Lush Zero Waste Store

Image result for lush zero waste berlin

Image result for lush zero waste berlin

While in Berlin, I wanted to have a look inside Lush’s packaging free store. Although it was only a small store space, the products can be seen alongside hundreds of innovative, packaging-free alternatives.

In 2017, Lush customers saved 800,000 bottles by choosing naked shower products going into landfills or recycling. This just shows the power a brand can have and reinforces that making small changes really can make a difference.

In the store I saw glitter without plastic, shampoo bars, soaps, glow make-up sticks, shower gel and solid deodorant. They were also selling reusable metal tins to store these products in which also shows they have thought about those who still require somewhere to store their products.

The naked stores are an amazing response to the awareness of plastic pollution I was in some ways surprised that they were able to fill a shop space with entirely plastic-free products. Usually only a couple of items fit this criteria.

The concept that I found most innovative were the naked shower gels, each product was bottle shaped in a bright block colour; these looked so effective lined up next to each other on the shelves. Although the products are beautiful, I feel that these shops do open up a conversation and an opportunity for discussion. Presenting these issues to consumer is a way of educating in a subtle and fun way, giving guidance on how to make sustainable swaps.

The Naked Shop was like the cosmetics store of the future. It showed me how amazing cosmetics can look even if there is no plastic packaging. I hope more brands start to alter their products to become more sustainable and focus on plastic avoidance. I also hope that Lush open more of these store over the UK so I can get my hands on some of the products.

Rachel

What’s Your Beauty Footprint

Plastic packaging is clogging landfills and oceans. When I think of plastic pollution, I automatically consider plastic bottles, food packaging and single-use plastic; however I haven’t considered the extent to which beauty products are impacting our environment.

This eco article in the new Glamour Magazine was the one that engaged me this most. 90% of us recycle kitchen waste, but 56% of us don’t with bathroom rubbish. I found it astonishing that, “We’ll throw away 10.8 billion wet wipes and 13.2 billion cotton buds this year, and this waste washes up as far as the Arctic” (Dr Lyndsey Dodds). At this rate, there could be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

The focus is largely on the impact of plastic, however I also always consider that switching to cardboard/paper is having impacts in other ways. Cardboard produced for perfumes, serums and moisturisers then contribute to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year. It appears to be a no-win situation!

I do think the beauty industry is rolling with the times, for example banning microbeads found in scrubs and toothpaste, which is a small step to reducing the environmental impact of plastic.

I feel that a green beauty revolution is well underway with millennials leading the way. Ethical beauty is much more highly demanded with protection of the environment being at the forefront of more minds. I am pleased to see that retails are beginning to cut down on packing and offering recycling initiates and refillable products.

I have recently seen Lush’s Naked Range of products including their naked shower gels. Solid shower gels are a concentrated formula that doesn’t contain water which is also a great way to cut down on water use and the gels are longer-lasting.

I really feel that our beauty product consumption is largely influenced by social media and Instagram especially. Every time I open the app, I am presented with at least one flat-lay, featuring at least one beauty ‘must-have’ product in beautiful packaging. It is essentially a marketing drip – product packaging is the first thing we see on the shelves.

Reducing my carbon footprint felt overwhelming to me at the beginning as I was unsure how and where to start. However, over the last year, I have gradually begun to make sustainable swaps such as a bamboo toothbrush, purchasing reusable cotton pads, a water bottle, bag and a Keepcup and even simple things like not getting plastic bags to put fruit and veg in at a supermarket.

Rachel

Learning NOT To Be Perfect

I recently read an article in Balance magazine that focused on the exploration of the link between perfectionist tendencies and mental health issues. For as long as I can remember, I have always striven for ‘perfection’ whatever that might be, this included things from organisation to artwork and from presentation all the way to food.

Although at the time failures really get us down and can maybe even cloud our vision, I really believe that teaching ourselves to accept flaws and mistakes could have a positive impact on our overall outlook.

