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Olivia Sweeney

Olivia, from Reading, has always been interested in sustainability and wanted to work for a company passionate about the environment. Sick of feeling small compared to the size of the global sustainability challenge, Olivia decided that being an engineer was the best way to make an impact. Working for Lush and sourcing and creating their chemicals in a sustainable way has given Olivia the power to make a difference.

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Reduce, reuse, recycle - Olivia grew up hearing these words since primary school and is passionate about creating a waste-free world. Her house was a blend of science and art thanks to her parents, and Olivia did A-Levels in Music and English Literature as well as Maths and Chemistry. Doing a degree in Chemical Engineering allowed Olivia to follow her passion for sustainable choices in a tangible way. Her degree also helped her travel, doing internships in Sweden and Pakistan and helping a Scottish company become energy neutral. After completing her degree, Olivia started working for Lush.

 

Olivia is now an Aroma Chemicals Creative Buyer, sourcing and creating the natural and synthetic chemicals for fragrances of Lush’s soaps, bath bombs, shampoo bars… and everything else! She still gets to travel abroad, across Europe, Brazil and the USA to find the best materials and ingredients.

 

One of her projects is figuring out the best way to process waste banana skins, not only getting the perfect banana smell, but in a sustainable and responsible way. She has helped to created a banana facial cleanser that will now be on shelves worldwide! She looks for ways to save energy and water in the making process while also making sure that the ingredients she works with are ethically sourced and cruelty free.

 

Music is still one of her hobbies, and Olivia continues to play alongside her studies and now her job. For Olivia, chemical engineering means you can end up creating anything based on your own curiosity. Engineers are part of the modern world and help make dreams become reality with their problem-solving skills.

Where to next?