About a week ago I received two bars of soap from LUSH Cosmetics. The name is Jungle Soap and even before I opened the box I could smell the familiar scent of patchouli. Not only does the soap smell nice, the reason for its creation certainly is nice.
In an effort to reduce expansion of palm oil plantations in the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia, which can be devastating to the indigenous tribes and animals who currently inhabit these lands, LUSH Cosmetics donated 100% of the profits from their limited edition Jungle Soaps (which retailed for only $5.95) to the Rainforest Foundation. Cool!
The Jungle Soap was created using a palm-free base, now introduced into all the other soaps in the LUSH line, and in doing this the company estimates to have reduced their consumption of the oil by 133,000 pounds; equal to 36.3 acres of rainforest saved. The soap is attractive too, it came in a deep forest green color and in the shape of a tree. Neither of which, I imagine, were a coincidence.
Although the company has indicated they strive to create a 100% palm oil free soap they admit it is difficult as the oil is rampant in just about everything including two of the main ingredients used to create soap - Sodium Stearate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
I was impressed to learn that the company’s focus is on using natural ingredients (organic fruit and veggies) as well as essential oils, that they are always 100% vegetarian and they do carry a Vegan line. It probably also doesn’t hurt that as a girl who loves her bath products I could spend days perusing their catalog LUSH Times.
What I was a bit baffled by however was the packaging my soaps were shipped in. The company boasts their products are generally sold “naked” (60% of all products are free of any packaging) and that the company participates in public awareness campaigns with regard to over-packaging. Unfortunately when I received my two 3” x 2-1/2” x ½” soaps they were wrapped up in a 13” x 10” x 4” box stuffed with paper based packing material. Eek. I can understand the desire to protect something a bit delicate but this was way over the top.
All told LUSH Cosmetics’ attention on the rainforests of southeast Asia and the steps they are taking to ensure the survival of the native people and animals in the region by providing an ecologically responsible product that gives back, really impressed me and I am granting LUSH Cosmetics a Three Leaf Rating!