Lush has used knot-wraps in place of wrapping paper for the past 10 years, presenting bath bombs and package-free bar soaps in artistic ways, inspired by the Japanese art of Furoshiki.
Style of the City’s Angharad Thomas, was very excited to be invited to visit Lush’s headquarters, to celebrate the Knot Wrap’s 10th birthday and she gives us all the details.
I arrived at Poole the evening before, where I was greeted by Florence Welke, Lush’s Regional Press Officer, at the Hotel du Vin and met the lovely Lush’s employees and friends from all over Europe. We then dined at Baffi, were we ate and drank our weight in pizza and wine; then headed back to our hotels, ready for the exciting day ahead!
The day of the tour began with an introduction to the Lush headquarters, where I attended a Knot Wrap workshop hosted by Maria Feast from Lush Creative Buying and Kaamila Qazi from re-wrap, who informed us all on the work that Lush supports in India.
At this workshop, the group discussed how Lush helps organic cotton farms in India. Unfortunately, the price of cotton is extravagant and the world’s poorest are paying the price. The majority of farmers in India are not getting paid by the middle man of the operation, which leads them into serious debts and owing loan sharks. Debt has been blamed for thousands of farmers who have taken their own lives. The blame is significantly due to cotton seeds, which cost significantly more than their conventional counterparts. However, the severity has risen, as to begin with farmers were trapped in debt; now, they are dying because of pesticide poisoning, as a result of being forced to use more pesticides on their crops.
However, Lush aims to improve the working conditions for all, to ensure organic seeds and organic cotton are the sustainable and just future for the farmers in India. To do this, they source Knot Wraps through environmentally sustainable routes; working with a company to collect beautiful hand-picked vintage wraps, sourcing a range of fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and working in partnership with re-wrap.
Re-wrap are an inspirational women’s cooperative in India. The organisation empowers women through the local textile industry, paying fair wages and supporting local farmers in organic cotton growing. It is there that the workers are able to create the magnificent Knot Wraps.
All of the beautiful Knot Wraps crafted employ natural and organic cotton, which is grown in certified pesticide-free soil, using organic farming methods, which produce healthier fabrics. The professional seamstresses only use traditional, and environmentally safe, dyeing and printing processes.
I found the entire workshop fascinating and empowering on how Lush an re-wrap work so tirelessly to help those in need to have a sustainable and independent future.
We then ventured for lunch at The Stable, were we had a quick bite before continuing on with the tour. The team then took us to the Gift and Manufactory building where all the gifts are had-wrapped. We were given a tour by Amy Green, who is the Gift Manager, and they also let us gift wrap the products into their boxes, which was a fun experience!
Lush also provided workshops on how to use and tie the Knot Wraps, hosted by Tina Trotman and Sandra Phomphet Tischler, where they demonstrated different ways to use the Knot Wraps in our daily lives. For example, it can be used as a bag, hairband, scarf, accessory, food wrap etc. I was also given the chance to try these knots out for myself, but I think I’ll need a bit more practise!
I was also given the chance to design my own Knot Wrap, based on the theme of nature, with help from the experienced Lush Knot Wrap designers and I can’t wait to see the finished product!