Pure cosmetics meet pure ceramics
First it's the smell that lures you in. Once inside a Lush store you're struck by the contrast of natural materials and neutral tones against the rainbow colours of Lush's natural product range.
Over the years Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has grown as a global brand, not only through its exceptional products but also its attitude and processes towards environmentally conscious design. It's no surprise that Lush chose to use Mosa ceramic tiles in over 40 of its stores worldwide - we share the same goal in getting closer to nature and feeling responsible for the products we make.
We spoke with store design buyer Nick Gumery of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to learn more about the design and product philosophy and why working with companies like Mosa is so important to them.
Environmentally friendly approach
Lush and Mosa share the same philosophy, believing that we can play a genuine role in being kind to the environment and the people that help make our products. We strive to be as environmentally responsible as we can in the corporate world, which demands high quality and high output. Gumery explains: 'As soon as you step into one of our stores you will notice naked products made from pure raw materials wherever possible, similar to Mosa. All of our soaps are sold naked - without any wrapping or obvious branding - there's nothing to hide with us. What we've learnt over the years is how to produce high quality and quantity products whilst keeping a close eye on our impact to nature and humans. We really want people to not only love the product they take home, but also the feeling of being part of a brand that cares about the environment and humans. When I look for materials, the exchange has to feel fair and we really try and stay away from materials or processes that harm the environment. Sometimes this is hard to achieve but as a company we're willing to go that extra mile and expense to make sure we can say we tried our best - that's actually the most important thing for us.
We care about the people we work with and believe that we have a responsibility to protect workers from unfair pay and conditions. The cradle-to-cradle concept is also really important to us, and where we can we try and create closed loop systems, just like in nature. We produce and recycle our black pot containers in the UK, encouraging customers to bring them back so that we can wash and re-granulate them to then make more black pots - closing the loop. Our customers are really supportive and help us achieve higher environmental goals by participating in these little initiatives and we believe that together we can influence others by showing them how it's possible to achieve this in the corporate world.’
Pure from the ground up
Sustainability isn't an after thought in how Lush approaches store design - it's the starting point. Gumery explains how Lush tries to integrate environmentally friendly materials and processes in the store design: 'My work is primarily to make sure we're open to new innovations in design and materiality, whilst keeping a close eye on environmental impact. Many of the elements in our store designs are made from reclaimed wood - this could be the shelving, wall panels or other furniture. We find and store reclaimed wood in our design warehouse - this way we can easily send it or have it collected by carpenters who build some of the furniture for our stores. We have our own research and development workshop so that we can test out new materials and designs, building prototypes to see if they're good for future store re-fits and can be rolled out at large - that's a pretty special feature of Lush stores. We use Mosa ceramic floor tiles - you're walking on 100% natural material. Mosa believes in a cradle to cradle philosophy like Lush, where all products and processes are part of a cycle that really aims for less impact on the environment.'
Materials with the same message
Mosa ceramic tiles from the Terra Greys series form the floor of over 40 Lush stores worldwide. The larger tile dimension of 60 centimetres x 60 centimetres was chosen to create more of a ceramic skin than a tiled surface. Gumery visited Mosa's headquarters in Maastricht to learn more about the tiles and processes and see if Mosa was the right fit for Lush: 'We loved the look and feel of the tiles but what clinched the deal was our visit to Mosa's headquarters and factory in the Netherlands. Touring the site, visiting the designers behind the collections, seeing live the processes and materials that create the product, hearing their approach to sustainability and the incredibly tight quality control over every tile - these are the reasons it was clear that Mosa would enhance Lush stores in appearance and genuinely support what our brand stands for. We felt that Mosa had a story to tell and showed a lot of passion in telling us about their commitment to the environment, the people they work with and the people they sell to. That was the reason we initially chose to use Mosa. Our continued commitment to them is because they exceeded our expectations, giving us confidence that they could deliver high quality products in quick (just in time) timeframes - this is something very reassuring for us as a fast-growing international company.'