LUSH sends out an SOS for Sumatran Wildlife and Rainforests #SOSsumatra
Credit:Ernest Zacharevic After the success of the first #SOSsumatra campaign in Europe in November 2017, campaigning cosmetics company Lush are teaming up again with conservation charity Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) to raise enough money to purchase another 50 hectares of land, right next to the new forest restoration site. Every penny from Lush’s new limited edition SOS Sumatra shampoo bar (MOP125) will go to SOS and their local partners on the ground in Sumatra to purchase this disused oil palm plantation and turn it into a permaculture demonstration site and conservation training hub. SOS Sumatra shampoo bar has a brand new base, that’s completely palm oil and SLS free - containing extra virgin coconut oil from Nias (an island off of mainland Sumatra), sodium coco- sulfate and water purifying moringa seed powder. Hair will be left soft, moisturised and delicately scented with uplifting patchouli and orange oils. The design was inspired by a giant SOS distress call that had been carved into the landscape by artist Ernest Zacharevic as part of Splash and Burn, a campaign drawing attention to Sumatra’s dwindling forests and the demise of iconic species such as the Sumatran orangutan at the hands of the palm oil industry. Helen Buckland, Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Society, said “Although often the cause of deforestation, agriculture can have a role to play in supporting conservation. This phase of the project aims to support the community at Bukit Mas to increase the productivity and profitability of their farmlands, reducing the drive to expand into forests, and providing greater security for orangutans and many other species. These are the people who are most severely affected by the choking haze from forest fires, from flooding and drought when the fragile balance of the ecosystem is destroyed by forest clearance. This project will demonstrate a ‘greenprint’ for breaking the link between development and deforestation.” Simon Constantine, Head of Ethical Buying at Lush: "We've fought to remove palm oil from our products for over a decade at Lush. Now, with the help of Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners we are doing the same on the ground in Sumatra. Lush is committed to going beyond sustainability and by returning native habitat to Sumatra we hope this SOS message inspires others to take action. We understand that people still need to live and so it's with pleasure that we will follow up our European campaign by raising funds throughout Asia for a further 50 hectares of adjoining land. This will be dedicated to natural agroforestry, providing income and benefitting nature. We believe this is the future of farming." #SOSsumatra phase 1 At the end of 2017, Lush partnered with Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) to support the protection of orangutans and their rainforest home, with the launch of the #SOSsumatra campaign and a limited edition Orangutan Soap across Europe. There are only 14,600 orangutans remaining in the wild in Sumatra. In tribute to them, Lush made 14,600 soaps, which flew off the shelves, selling out in many countries in a matter of days and raising £126,014. The proceeds enabled the charity’s Indonesian partners, the Orangutan Information Centre, to buy 50 hectares of oil palm plantation land, to reclaim and restore native forest to an area on the edge of the Leuser Ecosystem in Bukit Mas, Sumatra. Helen Buckland said “The Leuser Ecosystem is the only place in the world where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos co-exist. This part of the forest was under attack, with more and more orangutan habitat being lost every week as illegal agriculture encroached into the protected area. By supporting us to buy this land on the buffer zone of the national park, Lush and their customers are enabling us to hold back, and reverse, the tide of forest loss.” The limited edition SOS Sumatra shampoo bar is available online and across all Asian and Pacific shops while stocks last. Find out more about SOS and their work, and sign up to regular updates here.