Lush Naked Shop: Inside the world's first packaging-free cosmetics store

Plastic-free cosmetics aren’t new. The humble shampoo bar has been a staple in plastic-conscious bathrooms for decades, but now you can find it alongside hundreds of innovative, packaging-free alternatives in the Lush Naked Shop. 

In a world first, shoppers are able to grab their favourite cosmetics - that’s hair care, skincare, bath bombs, shower gels and everything in between - completely packaging-free at the store that opened in Milan on June 1st, 2018.

With awareness of plastic pollution at an all time high, product inventor Alessandro Commisso explains what inspired the world’s first plastic-free cosmetics shop.

He says: “When we look at the plastic waste produced by the global cosmetics industry, we know it is a problem, and we know that raising awareness is really important. But we can’t talk about ditching packaging until we have a solution - an alternative that is effective, good for skin, and good for the environment.”

But Lush has always been dedicated to reducing packaging. In 2017 alone, Lush customers saved 800,000 bottles from going to landfill. So what’s changed?

Ale explains that this innovative move is simply the logical next step in the journey to eliminating plastic waste, and the first time the team have been able to fill a shop space with entirely plastic-free products.

He says: “Reducing packaging is something Lush has been working on for many, many years. From the very first day over 20 years ago, our products were naked, but now we see a bigger movement against plastic and against waste. Alongside that, now we are able to fill up a whole shop with skincare, bodycare, hair care and bath bombs, while still providing that five star experience.”

So what can you expect if you enter the world’s first Naked Lush Shop? Spread over two floors in the centre of Milan, the Naked Shop offers a whole host of packaging free exclusives. You’ll find innovative new concepts (hello, naked shower gel) alongside old favourites like solid deodorant and facial cleansers. Need something to carry your haul home in? A wall of ethically-sourced swag, regenerative containers, and vibrant Knot Wraps ensures your favourite, plastic-free goodies will get home ship shape. Want to check the ingredients in your favourite product? Use Lush Lens, an innovative AI product recognition tool that eliminates the need for packaging. Simply scan a shampoo bar, shower gel, or any other naked goodie, and you’ll be served up all the information you need on your smartphone.

But it’s not just about products. On the first floor, browse the plastic-free library and enjoy screenings and animations that delve deeper into the topics of zero waste and ocean plastics.

Ale explains: “With the naked shop we don’t just want to offer beautiful products to our customers, we want to use this as an opportunity for discussion. It’s pretty much about debating these topics with the public, with the media, and with Lush customers to find out where to go next.

“This is the last step in our twenty year development of naked products, but it’s the first step in the development of what Lush could be twenty years from now. We’ve opened this up with space for debate, and we’re also inviting NGOs and activist groups that work on reducing waste and reducing plastic pollution into the store, so we hope that it’ll be an education for us and for our customers.”

You can find the Lush Naked Shop here, and learn more about how Lush is tackling plastic pollution here.

Inside lush packaging free shop
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