Ruth Andrade

Ruth Andrade from Lush's Regenerative Impact team, has a masters in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies. She is a trustee and co-founder of Re.Alliance, a collective of practitioners bringing regenerative design to the humanitarian and development sectors; and a co-creator of Regenerosity, an initiative with a mission to flow resources, enable learning and share stories to grow the regenerative movement in partnership with funders and grassroots initiatives. Originally from Brazil, Ruth grew up in a concrete jungle, witnessing first-hand the destruction of the natural environment which prompted an early interest in environmental issues and fuelled a great passion for driving change.

Describe the nature around you at the moment?

Nature around me is recovering from historic droughts. The yellow grass is slowly coming back to green, new foliage is growing and plants are looking healthier after a week of rain. I also have the privilege of looking at the sea in Poole Harbour from my window which always looks beautiful no matter the weather. Right now the tide is low and the ravens are feeding.

What lessons have you learned from nature?

The more I understand how living systems grow and evolve, the more I try to "re-wild" my mind and think like the living system that I am. Everything has cycles in nature, the continuous cycle of life and death, circulating matter, flowing energy, in service of more and more diversity. It helps me frame the death of my partner in this bigger cycle, of which we are a tiny part. It also supports me actively bringing more diversity as a strategy of resilience into everything I do inside and outside of Lush. From how we can support biodiversity with the materials of our supply chain, to diversity in the microbiome of our skin, to the diversity of people in our teams.

Name a place where you feel most at ease?

There is this place on the northeastern coast of Brazil called Serra Grande, in Bahia. There the rainforest and rivers meet the sea and I can float in the brackish water at the mouth of the river, surrounded by wetlands, looking at the rainforest over the mountains on one side and endless sea on the other. This region holds one of the highest biodiversity of trees on the planet and produces cocoa through traditional agroforestry. I would also say eating regenerative cacao and chocolate also makes me feel at ease!

How do you bring regenerative practices into your work at Lush?

By embedding it as much as possible into everything that I do and how I behave. Regeneration is not something that only happens in land-based projects, agriculture or our supply chain. It is a paradigm shift, a way that moves us from seeing humans and systems as machines, where people are replaceable cogs, and instead recognises everyone's unique contributions to leaving the world “Lusher” than we found it.

Is there anything you're curious about right now?

I've been learning more about environmental psychology and how to encourage and inspire people to act and respond with the level of ambition that the world needs right now.

What inspires you every day?

My connection to grassroots groups who are already in the deep impacts of the climate and ecological emergencies, and continue to show so much resilience, creativity and dedication to the protection and regeneration of their communities and landscapes. Also keeping that child-like sense of wonder alive and being moved by the small things, flower blossoming, birds singing, the water moving. Paying attention to the aliveness of the planet.

How can we understand ourselves as part of nature?

Just meditating on our breath, we are connected with all life through breath. I'm inhaling the oxygen produced by different species, the carbon dioxide I breathe out is used by plants to grow. The water that I drink was a cloud at one point, which was inside a plant before that. We are one with existence. I recommend reading Interbeing by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Name a TV series, film, podcast or documentary that blew your mind?

One Strange Rock by National Geographic. If you have to watch one episode, it should be the first one called Gasp, showing the enormous cycles of nature that allows us to breathe. It is impossible to watch this and not be in awe of this incredible planet.

What initiative have you heard of recently that you'd like everyone to support?

I will do a shameless plug and share the initiatives that I helped to found on the edge of my work at Lush, does beautiful work to influence the humanitarian and development sectors to adopt community-led regenerative practices, for example, gardens in refugee camps. Also, helps to move resources to grassroots initiatives that are working to improve the lives of small-holder farmers while benefiting the local ecology.

Could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind?

I would recommend Carol Sanford, an elder of the regenerative movement I have learned so much from.

Share this article

Explore Related Stories