Klang Valley Lush fans can now breathe a sigh of relief: the Sunway Pyramid store opening was a huge success. Needless to say, everyone loves the familiar scent that wafts through the air and you can smell the handmade magic from miles away. The second local Lush store is shiny and new, with a great new space to fill more wonders.
Last month, at the Lush Sunway Pyramid opening, we caught up with Lush‘s very own director, Ms Harvinder Harchand and she brings with her an important message from the brand about sustainability and caring for the climate community.
Q&A with Lush Director Ms Harvinder Harchand
1. How do you control how many times it’s been reused or how it’s been upcycled?
For example, in Japan, Australia and the UK (where the factories are), they ensure that it’s done, so anything that goes to the store, it goes through that process. But in other countries, what we do is we make sure that we engage the license and the proper recycler so that it does not end up in landfills—especially plastics that are being crushed and is sent to factories to be melted down. So we do an audit, we do visit them to ensure that they are compliant.
2. How do you think Malaysia is doing in terms of sustainability and awareness of cleaner beauty and practices?
I would say that it’s already getting there because we’re not the only one doing it. What we encourage is for every brand to do it. In Malaysia, the Lush packages get returned by the hundreds each month. In return, we give them a fresh face mask. Even brands like L’Occitane are doing it. It’s good practice; it’s saving the environment. It’s great to know that more people are following the trend. It won’t be much longer for Malaysia to reach there, as we’ve already embarked on the journey.
3. Lush has always been a pioneer in recycling and greener practices. What else can we expect from Lush regarding sustainability and cleaner beauty?
We’re going towards the ‘naked’ products. As you can see, some stores in the UK, Japan and Hong Kong as well has become a fully ‘naked’ store. Nothing is with packaging. I believe we can achieve that in the future because we’ve already started. The only potential obstacle that I foresee is due to our differing weather.
4. What do you hope that Lush customers come away with from the brand’s environmental ethics?
Generally, it’s our six values: ‘naked’, against animal testing, going vegan, ethical values, and hand-made. We also would like our customers to not be afraid of having a well-informed opinion.
5. What are the tips you can share with our readers on how to make their routines more sustainable?
Perhaps phase out the single-use plastics, such as bringing your toothbrush to avoid wasting the single-use toothbrush and razors that hotels may offer. Next, you can choose to use recyclable and refillable products. In Lush’s case, it’s the ‘naked’ products. Customers are free to keep them in their containers.
You should also watch out for microplastics because I feel like it’s something everyone talks about, but no one is doing anything about it. When you buy something, as a consumer, you need to ensure you know what’s really in that product, so check the ingredients!
In your day-to-day, if we’re talking about sustainability, wipes are not biodegradable. People think they are, but it’s not tissue! You can just buy products that wash off easily and use some cloth to remove it with your makeup remover. Then you can just toss that cloth into the laundry and reuse! You’ll find all these easily worked into your routine once you get the hang of it.
We hope other brands join us in our efforts because it’s not just for Lush; it’s for the community. We want this to be contagious.
6. The shelf lives of your products are shorter than a lot of the other products out there. What happens to the products once it’s off the shelf?
One of two things can happen: First, we will donate it to charities. Orphanages and schools are some of the beneficiaries. We also work with a few organisations to ensure that these goodies aren’t going to be wasted. Second, when the products are expired and aren’t viable to be given away anymore, we’ll recycle some of the reusable parts.
7. When do you think Malaysia can see more makeup products at Lush?
We hope it’ll be soon. It started in Europe and Japan, for a pilot test. Once it’s resolved, we’re sure it will be marketed everywhere.