Growing up in the digital age has created a generation facing issues like none before it. Student suicide numbers have been in the news a lot over the last few months. According to the article, a new study has shown that those aged between 18 and 25 really are more sensitive than previous generations. Research in Psychological Bulletin suggests that ‘perfectionistic tendencies’ have increased over the past 30 years and, when a goal isn’t reached, it’s followed by a brutal self-assessment of failure, which is something I am very familiar with. This, for some, can also lead to depression and associated aspects of mental health issues, such as anxiety, OCD and eating disorders.

Great Expectations

“It’s evident that the number of people with perfectionistic tendencies is on the rise. We’ve also seen a rise in youth mental health issues, which feed into the expectations that run parallel to perfectionism.” says Dr Thomas Curran, co-author of the study and lecturer at the University of Bath.

The article explained that the study, ‘measured whether subjects had high personal expectations (self-oriented perfectionism), social expectations (socially-prescribed perfectionism), or expectations of others (other-oriented perfectionism).’ The results did not surprise me even in the slightest: all three dimensions increased, but the perception that the social environment is more demanding went up twice as much as the other two categories. I really feel that my generation’s perceptions of social expectations are much higher now compared with previous generations.

As a result of all of the advancements in today’s society, we are growing up in a more challenging set of economic and social circumstances that is in my opinion enhanced by the emergence of social media. I have previously fallen into the trap of comparing my own self-image with others, as well as their perceived ‘perfect’ lifestyles. It is predicted that by 2030, mental health problems will be both the leading type of disease and cause of death worldwide.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Speaking from experience, when perfectionists constantly strive and look for success, falling short leaves us feeling even worse, with rising thoughts of lack of self-worth. It is often becomes this unattainable place we want to get to. In the moment, I always forget that it’s about the process and learning along the way. However, when perfectionists, like myself do succeed, I often put the positive outcome down to luck and move onto finding the next thing to strive for perfection.

I really think that we all need reminding that yes we may work hard or set high goals, but we need to be fair to ourselves and also to be aware of the vicious cycle: the idea that success is what makes you happy is almost a trap.

Below I have summarised the advice given in the article; these are all things we should always remember!

Always be mindful of ‘all or nothing’

One mistake doesn’t equal a failure: focus on the good stuff.

Perfect/imperfect

Aiming for perfection is an imperfect mindset. You’re setting yourself up for failure; aim high, but be realistic.

Enjoy the process, not the destination

The process brings meaning and therefore, greater happiness.

Do it for yourself

Recognise your strengths and successes.

Don’t fear failure

Remind yourself that mistakes are an opportunity to learn faster, and often lead you in a better direction as a result.

Perfect is the enemy of great

How many projects have you thrown away because they weren’t perfect, or because you were worried how others would judge them? Getting something out is better than abandoning your hard work.

Good enough? Good enough!

No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, embrace ‘good enough’ and sharing your work.

You raise me up

Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not put you down.

Socially aware

Most people feel worse after being on social media if they use it aimlessly, compared to if they’re on it for a set period or using it as a tool to catch up with friends and family.

Let’s finish with a reality check. Are you a self-doubter like myself, jumping to negative conclusions, making situations worse than they need to be, thinking of the worst in all situations? Keep reminding yourself that if it won’t matter in five years’ time, don’t stress and worry about it too much!

Rachel

The all new Glamour

I was shocked when I saw the cover for the new Glamour Magazine; it is so different. I do however feel that this reinvention is exactly what the magazine needed. It is fresh with the beauty-first attitude aiming to inspire across every aspect of the reader’s life.

Zoella on the cover of my edition has naturally glowy skin, two-toned eyes and apricot lips. This look is particularly eye-catching and different to how Zoe Sugg is usually seen.

I feel that this is such a huge new milestone in the history of the brand. This new Glamour reinforces that they always put their readers first. The consumers wanted more beauty and this is what they intend to give. I feel this cover is more engaging and would stand out more on a shelf next to the typical other glossy magazines.

