"Lush Angels On Bare Skin Cleanser, $31"
In the modern beauty game, the race is on to create more ethical, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and overall environment-friendly products that do not skimp out on quality. The brand that had us all go crazy for psychedelic bath bombs (and us wishing we had a bath tub) has been one of the founding mothers of the green beauty movement and we're excited to see what else they're up to now that there's more focus than ever for beauty brands to be environmentally-conscious. We got the chance to chat with Lush Malaysia’s Director Harvinder Harchand on the brand's trailblazing journey in green beauty and sustainability.
How is Lush’s green beauty business plan becoming even greener?
We try to make do without packaging when we can, like our soaps and body gels. If we do require packaging, we ensure that the materials are recycled so we don’t take more plastics into our production — this needs to be endorsed by companies in Malaysia. Plus, we produce completely biodegradable products, meaning there’s no microplastics in our scrubs and toothpastes. We are also crueltyfree. Our raw materials are sourced from reputable companies that practice ethical awareness among their staff, pay their employees and stand against child-labour.
What are the biggest and surprising challenges faced when trying to create and distribute these sustainable products?
Generally, we realise that there are certain generation gaps — some people who care about it and some who don’t. It is also related to upbringing so educating the community is very important. We head to schools and work with certain organisations to create this awareness, including where the Orang Asli are, and talk about plastics and how they damage us and the environment.
A survey showed that most people, particularly millennials, want to buy green products yet only about 26% do so. What would you like to say to the 26% to change their minds?
We need to create awareness on the consequences that are already here through campaigns. We’ve cleared up dirty beaches and seen turtles returning to shores. We have also seen India, Philippines and Indonesia doing it successfully. The only way that you can change their minds is by seeing, believing and the outcome.
What more do you think can be done by beauty companies to go greener?
They just have to have the values that Lush does. I think everyone is achieving it somehow, or rather encouraging people to return items and give them products in return. With that, we can improve the environment of the country and globally within a period of time.
Lush Enchanted Eye Cream, $53 Uli fit.
Lush American Cream Conditioner, $22
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A quick head-to-toe insight to Harvinder’s beauty routine.
The hair care routine you can’t live without?
I use the Jersey Bounce shampoo, American Cream conditioner and H'Suan Wen Hua hair treatment on a weekly basis.
What about your daily facial essentials?
I love the Angels on Bare Skin cleanser, Tea Tree Water Toner, Gorgeous Moisturiser and Enchanted Eye Cream.
A must-have beauty product before stepping out of the house?
Sunblock, because your skin needs the protection from the blazing sun!
TEXT AND INTERVIEW MONISHA SIVANESAN PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LUSH