When a customer holds a Lush product in their hands, they are holding so much more than just a product. They are holding a complex web of relationships, flows of materials, creativity, human labour, movement and life that had to be arranged in a particular way so that the product could end up in their hands.

From the Lush Labs all the way into the hands of the #LushCommunity, there is so much that goes into what we do. We invent every product from scratch, source each raw material carefully, make the products fresh by hand in one of our local factories around the world and transport the product to our shops or our digital fulfilment warehouses. We reach out to our customers through the staff in our shops, the articles on our website and our videos on YouTube. We also give a platform to ethical causes through our campaigns and support amazing groups through our giving programmes.

Every movement we make in this journey is an opportunity to Leave the World Lusher than we Found it, and to help create a cosmetics revolution that can save the planet.

100%

recycled Plastic Packaging since 2008

66%

Naked Products

89%

UKu0026amp;I estate powered by renewable vegan electricity

346252

Total individual packaging items returned via our return scheme

How we are creating a revolution

  • naked cosmetics & circular packaging
  • fighting animal testing
  • fresh & self-preserving
  • regenerative & wildlife friendly supply chain
  • fair tax & living wage 
  • digital ethics

So just how is Lush trying to Create a Cosmetics Revolution? 

Our direct impact is very small. All of the recycled paper we use in our carrier bags and ballistics bags is the same as avoiding 6 minutes of deforestation. Six minutes! The real difference we can make is in how we use our impact and integrity to make a bigger contribution relative to our size: how we can influence and how we can leverage this web of relationships for systemic change. While our direct impact in the world may seem small, it is through selling products that we can manifest this systemic transformation together. This is what matters. This is why Lush matters. We still have a long way to go and we can’t go alone. We need partners, allies, staff and customers to be engaged on the shop floor and online. We need the #LushCommunity to rise with us.

Naked cosmetics and circular packaging

What sets us apart is that we continue to push the envelope in what we do. It is not simply the fact that we sell naked products which require no packaging (and have done so for 25 years), but it is the fact that we then go and open four completely naked stores where you can meet pretty much all of your cosmetics needs with zero packaging. We revolutionise by making innovative naked products such as solid hair gel, solid shower gel, shower bombs, deodorants and have you seen the new solid self-emulsifying moisturisers?

We’re different because we have been using 100% recycled plastic for our pots and bottles for over a decade. We’ve even set up our own recycling centres, have a closed loop take-back scheme that is 10 years old and source 84% of all our packaging from recycled materials. In addition, we are removing legacy plastic, taking back bottle tops, and collecting nearly 30 tonnes of litter through #plasticgrab.

Not only that, but how about utilising packaging that sequesters more carbon dioxide than it emits? And not just a little more, but 33 times its weight. That’s 1.2kg of CO2 per 33g of packaging! This is the Lush Cork Pot, which is also reusable and encourages refilling.

33x

sequesters more carbon dioxide than it emits

Packaging and gifts

It has been more than 11 years since we started using 100% recycled paper for our gift wrap. We have continued developing ways to support communities that produce materials from waste, whether it is banana fibre paper (also propping up the oldest paper mill left in the UK) or cotton paper made from waste fibres in Nepal.

The difference we are making goes beyond our reusable canvas bags and goes beyond the Furoshiki tradition of Japan which we have adopted to start a whole new trend on how to use reusable textiles for wrapping. As well as using vintage scarves in a complete circular economy, we also partner with re-wrap for full traceability of our organic cotton. Here, we work with networks of farmers doing human scale water techniques that help to rehydrate the land while supporting re-wrap’s amazing work to convert conventional cotton farmers to agroecology farming in the suicide belt of India.

And how about packaging as a service? At Lush when you bring back your old knot-wrap, we will give you a new one and you will only pay 50% for the service of cleaning and wrapping.

Our role is to help change the culture around packaging.

227k

miles of wrapping paper can be saved by switching to knot wraps

Carbon positive supply chains

After much work and a new software – Makersite, we were able to calculate the carbon emissions in our supply chain. In our efforts to absorb much more CO2 than we emit as a business, we have developed an insetting model and strategy. We will strive towards becoming a climate positive company through improving land use practices in our supply chain rather than buying offsets. An annual sum of £300k will be dedicated to improving land practices in the top 50 materials causing the highest pressure on land. Please read the buying report for more information. Lush Japan have now also mapped their value chain carbon emissions, including operations, supply chain and customer use.

What next?

Complete scope 3 emissions, including emissions from customer use and product waste, also for other markets. We are now working on actioning land based improvements for top emitting ingredients.