They say, ‘Beauty is a state of mind; an attitude to life and a pleasure in the world around you.’ This creative idea provides access to some of the most inspiring people. They also aim to continue to discuss the most culturally relevant conversations and from now on, they want to ensnare digital fluency: ‘…wherever our readers are, we’ll be there to entertain, engage and educate.’

This new digital first strategy means that they have cut back on digital printed copies. This is a positive step for the brand, in my opinion, allowing them to connect with millennials who have been brought-up in front of technology. This will include, ‘…the latest products for the beauty obsessed; to catwalk and street style trends and how they translate to real life; to interviews with the world’s most talented beauty experts; to our fabulous Beauty Festival which will get bigger and better across every platform; and a raft of additional events.’ I feel that this will allow Glamour to reach their aim of providing beauty in every aspect of life.

Cover-star vlogger, blogger and online influencer Zoe Sugg reveals her life away from the cameras is not always what it seems as she opens up about her struggles with anxiety disorder. This interview is so relatable to so many and may inspire others to converse with loved-ones about the stresses they might to facing.

Zoella reveals that she attends weekly therapy sessions and takes ‘digital detoxes.’ Bringing awareness to the issue is so inspiring in my view. Zoe also suggests that she believes she is still far from completely unravelling the mental health issues she has been battling since she was 14. This gives young people hope that they can still live great lives, despite internal suffering.

When reading the interview, I found her work ethic most inspiring. It is this that enabled her to achieve everything in her life. She reveals she gets up at 6.30am every day and has a staggering 140 to-do lists on the go. I really hope the media start seeing Zoella as a human that has struggles and feelings like us all. She admits that she struggles to cope with the negativity that comes with social media. She has however come out of the other side a stronger person which could be a positive message for us all!

Overall, I feel that this new step for the magazine makes them more engaging and inspiring. I’m already looking forward to seeing their next cover release.

Rachel

CB I Hate Perfume Gallery

The next semester at university is centred on perfume and fragrance. Whilst we were in New York, we were advised to go and visit the CB I Hate Perfume Gallery. The space is located in Brooklyn, in a slightly rough looking neighbourhood. I was apprehensive when we got to the door and pressed the buzzer for the third floor. A man’s voice answered and let us up to the studio. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I walked in to find a small beautiful workshop like room, with lines of perfume bottles and packaging on the back wall.

‘Perfume for people who want to smell something different, experiential, emotional, private.’ In other words, I Hate Perfume is an entirely new approach and the brand shows that there is far more to perfume than most people may think. The fragrances are all made by innovative, award-winning olfactory artist, Christopher Brosius.

Perfume is too often unnatural, repetitive, lacking meaning and unimaginative. I Hate Perfume completely changes this and their manifesto shows this perfectly:

PERFUME IS A VEIL THAT REVEALS THE SOUL

PERFUME IS THE FANFARE OF OUR INDIVIDUALITY SOUNDING DIFFERENTLY TO EVERYONE WHO LISTENS

PERFUME IS A SIGNPOST TO OUR TRUE SELVES – A DIFFERENT JOURNEY FOR THE BRAVE TO TRAVEL

PERFUME IS THE WEATHER OF OUR INNER WORLD BRINGING LIFE TO A PERSONAL LANDSCAPE

PERFUME IS AN ART THAT SHOWS US WHO WE CAN BE IF WE DARE – AN INVISIBLE PORTRAIT OF WHO WE ARE

I now realise that perfume should take you on an adventure back in time of memories you have experienced in the past. It should encourage you to be yourself and expand yourself, rather than hide behind a scent. It should allow you to have an experience. Perfume should be emotional, connectable and is more than an accessory; it is Art!

Brosius’ ideas for his scents can be sparked by his imagination or it can come from something or someplace he has actually smelled at some point in his life. This approach gives each scent a powerful reality. To make this happen, he thinks about the aroma materials needed to capture the smell in mind. He then spends time, mediating on each ingredient and imagining how best they can be arranged and combined to perfectly capture the smell he is after.

