At Lush we go beyond buying. We only purchase goods from suppliers who provide their farmers and factory staff with a safe working environment, free from the threat of violence. We buy from organisations that do not condone or test on animals and work to preserve endangered plants and animals.
Lush collaborate with farmers around the world to start sustainable projects from scratch, some of which produce organically grown ingredients for our products. In the last ten years we have developed a network of supportive partnerships with farmers in less economically developed countries by offering financial support via the Sustainable Lush Fund (SLush). The SLush fund enables farmers to trade independently and better support their communities using the principles of permaculture: care of the earth, care of people and fair share.
Financed by Lush’s annual buying budget, the £1.2 million spent to date supports the ongoing development of 32 SLush projects across 19 countries. SLush funding helped purchase the rights to six thousand thousand hectares of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon to prevent the felling of endangered rosewood and other native trees. Naturally fallen trees and small branches could be used to create a sustainable source of rosewood oil, extracted on site by an eco-friendly distillation unit. Rosewood seedlings would be propagated and transplanted regularly to ensure that we replanted more than we took. Hopefully, in future the rich oil will be available for use in our products.
As well as assisting with farm start-ups and permaculture education, SLush funding also provides communities with the tools to generate their own independent income. One example of this is the Colombian San Jose de Apartado peace community, who grow Fair Trade organic cacao beans. The Fund pays for medical bills, equipment to improve the quality of the cacao, and works hand in hand with the members to strengthen their positive presence on the land by organising international peace marches and petitions.