The pretty silicate substance that gives Lush cosmetics products their glow and many beauty powders their shimmer, is to be excluded from the brand’s ingredients after a company spokesperson told the Guardian that the decision to withdraw the mineral came after uncertainties determining whether their suppliers were linked with child exploitation.
60 percent of the world’s mica is mined in India, where child labour is common place. As Lush are unable to determine whether their supply chain is associated to this exploitation, they believe an overall boycott is the only effective solution, while hoping to raise awareness on the issue.
Mineral cosmetics have increased by 8.5% during the last couple of years, however recent reports show that the industry’s regulations regarding child labour laws are extremely lax.
Lush’s co-founder Rowena Bird said in a statement:
“we require our suppliers to issue a certificate declaring that its mica production is free of forced labour of all kinds. Of course, such declarations are based on trust, but now that this issue has been raised again, we will discontinue the use of mica in our products.”
The struggle to obtain ethically sourced Mica continues, however other cosmetics companies are taking matters into their own hands by employing human resource consultants to carry out checks and assessments of their suppliers. L’oreal has been adopting this approach since 2007, however how reliable these checks are, there’s no way of telling.
In the meantime Lush are focusing on transitioning to synthetic mica – so fans of the sparkle need not panic just yet!