Whilst we were in the gallery, we asked the assistant a few questions. We found out that everything about the perfumes is handmade; the stickers for the bottles, the packaging, the perfume itself, etc. The perfumes have a higher price point but this is because of the hand-craftsmanship that goes into making the scents as well as all of the real flowers and other natural ingredients that go into each bottle. Only a couple of the fragrances are artificial.

The bottles come in three different sizes and the brand has over 40 different scents. The thing that I loved the most was that the names are based on a concept and each has personal individual stories. When I was smelling some of the bottles, some of them brought back memories from my childhood, and returned me back to my own experiences; I found a couple of them in particular very relatable. This for me is what makes the brand stand out; the perfumes are tangible, based on reality. Based on something you love. Reminds you of something personal.

My favourite fragrance was definitely Eternal Return 701. This is a fresh scent and is a scent of sailing toward the shore. It is a blend of Fresh Ocean Air, Wooden Ship and a faint hint of Cypress Trees growing on the cliff above the water. This was the one for me that had a sort of power of evoking emotion. It reminded me of weekly Sunday walks with my family around our local country park and lake. I really wish they did international shipping so I could have had a bottle for next Christmas. Unfortunately they only ship to America and Canada at the minute.

At the end of our visit to the space, the owner came in and told us that he, ‘Looks at what everyone else is doing and does the opposite.’ I now understand what he meant by this, there is a lot more to it; it is not just about smelling good. It’s about feeling good. I am drawn to the brand as I love the ethics behind it and the concept of going against the industry norms that have never been done before.

I would recommend checking out their website and social media to experience a different side of the perfume and fragrance market.

Rachel

Fragrance talk & lab tour at FIT

During my trip to New York I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. FIT is an internationally recognised college for design, fashion, art, communications, and business. NTU have a long lasting relationship with the college; I was interested to experience the connection that the two overseas Universities have.

FIT are known for their unique academic programming, experiential learning opportunities, academic and industry partnerships, and commitment to research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Whilst I was in the building, I recognised the institution’s commitment to their students to prepare them for professional excellence in design and business. There was definitely an air of creativity, a global perspective, and a commitment to sustainability.

The next project brief at university is based around perfume and therefore I booked on the talk in order to broaden my fragrance knowledge for the next module.

I didn’t realise how many perfumery raw materials there are – natural and synthetic. The talk also covered the technique of smelling and matching, as well as how to select great fragrances. I also found the section on scientific fundamentals of perfumery interesting; chemical reactions to perfumery and chemical structure of fragrance materials. The regulatory issues in perfumery was also covered and similarly fragrances for functional products.

A tutor at the collage, Virginia, gave the talk which was very engaging as she let us smell all of the scents, notes and branded perfumes that she was talking about in the presentation. She also gave us industry facts and figures and spoke about the latest perfume trends, including unisex fragrances and the extension of scents on the skin: increasing the duration throughout the day. I enjoyed listening about all of the different groups of fragrance, such as Floral, Oriental, Woods, Fresh. It made me wonder what notes and bases make up my preferred scents. The best one I smelt was a burnt rose scent or a fresh note, however, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Woody noted ones!

Virginia stated that there is now becoming a common thought that natural is better. This was the part I was most surprised about. She stated that this is not necessary true since the ingredients and combinations of these scents are hard to access and therefore would not be as sustainable.

My favourite part of the talk was when we were allowed to choose between two fragrances that were made in the lab at the institute. Once we had picked our favourite, we used a pipette to fill a small tube with the scent to take away with us. I thought that this was such a lovely way to remember the experience by. The tube even had a little spray at the top and so could act as a travel/handbag fragrance.

Even the room, the lab, we were in was interesting. We were surrounded by small bottles of liquid that are the ingredients to perfume and fragrance combinations. I am intrigued by all of the different processes and techniques that go into a single fragrance. I didn’t realise that perfume making was such a precise skill! I’m definitely going to be able to use some of these insights to inform the bases of my next project.

Rachel