Experience Hothouse

Hear from some of the people who've been on the programme.

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Richie's story

Hear Richie talk about Hothouse.

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Richie has run the successful London MakeUp School and London Hair Academy for eight years and he came on our creative leadership programme, the Nature of Leadership, in April 2018. But not even Richie, who’s a very driven guy, could have predicted the radical outcome of his week at Eden that has led to a fundamental change in the way he does business: going cruelty free. 

Despite running successful companies Richie’s soul searching over the last five years had led him to Eden and a quest to find a 'deeper meaning'. As he said about the programme: 'It was advertised as a holistic approach to leadership and I was hooked straight away. The appeal of the course being rooted around nature and the beautiful site of the Eden Project was captivating.'

During the intense week at Eden a tension began to emerge for Richie. He realised his love of nature and animals often felt in contradiction to his industry, which still relies on animal testing and cruelty. 'I felt a deep-rooted guilt and heavy heart. To be honest, it felt like I had sold my soul,' he said. 

'I felt the buzz, the purpose, and passion that had evaded me for almost a decade of my life.'

Spending time alone in nature and talking with the group crystallised something for Richie. He said: 'This is when it came to me; there is a substantial step I can take. I recognised that my company is well-known and established enough to change things. The idea of publicly going cruelty free popped into my head, and I felt the buzz, the purpose, and passion that had evaded me for almost a decade of my life.'

Richie is determined that this 'will be a movement that will eradicate any sort of cruelty within the beauty industry!' And he is determined not to stop there, but to go on to transform the way the company operates, overhauling its approach to plastics and packaging too.

Find out more about our Nature of Leadership programme, which runs throughout the year here at the Eden Project. Find out more about the London Makeup School's cruelty free campaign