sold without packaging is to reduce the cost that would typically incur with packaging, enabling these products to be made using better ingredients, suitable for customers' needs.

"It's no secret that consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about the impact of the products they buy. We want to make sure that when customers purchase our products, it's not only beneficial but resonates with their values," she says.

In addition to this naked products approach, Lush, which recently opened its latest outlet in Suria KLCC, also promotes social responsibility through its Charity Pot and Bring It Back schemes.

Charity Pot, a Lush hand and body cream, allocates 100 per cent of all sales (minus local taxes) as grants, to groups championing animal protection, environment, and human rights.

These grants go to funding radical changemakers, targeting small, grassroots groups, and prioritising projects that aim to create long-term change that addresses the root cause of the problem.

The Bring It Back scheme meanwhile encourages customers to return empty packaging to Lush stores, contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and fostering a closed-loop recycling system.

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