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What we put down our drains

LUSH co-founder Helen Ambrosen and product inventors Daniel Campbell and Jack Constantine worked tirelessly to create ‘Self-Preserving’ products that could still have a long shelf-life without containing synthetic ingredients. As Jack Constantine points out in our new self-preserving guide, “Making a water-based product self-preserving requires a careful balance of natural ingredients.”        

In 2013 they achieved this ‘careful balance’ for three of our Best Sellers: Dream Cream, Ocean Salt and Mask of Magnaminty. The original formulas were joined by expertly re-balanced self-preserving doppelgangers, giving  our customers a greater choice of what they are putting on their skin and washing down their plug holes.

What goes down our drains is more now important than ever with Australia and New Zealand facing unprecedented levels of water pollution.

In New Zealand, more than 60% of rivers are too polluted to swim in and a third of our lakes are unhealthy which has left two-thirds of our freshwater fish at risk. In Australia, a number of rivers in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have also been contaminated. While much of this comes from the agricultural industry, chemical ingredients in cosmetics also add to the problem.

As a company passionate about combatting these issues and not adding to them, LUSH always uses natural exfoliants and plastic-free glitter rather than microbeads in our products and have campaigned for the banning of these in all cosmetics. Worldwide our buying teams work with our suppliers to ensure ingredients for our products are sourced sustainably and waste caused by their farming is minimised and continuously reviewed and improved.

In 2015, 75,000 tonnes of preservatives from cosmetic products entered water systems, rivers, lakes and the sea. In a recent study, Arizona State University found that over 40% of the world's oceans have now been “heavily affected by human activities,” highlighting that what we wash away matters, affecting our waterways, oceans, and the biodiversity that inhabit them.

In our products LUSH’s inventors aim for the minimal use of preservatives but the Christmas 2016 range saw us take another huge step to reduce this further - from body lotions to shower gels, our entire Christmas range was self preserving.

LUSH co-founders Mark Constantine and Helen Ambrosen continued commitment to their lifelong aim remains clear: “Approaching this work every day has been a challenge made exciting by creative thinking. Customers coming to LUSH love our innovation and, through it, we have been able to give them what they need: products that are good for them and good for the environment.”

 

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