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Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Lush Retail, Limited is a cosmetics company headquartered in the United Kingdom. Mark and Mo Constantine and Liz Weir opened the first Lush store in Poole, England in 1994. Currently, there are over 678 Lush stores worldwide in 45 different countries9. Lush has built a reputation for being environmentally and eco friendly as well as vegetarian suitable and approved. Lush's products are notable for being 100% not tested on animals. Some items that the company produces and sells include: soap, shampoo, body wash, hand and body lotions, makeup and perfume scents. Lush also claims to make its products 100% by hand with the freshest ingredients available 5.
The early stages of Lush began when Mark Constantine, a trichologist, and Liz Weir, a beauty therapist, met in a salon in Poole, England in the 1970's. Constantine and Weir began to develop beauty products together in the 80's and shortly after grew successful supplying Anita Roddick's store, The Body Shop. After having the product formulas purchased by The Body Shop, Constantine and Weir used their assets to form a mail order company called Cosmetics-To-Go. This company originally saw success, but began to fade and was eventually sold. By 1995, Mark and wife, Mo Constantine, along with Liz Weir and Helen Ambrosen, Rowena Bird and Paul Greaves from Cosmetics-To-Go were creating cosmetic products by hand on the second floor of a shop where they were selling them below 2. Lush's name was adopted that year, as a result of a customer suggestion when the store launched a competition to give the company a new name.9.
Fresh Handmade Products and Ingredients
The Lush buying team seeks sustainable, fresh, organic products when choosing ingredients1. All ingredients used in products are always disclosed, and an extensive list of ingredients in alphabetical order, from aduki beans to ylang ylang oil can be found in their “Lushopedia” on the Lush website2. Ingredients are carefully chosen by Lush’s Ethical Buying Team, who decide if certain farmers or suppliers are a good fit for Lush in terms of sustainability and organic practices. The team focuses on small-scale producer groups who meet their criteria of responsible practices. They state their goal: “We believe that what we buy should have a positive impact on the community from which they are harvested 3.”
Buyers travel throughout the world to observe their current suppliers’ practices and to analyze potential suppliers for a good fit. For example, Lush buyers traveled to Brazil in September 2013 to find a source from which to buy murumuru butter. Lush team members accompanied the farmers in every step of the harvesting process of the murumuru tree to learn their practices4.
At Lush, as little packaging is used as possible on products, and they also offer the option of going “naked.” Buying a product naked means buying it with no packaging at all5. The business strives whenever possible for the packaging that is used to be made up of post-consumer or post-recycled materials that are 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable5.
Lush is working with Vivienne Westwood to produce a limited edition reusable gift-wrap called Climate Revolution Knot Wrap, which will launch in their stores November 18, 2013. The wrap will be made of 100% organic cotton, woven, printed, and sewn in the UK. It is meant to help reduce the landfill created by waste paper during the winter holidays6.
Lush, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and stores, uses all possible methods of energy optimization. Electricity used during manufacturing is matched with renewable energy from wind and low-impact hydro into the grid through Bullfrog Power. Bullfrog Power- is Canada’s leading green provider that uses 100% renewable energy, by using 100% green electricity or 100% green natural gas11.Lush is committed to reducing fresh water consumption, by treating and reusing their own water onsite9. In 2010, Lush hit their goal of reducing overall energy consumption by 14% 8.
Fight Against Animal Testing
Lush does not use animal fats. Lush products are vegetarian, and almost all are vegan ( Marked with a “V”). Lush tests its products on willing humans and the company refuses to buy ingredients from companies who test on animals. Lush has a no-nonsense cruelty free policy 10.
Lush recently joined a court battle to protect Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park from housing Developers7. Lush donated $7000 dollars to help stop the development which threatens ancient pine forests, heathland and wildfire meadows, as well as threaten wildlife such a wildcats, red squirrels and capercaillie7. Lush is known for its wide range of animal welfare, environmental and human rights campaigns , including the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison, and anti-fracking protests7. With the purchase of a “charity pot” ( a Handmade Hand & Body lotion), Lush will donate 100% of the price to small organizations. For example, Lush donated money to schools and villages in Tanzania who were in need of a rain catchment system. Through the Charity Pot funding, this was made possible. The results included 90% improvement in general health, and 0% contamination in the water 9.Since 2007, Lush has donated more than $4,000,000 to over 350 grassroots charities in 31 countries. Lush is committed to supporting grassroots charities, and projects working on behalf of the environment and conservation, animal protection, and for human rights8.