By Ong Chin Huat
An adventure-packed weekend at a resort was in store for guests of Lush Malaysia.
A fun-filled and adventure-packed weekend was recently organised by Lush Malaysia at Club Med Cherating for a select group of people consisting mainly of influencers, celebrities and the media.
Held over a weekend in July, it was perfectly timed as the seventh month was ‘Plastic Free July’ – a global campaign led by the Plastic Free Foundation which espouses the reduction in single-use plastic at home, work, school, hotels, restaurants and eateries.
This environmentally conscious movement also gels with one of Lush’s six core ethical values of selling naked products i.e. using minimal or no package for their products where possible or when packaging is unavoidable, using recycled materials. The other admirable brand values of Lush include fighting animal testing, ensuring everything is handmade, 100% vegetarian, ethical sourcing of raw ingredients and having a freshness policy whereby as minimal preservatives and synthetics are used.
According to Harvinder Harchand, Director of Lush Malaysia, the company plays their part in environmental conservation and protection by educating the community on the effects of plastic usage through their social media platform as well as organise beach clean-ups every three or four months across the country.
“We encourage customers to be part of our closed recycling loop by offering them a gift when they return five black pots to our store. We then send these pots to a reputable recycling company ensuring they don’t go into landfills or oceans.” Arriving just in time for a lavish buffet lunch at Mutiara, Club Med’s main restaurant, everyone was famished after the three hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.
A delicious array of different cuisines – Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Chinese, Western as well as a healthy vegetarian section – meant we were all spoilt for choice. Needless to say the dessert corner which had pancakes and crepes as well as different flavours of ice cream was a hit among the guests.
A resort tour followed lunch where guests were shown the different areas of Club Med Cherating. As the very first Club Med resort in Asia, this resort opened in 1979 and is nestled among verdant greenery and facing the shores of the South China Sea.
Different areas of the resort are designated for different purposes and caters to all ages – there’s the Kid’s Club which caters for babies to children with G.Os ( the acronym for Great Organisers or the resort staff) on hand to guide and organises stimulating activities for the younger guests. The Zen Pool area is a no-kid zone for adults who crave peace and tranquillity and honeymoon couple who wish for some privacy. A sports centre, gym, rockclimbing, archery and tree-top adventures are only some of the other activities available for guests.
As it happened, the weekend we were there coincided with Club Med’s ‘Adventure Into The Wild’, a themed fortnight of specially curated activities all revolving around nature and eco-friendly activities.
Fitting into this theme, Lush Malaysia, with their stance on environmental conservation made a natural partner for Club Med’s ‘Adventure Into The Wild’ and organised several workshops at the resort.
Among them was a Bath Bomb Workshop where guests were able to participate in making their own unique bath bomb. For those in the dark, Lush is known for their effervescent bath bombs, a fizzing ball of scented bath salts, essential oils, flower petals and vibrant colours which turn an ordinary cleaning ritual into a sensorial and pleasurable treat. Created back in 1989 by Lush co-founder Mo Constantine who was inspired by the fizzy alka-seltzer tablet, Lush bath bombs has gathered a huge following with their almost surreal patterns and swirls created when they are dissolving in a tub and launched the hastag #bathart on Instagram.
Leaning how to mix the correct amount of baking soda, citric acid and other sweetsmelling ingredients during the workshop held in a gazebo by the beach, we also learnt that apart from giving the bather a unique experience, Lush employs ethical buying policies, participates in Fair Trade practices, is against animal testing and cruelty and minimises or eliminates unnecessary packaging to protect the environment.
A nice touch is that most Lush products have a sticker with a caricature of the face of the person who made it as well as the expiry date, underlining the value their place on their employees as well as the freshness of their products.
The next day, a timely visit to the Turtle Sanctuary located just beside the entrance of the resort. We saw the highly endangered sea turtle as well as other water turtles with the baby turtles getting plenty of oohs and ahhs. We learnt about how pollution in the sea, specifically plastic waste has decimated a large percentage of these adorable creatures and the ways we could reduce our plastic usage in our daily lives.
Indeed, according to Harchand, the main purpose of organizing this Lush weekend at Club Med was to create awareness of turtle conservation in Malaysia. “By being aware of our plastic usage, we can all play our part to create a safer home for our turtles and a beautiful home for future generations.”
At the end of our visit, we were each given a turquoise-coloured Turtle Jelly Bomb, a nice reminder of how single-use plastic finds its way into the ocean turtles mistake them for food and consume them resulting in their deaths.
This delicious-smelling Turtle Jelly Bombs are sold in the Lush Store in the Pavilion KL Mall and contains cypress, pine and sandalwood essential oils. Strands of agar agar emerge once this jelly bomb dissolves in the bath and float to the surface, a reminder to all of us of the dangers the sea turtles face from the plastic pollution in the oceans.
Later that day, a GoPro workshop was planned where we learnt how to use this versatile action camera in a variety of conditions. An archery class was also held and for those seeking more adventure, there was the tree top challenge with zip lining. A food prep class with food instagrammer Laleh Mohmedi got everyone excited about make a dish which resembled the face of a monkey while an early morning healing yoga class held in the garden of the Spa rejuvenated all those who attended for the remaining of the day.