Lush opening Asia's first plastic packaging-free "Naked Shop" in Hong Kong

With a new Hong Kong location set to open this week, cosmetics retailer Lush is launching the first of its plastic-packaging free “Naked” branded shops in Asia.

The Lush Naked shop opening follows the success of previous openings in Milan (Italy), Berlin (Germany), and Manchester (UK). Yet the brand states that this move has also been driven by recent environment legislation in China. While the export of recyclable materials to the mainland for processing was previously permitted the situation has since changed. And considering Hong Kong’s woeful lack of well-developed waste management or recycling plants and rapidly filling landfills, Lush states that its Naked stores provide a better option to lower (if only slightly) the amount of plastic refuse the city produces.

Annabelle Baker, director of Lush Asia Limited commented, “Wastage is a monumental problem where inaction is not an option and recycling should be the last option. This is why I was so passionate to launch our first Asian naked shop in HK. We don’t have space in HK to deal with our wastage, we have to reduce it and that’s where Lush comes in. The Naked concept store will provide new, innovative and effective products in one of the most convenient and prominent locations in HK.”

The new branch on Great George Street, Causeway Bay will be opening its doors on Wednesday 18 September at 11:00 am and  the store will be marking the event by giving its first 100 customers a free Lush Swag 'Fresher Than You' tote bag.

The stores’ plastic packaging-free alternatives available will include classic mainstays such as solid shampoo bars and soaps, but also what it describes as new innovative products.

Moreover, the opening will coincide with the launch of the latest version of the Lush Labs app. It will allow visitors to scan physical products directly for information rather than labels. The Lush Lens feature uses machine learning to apply the information captured by a phone’s camera to recognise items and provide both ingredients and user directions. And impressively for a fresh release, it is available on iOS and Android in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. By using tools like this, the brand hopes to provide good CX while minimising environmental impact.

“At a time when most people in Hong Kong have so much on their minds, we are delighted to invest in the city in an effort to relieve them of a little part of the worry caused by ocean plastics,” says Mark Constantine OBE, Lush’s co-founder and managing director

Lush states that in 2018 alone - by using products like naked bath bombs, bubble bars, and bath melts - its customers saved 6.6 million bottles of plastic bath products. It also estimates that the use of naked shampoo bars resulted in 372 million plastic-free hair washes.