Living the Lush Life at SXSW

By Ana Richie

Just when SXSW couldn’t get any cooler, I stumbled across the #lushlab, an interactive booth with rows and rows of colorful bath bombs infused with a variety of popular fragrances. I stepped into the booth where I met Tobias, a team member who gave me a little history behind the brand. Lush was founded in the UK and quickly gained popularity across the globe. People from all over crave their handmade and vegetarian beauty products. The cosmetic retailer also puts an emphasis on social and global impact.  In 2014, Lush began its journey with regenerative farms. They are agricultural projects that essentially cultivate disregarded land while harvesting ingredients for their cosmetic products. In that same year that they started this project in country of Uganda, the brand acquired 34 hectares of deforested land and some of the land was being utilized as a displaced persons camp.

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An array of bath bombs adorned the wall of the pop up at the SXSW exhibit attracting many festival goers to the scene. Tobias explained that Lush has designed a new app to show customers their products in a more contemporary way. He used his iPhone to demonstrate for me. As Tobias scanned a bath bomb with his phone’s camera, the ingredients immediately popped up on the screen. In addition, a video of how the bath bomb would react in water displayed on the phone’s monitor. Tobias then expressed that, “this app is helping the brand become more sustainable by cutting back on water to showcase our products. Instead of us using water in the store to test out a single bath bomb, customers can see first-hand how it will look through the app to prevent the waste of water.”

While Lush is also cutting back on water consumption, they are also using cloth out of recycled water bottles to package their products. Instead of utilizing single usage plastics, the brand has moved in the direction of using recyclable cloth to gift their customers sustainable products to soak in. While the beauty industry is constantly transforming, Lush is an example of a company that is progressing in the direction of where it’s customers would like it to go- environmentally friendly with a hint of lush.

Photos by Nick Tribuno