For the second time in two years Lush has collaborated with the Sumatran Orangutan Society in a SOS campaign. The campaigns aim is to raise awareness around the issue of rainforest deforestation and the potential extinction of the species. There are currently only 14, 600 Orangoutangs in Sumatra. The aim of the campaign is to raise funds to re-purchase and re-forest land that has been devastated by Palm Oil harvesting, a project that will mean more forest for Orangutans to thrive in. Simon Constantine is the head of perfumery and ethical buying for Lush. Simon talked to the Carousel about the cause behind the product and environmental responsibilities beauty companies need to answer to.
Tell us more about the SOS Sumatra Campaign and reason behind it.
This is the second year of the SOS campaign, following the great success in 2017/2018. Palm oil has been a campaign and raw material issue for Lush for over a decade now. In that time we have repeatedly highlighted the plight of the Orangutans and other endangered wildlife threatened by the rampant destruction of habitat required to grow Palm oil. Sumatra has born the brunt of this ecological exploitation and we felt it imperative to help retire and repair some of this damage done.
What are the major issues with animal life in Sumatra?
Habitat loss and poaching for the pet industry are the main threats. However, they also face increasing threats from a changing climate too as carbon released through human activity continues. Indonesia in particular has a role to play with direct implications from the burning of peat lands and the future clearance of forest across the region.
How can a beauty company impact this?
They can divest from these destructive industries and boycott materials sourced from biodiverse areas. Alternatively, they can call for higher standards of land use and protection for species within them. Lush are doing both, investing in alternative industries in Sumatra such as essential oils or coconut oil for example, whilst at the same time actively removing palm oil from our supply chain.
What other good causes does LUSH Cosmetics get involved in?
How much time do you have? Lush has donated over £50 million in charitable giving over the last decade. We support grassroots organisations fighting climate change, animal cruelty, humanitarian issues and beyond. At Lush e also source many of our materials through a variety of fairly traded projects and cooperatives, designing our products with packaging-free alternatives. We have strict policies around animal testing and reward advancements in alternative safety tests for the industry through Lush Prize. Lush also campaigns on subjects such as digital ethics and LGBTQI+ rights.
The #SOSsumatra soap is an invigorating blend of patchouli and orange and leaves a rich lather on the skin thanks to the products Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Organic Coco Butter base. It is available from LUSH boutiques or online.
The Carousel would like to thank Ruby Feneley for the article.