UK cosmetics retailer, Lush, has opened a ‘Naked’ store in Milan to help eradicate plastic pollution.
The 100 metre square flagship store will sell the company’s handmade products, including facial cleansers, scrubs, toners, masks, moisturisers and makeup, without any packaging.
Announcing the “new experiment”, the company said the shop is “a celebration of innovation and creativity”.
“Through products totally free of packaging and, through in-store events, workshops and film screenings, [the shop] aims to be a place for customers to share and exchange ideas for a future without plastic.”
Currently approximately 40 percent of Lush’s product range in nearly 900 shops around the world is packaging-free, but the move to the brand’s first 100 percent ‘Naked’ shops is nonetheless a major milestone.
Lush co-founder and product inventor Mo Constantine says he “began unintentionally making naked products” when the company was established in 1995 and has “gone down that route ever since”.
“From solid shampoo bars to bath bombs and soaps, unpackaged is not new to Lush but in a time when plastic pollution is a growing problem, it makes even more sense to branch out and push the boundaries just a little further”.
Mo says the company has “always tried to use creative solutions to make a positive impact on the planet” with inventions such as the “first solid shampoo bar which saves nearly 6 million plastic bottles yearly” and more recently “a solid alternative to liquid shower gel”.
Determined to lead the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging, Mo says going ‘naked’ is the best option for companies, consumers and the planet.
“Going naked is cheaper for everyone as 40-50 percent of the cost of a product goes on packaging,” she says.
“Having that extra money to spend on ingredients really does make a difference – you get a good price, a good amount of content and no wastage.
“It just works incredibly well − it’s the way to go.”
Apart from its packaging-free products Lush uses several strategies to keep its plastic use to a minimum, including:
Reeusable giftwrapping: Instore wrapping options include tins and ‘knot wraps’ (which can be reused as scarves, hair ties or even bags).
Celo bags: Online orders are packed in biodegradable bags made from 100 percent compostable plant cellulose cellophane.
EcoFlow: Online order packed in the celo bags are surrounded with plastic-free packing material made from potato starch pellets.
Paper bags: Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to its shops or use one of its bags made from 100 percent recycled and recyclable paper.
Reusable black recyclable plastic pots and bottles: Liquids are packaged in black pots and transparent bottles made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Customers can recycle the bottles at home or return five empty pots to a Lush shop for recycling and claim a free face mask for doing so.
‘Plastic-free’ microbeads: Natural exfoliators like ground nut shells and beans are used in the brand’s products.
‘Plastic-free’ glitter: Glitter in the brand’s products is made from synthetic mica formed from natural minerals.
KeepCups, reusable bottles and cutlery: Every new Lush staff member is issued with a Lush KeepCup, a reusable water bottle and reusable cutlery.