Yesterday was International Day of Forests. In celebration of biodiversity, oxygen and all things alive, which forests provide us with, we wanted to share with you this Lush Times Trails edition article on a very special project in Brazil where we source our organic ethanol from. Look out for more snippets from The Trails edition over the next few weeks.
Where Do We Get Our Sugar Cane?
From making your daily cuppa a little sweeter to becoming a biofuel - sugar cane is a versatile plant that we source from a pioneering carbon neutral company in Brazil.
They produce the denatured organic ethanol that we use in our Lush perfumes through new farming methods that are helping to bring back diversity to Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. They don’t use pesticides, they work to reduce the environmental and human impact at each stage of the process and they work within a circular zero-waste system. Not only are all these measures in place, but the gas produced during the fermentation of the sugar cane actually supplies the company, and around 476,000 inhabitants in the surrounding area, with energy.
Did you know? Organic ethanol acts as a carrier for fragrance oils in our perfumes. As it is warmed by skin temperature, it evaporates and releases the fragrance.
Our suppliers are also helping to bring back some animals to the area which are on the brink of extinction. In their efforts to recover the land, they have replanted around 2.6 million trees. As the soil only requires preparation for planting, (or tillage) once every seven years, and the harvest only takes place once a year, the native animals have a chance to use the plantations as a comfortable habitat without too much disruption.
A survey showed 335 different species were found in the sugar cane plantation, 49 of which were actually endangered to some degree. Animals such as pumas, aplomado falcons and black jacobins were spotted - an exciting result for the sugar cane plantation.
The Amazon’s largest and fastest cat, the jaguar, is becoming endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation of their forests. When we study how forests and rivers are preserved today, it is easy to see the link that where there are indigenous and other traditional peoples, there are forests. The role of traditional populations and techniques in conserving and increasing biodiversity is key to the survival of species such as this magnificent feline.
Ruth started working at Lush in 2004 and has worked on Green and Environmental projects throughout the business. She is currently part of our Regenerative Impact, Earth Care & Giving teams dedicated to leaving the world Lusher than we found it.
How do you feel when you are home in Brazil, near the rainforest?
My home is near the Atlantic Rainforest. I always say it is where I feel most at home. The endless green, the humid heat, the bird sounds, the insects, the native trees but also the trees that the Portuguese brought which co-evolved so well with the local environment. The Atlantic Rainforest is my favourite combination of tropical forest with hills, so it is peppered with waterfalls. That abundance of water and life and knowing that is also what I am made of, gives me a sense of connection. It fuels the work I do in support of the ever unfolding diversity, complexity, and growth of life on our living planet, and in support of rewilding life with humans at the heart of this transformation.
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