Black Lives Matter : Announcements and updates
Right across the world, all countries, all institutions and all businesses need to embrace this as an historical moment of change. There are practical actions and improvements that are needed immediately, and there is also something deeper that needs to shift – the biased perception of black people that seems to run deep in the white psyche needs to be acknowledged, and there needs to be a willingness to see these problems, admit they exist and work to make change.
We are committed to doing that work within Lush.
This page will keep you up-to-date on Lush’s response to this movement, the actions so far and the continued progress.
Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Lush: Day 88
Hello everyone. Here are some very quick updates to keep you informed of where we are with the ongoing internal work regarding Diversity and Inclusion.
Fuller updates from the teams themselves will be presented at the upcoming Retail Meeting on 8th and 9th Sept.
100 Day Plans All UK&I shops have had check ins on their 100 Day plans – Support and Manufacturing teams are next on the list. Common threads have been identified across the plans, with opportunities and concerns also recognised and being used to plan future strategy for the business.
Recruitment 100 day recruitment plans for each area of the business are currently being reviewed with the aim of creating best practise guidelines and supporting positive action. There will be a BAME Recruitment Talent Pool to bring more diversity into recruitment selection panels.
Diversity at Lush Survey After a couple of extensions to help reach as many of our UK&I colleagues as possible, furloughed or working, the survey came to an end on Tuesday 25th August, with a total 49% response rate. Thank you for everyone that took part, we are working on analysing this information and preparing a report to share with the wider business by the end of September. Now that we have trialled the staff survey in the UK & Ireland, over the next week, other Markets will begin localising their own survey with the aim to have a wider Group report by the new year.
Training Training for Senior Leadership has been planned to start week commencing 14th September with an external consultant. Compulsory Allyship training is planned for the next UK&I Managers Meeting (7th & 8th Sept) on how to be an effective, active ally, personally and within the business.
Respect at Work The Respect at Work policy has gone to stakeholders for feedback and is in the second draft stage before going to Group, Board and Legal. When finalised and signed off, there will be compulsory training on the RAW policy for all hiring managers across manufacturing, retail and support.
Workshops The Diversity in Discussion series Coffee and Conversation (formerly called Lunch and Learn) will be starting week commencing 14th September, for anyone who wants to sign up; limited spaces available. The pilot mentoring program to support the 100 Day Leads is also up and running, with Australia about to embark on a similar program.
Product news Jasmine and Henna Fluff Eaze and R&B have had name changes and are now called Jasmine and Henna and Revive respectively. These changes will be made to products once the current stock of labels has finished, so we should see these changes across the company within the next few months. Very excitingly six Afro hair products are being launched in the UK&I on November 5th and will then roll out internationally. Global markets are being consulted around the language used and launch dates. There will be training scheduled to support this launch (as well as the Hair Science and Culture series on LABS), and big promotional plans.
External Campaign All the work done on building a public educational campaign has now been signed off and approved, with a date planned for March 2021 to run alongside Mother’s Day (which is on March 12th) in the UK, and will run at appropriate and equivalent peak times for all other markets. Mother’s Day is the UK’s second busiest time of the year (after Christmas) and the hope is that by then the high streets will be back to proper footfall, so the campaign can have impact at street level and not just be an online campaign. We also promised that we would not go live with a campaign to the public until we had improved our own internal practices, and we hope that all the internal work that is going on every week will be showing huge improvements for our BAME staff and everyone can feel comfortable with Lush speaking up and asking society to do better. The campaign will be presented by the team at the September managers meeting and the campaign group partner introduced.
- We have conducted a global audit of all the product names, past and present, to identify any that are considered inappropriate or offensive to certain communities and to remove any stereotypes.
- All people practice policies are under review and we are currently prioritising the Respect at Work policy with a focus on providing practical steps to tackling discrimination, microagressions, harrassment and bullying;
- A series of Science and Culture modules have been put together by the Hair Lab, which you can find on The Learning Hub and LushLabs.
- A pilot mentoring program has been designed and is being used to support the 100 Day Lead group. The objective is to measure the program over the next three months, then expand the program throughout the business, highlighting successes and making guidelines available to everyone.
- Enabling confidence with the language and terminology when discussing race and other marginalised groups.
- History of racism, and how that impacts current contexts and situations.
- Action equity as a practice in achieving a more equal and inclusive business.
- Practical steps in how to respond to feedback
We promised to keep you updated on our conversations and actions regarding diversity and inclusion within Lush.
Firstly, you can find the company statement regarding the Black Lives Matter movement here.
The events around the murder of George Floyd and the worldwide movement that has sprung up from it was an impassioned topic of discussion at the recent UK&I Manager’s Meeting. The working group presented an update on the internal work that has happened so far, from the conversations beginning back in 2018 to present day. You can watch the sessions here:
In response to Black Lives Matter: An Update
In response to Black Lives Matter: Q&A
The Black Lives Matter movement and the intensity of the response marks a historical moment. We all know that no matter how much we thought we were doing, it is clear that as a society and as a business it has not been enough.
Right across the world, all countries, all institutions and all businesses need to embrace this as an historical moment of change. There are practical actions and improvements that are needed immediately, and there is also something deeper that needs to shift – the biased perception of Black people that seems to run deep in the white psyche needs to be acknowledged, and there needs to be a willingness to see these problems, admit they exist and work to make change.