113k tonnes tCO2e
Lush’s supply chain greenhouse gas emissions

Essential oils and absolutes74%
Packaging4%
Synthetics12%
Naturals (other)10%

Total UK supply chain footprint is 113,000 tCO2e. 30 materials make up 80%, 25 of those are essential oils and absolutes.

Lush Campaigns

A brief history…

2006

Strasbourg Dump

2007

Go Naked Now

2008

Fair Trail My Arse

2008

Trains not Planes

2008

Anti Shark Finning

2008

Reprieve: Guantanamo Bay

2008

Palm Oil

2010

Votes4Animals

2010

Wheel of Misfortune: Biofuel

2010

I’m a chameleon get me out of here

2010

Greyhounds

2010

Ban of fox hunting

2011

Tar Sands

2011

Free West Papua

2011

No one is illegal

2012

Fighting Animal Testing

2012

Break the bag habit

2012

No cop out for wildlife

2013

Climate Revolution with Vivienne Westwood

2013

Drone Age

2013

Anti badge culling

2013

Don’t Frack our Future

2013

Cruelty free kisses

2013

Peace One Day

2013

Climate Revolution

2014

Sign of love

2014

Anti-badger cull projects

2014

Hen Harriers

2014

Deep Sea Trawling

2015

Votes4Animals

2015

TTIP with Vivienne Westwood

2015

Gay is OK

2016

#ForFukushima

2016

Keep It On

2017

Free Andy Tsege

2017

RizeUp

2017

What The Fur

2017

SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society

2018

World Oceans Day

2018

Spy Cops

2019

Egg free

2021

Teach black history

2021

Ban Snare

2021

Zero Hour

2023

Have a heart

2023

ESC Big Tech

95%

vegan products

100%

Never tested on Animals, only humans

At Lush, we are firmly against animal testing and have one of the most meaningful and serious animal testing policies there is. This is something we have been campaigning on extensively for years, even before Lush was born.

More recently, our commitment to non-animal testing has extended to us setting up The Lush Prize to help move a whole field. We also give funding support for campaigners and lobbyists to help move legislation in the worst offending countries for animal testing. Furthermore, we put our money where our mouth is and have become one of the main customers for one of the few labs to do safety tests without animals or animal by-products. These values and actions are just as much a part of a Lush product as the ingredients are.

 

Regenerative supply chains

After more than a decade of leading our ethical buying at Lush, it became clear to Simon Constantine that sustainability alone is not enough and that we ought to be turning our attention to regenerative practices.

We have always been a leading voice in the conversation when it comes to regeneration and have always aimed to action positive change in a way that goes above and beyond.

To demonstrate this, we have not only developed a soap base without palm oil, but this soap base is available for any other manufacturer who would like to use it. Additionally, we have helped to set up a permaculture training centre to teach locals in Sumatra about alternatives to palm so they can have an alternative livelihood, as well as running several campaigns to raise awareness on the issue to help fund local regeneration of old palm plantations.

As part of the “Migratory Bird Project”, the Lush Japan Buying team started using Ryukyu Awamori, (alcohol made from rice). The project helps to protect the Japanese hornbill, as part of the proceeds from the alcohol sales will go towards “Forestation of the Japanese hornbill” on Irabu Island.

Currently, we’re in the early stages of developing a potentially ground-breaking project for supply chains in refugee camps, and we continue to set up investments in reforestation projects. Let’s not forget that we also have the Lush Regeneration Fund (aka Re:Fund) and have set up the Lush Spring Prize; a biennial award promoting social and environmental regeneration. 

Simon Constantine speaking at TEDx in 2015: Is Sustainable enough?

Fresh and Self Preserving

What we do isn’t rocket science; humans have been preening and grooming forever. But in recent years many formulae have become synthetic, complicated, over emulsified and most of all over preserved.

Since the very beginning, we’ve been working hard to remove preservatives from our products, without compromising on quality. We have discovered that using the whole fruit or vegetable is infinitely more beneficial than isolating a property and removing it from a fruit, vegetable or natural material and adding it to a cosmetic product to try to recreate its function and are heading towards a future where we hope that we don’t need to preserve anything at all.

From 2015 to 2017, our purchase of parabens dropped from 11,700 kilos annually to 7735 kilos, even though our sales increased in the same time period!

We are passionate about educating our customers on what works best for them and why, as well providing full transparency on exactly what is inside of each product. To discover more about our Freshness Policy, click here.

 

65%

Self-preserving products

Our charitable giving, around the world

Further reading

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