Regarded by some as the richest of all vegetable butters, illipe is extracted from the nuts of the Shorea stenoptera, a tropical tree native to Malaysia.
Where do we get it?
The butter is sourced from Borneo and then refined in the Netherlands.
What are the benefits for people and the planet?
Indonesian rainforests are the oldest and largest rainforests in the world. On the island of Borneo specifically, they’ve lost 56% of their area during the past 50 years due to deforestation. Rainforests play an important role in climate change. Scientists estimate that by managing the world's land more sustainably, such as by protecting rainforests and investing in reforestation, we could achieve up to a 37% reduction in emissions - a necessary change to limit the global rise in temperature. (source World Resources Institute)
Forestwise, the social enterprise that supplies Lush with organic illipe butter (and sometimes kukui nut oil), aims to protect and preserve the remaining forest of Borneo through sustainable sourcing. The illipe nuts are wild-harvested and provide around 700 families with a fair income. A fixed price is guaranteed each season, providing security. The rainforest is therefore revalued - it becomes a source of employment, and needs to be preserved to remain so. With the production of organic illipe butter alone, 200,000 hectares of rainforest are protected.
What are the benefits of illipe butter for your skin and hair?
What role does it play in product formulation?
Illipe butter’s chemical composition is very similar to that of shea and cocoa butter. Its high level of stearic acid contributes to the good emulsion of a product, helping the oily and aqueous ingredients to mix well. It also has a high melting point, meaning it won’t melt at room temperature and will therefore be ideal for creating and transporting solid products. Perfect for packaging-free cosmetics!