Animal testing, parabens, synthetic ingredients: the beauty industry, as a whole, has a bad sustainability rep.
But a surge in sales (Superdrug has revealed that sales of their vegan beauty products are up 20 per cent over the year, while a 2015 study from Nielsen Insights showed that 66 per cent of respondents were willing to pay more for sustainable items) suggests that your big players may soon be outpaced by eco-aware brands.
One massive company who've managed to keep up their natural, ethical philosophy is Lush. The Poole-based company, famed for vibrant bath bombs, intense smells and never testing their stuff on anyone fluffy, have a few measures in place to keep them living that environmental life.
"For us, the work we focus on is often regenerative, as opposed to sustainable – we want to give back more than we take," says Gabbi Loedolff, creative buyer at the company.
She's talking, specifically, about the company's Sustainable Lush, or SLush Fund. This is a project that the business gives £1m to a year, to work on developing sustainable farming and community projects. Based on the principles of Permaculture (a system of growing plants and food that works with the natural eco system) it results in ingredients that go into the company's products. This includes things like aloe, shea butter and moringa oil.
"We started the fund in 2010, with the idea that there can be a different, more supportive way of doing business," says Gabbi. As well as looking after the land, the projects work with local people to help communities thrive.
Shea butter, for example, is being cultivated at the Women's Ojoba Collective in Ghana. Set up by a US couple, the collective grow the shea crop along with cashew trees and acacia, which work together to regenerate the soil for future crops. Lush have provided the community with solar cookers for
roasting the shea nuts, developed a tree nursery and built a library.
Over in Peru, there's a project that produces the company's rosewood oil. In the Amazonian rainforest in Pucallpa, there's six thousand hectares that the company have bought the rights to, to stop the area from bring logged. Working with a local Permaculture expert, the oil is taken from fallen trees, while replanting makes sure that more goes back than is taken.
Other projects include aloe from a women's group and Permaculture Centre in Kenya and Moringa Oil from Ghana.
As for the future, Gabbi reckons it's onwards and upwards for their sustainability work.
"I'd love to reach a stage where every single ingredient in our portfolio was giving back more than it was taking away: a 100 per cent regenerative supply chain."