Crushing on Lush Cosmetics
Lush Cosmetics has a colorful history thanks to a group of founders that came together through chance meetings and twists of fate, each step leading them towards the creation of the company in 1995. You can read the full fairytale here.
The first Lush shop sprang up in England and has been growing nonstop ever since. Lush began as a small, homespun operation, and now boasts over 900 storefronts around the world. What hasn’t changed is the unwavering passion for quality products and transparency in all their practices. It’s what makes Lush the unicorn of the cosmetic industry.
Lush is distinct in all that they do. Most notable are the six core values that the brand is built around. This is what makes Lush so crush-worthy:
Fighting Animal Testing
Animal rights is a core component of Lush’s heartbeat that they’ve been advocating for decades. From day one, their belief of ethical practices have been implemented as a policy, not just a feel good message. Their efforts to inform and fight go beyond just complying to cruelty-free methods. They’ve become instrumental in making moves to stop animal testing as a whole.
The Lush Prize, an annual 250,000 pound prize, is awarded to different people and organizations that are making an impact against animal testing.
An entire team at Lush is dedicated to Ethical Buying. The team is responsible for maintaining personal relationships with growers and producers that hold the same values and moral imperatives as Lush. Through those relationships, each ingredient bought reflects a positive community working together to harvest not just ingredients, but change. Their efforts fuel their mantra: “Our ingredients don’t cost the earth.”
Being 100% Vegetarian
Vegetarian and vegan ingredients are the name of the game. Lush is: 100% vegetarian, 80% vegan. And all the hippies said, “Amen!” This means that Lush relies on essential oils, Belgium rapeseed oil, and longstanding relationships with trusted suppliers to create beautiful alternatives and innovative recipes.
Lush knows that there’s only one way to make the best product – fresh ingredients. An enormous amount of effort and attention is put towards making sure that the fruits, flowers, herbs, and veggies they use are as fresh as pulling them out of your very own garden. To do this they employ local suppliers and make new batches every. single. day.
Lush’s team of smiling people, affectionately called “compounders,” are the hands and hearts behind the batches of products made each day. From the soaps to the signage in the storefronts, everything Lush does is made by them. When you buy a product, look for a sticker on the bottom that shows the name and face of the compounder who made it.
Lush ain’t shy. They bare it all and show you their skin. Before you get all blushy, we’re talking about the absence of packaging. While total package elimination is unrealistic (shower gel, anyone?), Lush actively reduces their waste by only packaging what needs it. Walk into any Lush store and you’ll see soaps and bath bombs openly displayed like apples in the produce section of a market next to bottles of shampoo and pots of lotion. This mix of unpackaged and packaged goods makes for more smells, more awareness, and more sustainability. Knot-wrap, a reusable fabric made from organic cotton or Greenspan, is used as reusable gift wrapping. All containers are reusable and recyclable.
The culture of a “Lush Life” is built on these beliefs that Lush holds near and dear. “Lush believes in making beautiful products by hand, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.” I’d say mums everywhere would pull a Roger Ebert and give Lush two thumbs up.
Lush stores are total eye candy. Their signature black and white look with bold lettering grabs you and beckons you in. They could pass as a boulangerie or flower shop if you squinted your eyes. Baskets of bath bombs and bouquets of soaps fill the shop. The menagerie of products creates an unmistakable smell that wafts through the air. The sensory serenade you experience isn’t just for kicks, it has roots in sustainability. You best watch out though, those smells will act as a pickpocket for your wallet. Before you know it, you’ll be blowing stacks to smell so luscious.
A trip into Lush isn’t just an experience for the nose, but for the hands as well. It’s like playing with party favors from a unicorn’s garden party. Seriously knowledgeable employees eagerly share samples and urge you to touch and try any of the products you want. Just don’t try to eat them, no matter how edible they look.
Lush has proven their commitment to sustainability, but they may have given you more than you bargain for. In the news this month, someone posted about how their Lush Wiccy Magic Muscles massage bar started sprouting in her shower!
When you make a trip to your local Lush shop, our personal recommendation is ‘The Experimenter’ Bath Bomb. Made with Vetiver Oil, Popping Candy, and Vanilla Absolute, it feels like you’re sitting in a Van Gogh painting. Amidst the starry night sky, you are the moon. (Wine not included, but encouraged.)
To follow Lush and all their happenings on social media, click the links below:
Founders: Mark Constantine and Liz Weir