Lush Japan raises awareness for endangered birds for Valentine’s Day

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Lush Japan raises awareness for endangered birds for Valentine’s Day
The Japanese arm of UK cosmetics brand LUSH has collaborated with the Nature Conservation Society of Japan to protect the sashiba, an endangered migratory bid from the hawk family.

As part of the Migratory Bird Project, the brand is releasing five new gift boxes made from straw on February 18 in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia.

Regenerative raw materials

The company highlighted the importance of finding raw materials that help regenerate the environment to benefit the people and animals that depend on it.

“There are more and more social and environmental issues and procuring sustainable raw materials is becoming more difficult,”​ said the company in a press statement.

“The unique LUSH raw material procurement method is aimed at regaining the richness that originally existed by regenerating the local society and the natural environment by purchasing such raw materials.”

The team from LUSH searched for regenerative raw materials by following the migratory path of the sashiba with help from the Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J).

NASC-J is a strong supporter of the protection of sashiba and came on board on the project in the summer of 2018, said LUSH.

They settled on using straw, a by-product of harvesting rice from the arable flat lands, or satoyama, where sashiba tend to nest and breed thanks to the richness of its biodiversity.

Unbreakable connection

LUSH uses straw from places that are attempting to breathe new life into the natural landscapes, which have been devastated by urbanisation.

“Due to the aging of agricultural workers and shortage of successors, there’s a decrease in people from satoyama and an increase in abandoned land. As such. The rich satoyama ecosystem is declining,”​ expressed LUSH Japan.

The ailing environment of the Japan’s satoyama has led to the decrease in Sashiba numbers.

According to LUSH, the sashiba is on the red list as a type two endangered spices by the Ministry of the Environment in 2006.

The Miyako Wild Bird Society estimates that the number of sashiba migrating to Japan in the autumn has decreased from over 50,000 to 10,000 from the 1980s to the 2000s.

The efforts to raise awareness on the endangered sashiba population will also reflect on the plight of Japan’s satoyama and the people who depend on it for a living.

“The sashiba is a symbol of rich satoyama,”​ said LUSH Japan. “Through the purchasing of such raw materials, we will inform more customers about the tight situation on Japanese satoyama environments that cannot be separated from our lives and living creatures that need satoyama like sashiba.”

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