Be a hero for biodiversity by rewilding your routine
In the last 3.8 billion years, life has created a dazzling array of species interacting with each other and their environment in a way that creates and maintains perfect conditions for life. This delicate process is now at stake. Through a human-centric worldview that sees nature as ours to plunder and dominate, we have shaken this delicate balance and have caused what is now called the 6th great extinction. Of all the mammals that exist on the planet today, only 4% are wild animals, the rest are either humans (36%) or animals raised in captivity (60%). And yet, we know that restoring the world’s wildlife populations can play an essential part in solving the climate crisis.
So, what is rewilding?
“Rewilding is about all of us finding ways to work and live within healthy, flourishing ecosystems”. As a result, “rewilding is about creating the conditions for nature to thrive, it’s about re-establishing the natural processes that repair ecosystems and boost biodiversity.” (Rewilding Britain, 2023) It is about letting Nature unleash the power to heal itself. We need to restore our relationship with the natural world, and support those who are already working with nature and as nature.
Rewilding involves practices such as “protecting core wild areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and highly interactive species (keystone species),” while helping to “build nature-based economies” and “new economic opportunities through generating livelihoods and income linked to nature’s vitality” (The Rewilding Institute, 2023). For example, close to Poole, the birthplace of Lush in the UK, two of the founders of Lush called Mark and Mo Constantine have supported the reintroduction of the Ospreys and Sea Eagles in Poole harbour.
Humanity’s future is interlinked to the future of bison, whales, elephants, tigers, sharks, wolves and many more species that not only live in harmony with their environments, but help to create balance and health. How can we contribute in our own lives? How can we take a leaf from what many indigenous cultures have been saying all along: we are all interconnected? By making changes in our lives, we can connect what we do everyday to increasing the health of the wild. We can rewild our routines, whether that’s our cosmetic routines or other daily practices!
Be part of the rewilding revolution
So where do you come in? By rewilding your routine, you can be part of the revolution! Ingredients for conventional cosmetics have contributed to vast destruction of the wild. When there is high demand for one crop within an industry, we often see monocultures of this ingredient taking up vast amounts of land. This often contributes to deforestation and huge habitat destruction, like we have seen with the Palm oil industry in Sumatra.
Lush focusses on diversifying our supply chain with lots of beneficial ingredients, which offers an incredible opportunity for our customers to have a positive impact on the environment and the people who depend on it. Many years ago, we identified biodiversity hotspots and important bird migration routes around the world and actively helped to create raw material supply projects in these areas. These projects have a unique twist: their economies are helping to preserve important habitats while also supporting the livelihoods of communities living inside those ecosystems or on their edges.
To name but a few examples, we developed a direct relationship with a Kayapó indigenous community in Brazil to source tonka beans, a key perfume ingredient in our best-selling Sleepy range. The salt we use in a large number of products comes mostly from suppliers that are involved in the conservation of wetland birds. Salt pans are an important feeding, resting and nesting place for birds like Flamingos, Pelicans, and many more.
The other end of this nature-based economy is you, our customers! By making products for every need with these effective ingredients, we can help you “rewild your routine”. You have the power to influence the market and support an economy that co-exists with a thriving, lush wilderness.
Rewilding your routine goes beyond cosmetics. After all, this is really about regenerating our relationship with nature. There is so much we can all do: eat a diet that is rich and diverse in plants and reduce our meat consumption; rewild our gardens and green spaces to let more biodiversity in; choose community-based tourism with those living harmoniously in or around key habitats; support conservation efforts done in partnership with indigenous and traditional communities; and spend time in nature! Importantly, we also need to lobby our government representatives to make policy changes that benefit the wild.
The wild is not a place devoid of human presence. Indigenous communities protect 80% of the biodiversity on the Earth within their territories. Everyone has a role in helping Nature to restore its healthy ways. Next time you’re washing your hair with Big Shampoo, applying Sleepy Lotion before bedtime, or showering with Good Karma Shower Gel, pause and reflect on how that small act connects you to the wild.
Maybe, just maybe, we can all begin to see that we are part of wild nature, too.
By Ruth Andrade, LUSH Earthcare Strategy Lead