We are committed to doing that work within Lush. We’ve agreed to a 100 day action plan – which started on Monday 8th June. You can find it here.
This 100 day plan is for our UK&I business which employs 4,111 people. We are speaking with our colleagues in our Group markets to get them creating their own 100 day plans, specific to their own local marginalised communities.
Each manager within the business will be asked to make their own 100 day plan, to outline actions they can implement towards the goals of the plan in their shop and community, so that change reaches right through both the central and local business.
To really reach every part of the business we need every single one of us involved and willing to play their part. Together we need to figure out how to design a truly inclusive and diverse business, where Black Lives Matter becomes more than a hashtag, where it is explicitly embedded in how we do things. We invite your help.
Imagine that Lush already was this business, what would it feel like? What practices would you see? How would we be contributing to dismantling white supremacy? What barriers needed to be dismantled? How was equity provided?
We reached out to you a few weeks ago to help us design the Lush Future, let’s continue this conversation but with a focus on diversity. Send your thoughts to the questions above to [email protected] to help us build our guiding principles for diversity and true inclusion within the business.
Now is clearly a time of huge pain for Black communities, but it is hugely inspiring to see that despite that pain a global moment of change is being seized and long overdue changes demanded.
We know that as a predominantly white business we have undoubtedly benefited from white privilege and the structures in place that make it easier for us to flourish.
We know that white sorrys are not enough – what is needed now is genuine willingness to examine and change the structures we have influence over, to ensure that black people can thrive within these systems. As such we are taking a long hard look and are listening to what we need to do both inside our business, as well as what we can do to be an ally to those courageously fighting for change in wider society.
We wanted to give an update on the steps that have been taken so far in the past two weeks, what steps will be taken next and the undertakings that we are making as an international company to do better.
Directors and senior management are consulting daily with Black and POC colleagues from across the business, to have the necessary, frank conversations – to listen and to learn.
This has highlighted what work we must do as a company, and in which directions, and has provided the basis for a refreshed and more focused ongoing commitment to doing better in regards to diversity and inclusion within Lush.
We have formed three working groups that are led by Black colleagues:
- Principles to guide the business (what does true inclusivity look and feel like?).
- 100 day action plan – a commitment to be shared both internally and externally, with updates on the actions we are intending to take within the next 100 days and report against this to check progress is being made. We aim to be ready with this and able to share the plan within two weeks at the latest.
- An awareness and fundraising campaign. – a product is being invented as we speak, the entire sales value of which (minus the sales tax that has to go to the government) will become a fund for Black led groups active on these issues. Of course, where the money from any charity product goes is vitally important, so this is another thing we are currently consulting on, with preference going to grassroots groups working on the root causes of structural racism. At the same time we will consult with groups to see if our website and shop windows could be put to use by them, in a campaigning and educational role, either in the short or longer term.
As a brand we are being asked to publish our diversity and inclusion statistics. At this time we do not have this information but we are working on it. Whilst we do not currently have company wide figures, we can say that Lush is a family owned business based in Dorset, England, with a small Board which has no Black members.
Lush is a global business, of which some countries are wholly owned and run by us, whilst other countries are licensed and run by partners. Whilst we set about working to make meaningful improvements in our wholly owned territories, we will also undertake to use our Licensor influence to require our partners to also take necessary steps to embed genuine diversity and inclusion in their business. We will also pledge that any new territory licenses that are negotiated, and when existing partner licenses come up for renewal, we ensure that diversity and inclusion is firmly written in as a core requirement and expectation of anyone running a Lush business anywhere in the world.
Whilst we know that the work we need to do is mostly internal, we also always wish to play a role in wider society. With all our hearts we know that Black Lives Matter and that for too long it has been a call that has not had enough white voices raised in support. We want to ensure that we do not fall into silence on this issue and that our future actions can earn us your trust. We want the company that white privilege has helped us build to not just become much more inclusive but to be a vehicle for Black voices to be heard. We welcome collaboration and participation as we deliver against this.
With love, support and hope for the future.
Firstly, we wish to take a moment to acknowledge those of you that this message is reaching whilst furloughed. Thank you for opening this email; what may feel like a single ‘click’ is actually representative of your ongoing commitment to your role at Lush and it is truly appreciated.
Secondly, although we sent out a very quick email on Monday night regarding the company response to Black Lives Matter, this email only went to anyone with a Lush email address, meaning those of you who do not have a work email might not have seen it. The original email can now be viewed below. This updates you on the work that has gone on in the days since.
We want to apologise and acknowledge that Lush had not previously reached a stage where matters of black lives, white silence and racism are discussed on a daily basis, on a company-wide level.
We equally acknowledge that an apology is not enough. As such, we wanted to update you all on the steps that have been taken so far this week, what steps will be taken next and the pledges that we are making as an international company to do better.
- Directors and senior management have been consulting daily this week with POC and black members of our management teams, to have the necessary conversations.
- We admit that it is shameful it has taken such trauma to reach a stage of action. However, it is a time that has highlighted just how much work we must do as a company, and in which directions.
- We want you to know that this is the start of an ongoing commitment to doing better in regards to diversity and inclusion within Lush.
- We have broken into three groups looking at:
Principles to guide the business (what does inclusivity look and feel like?).
100 day action plan – a commitment to be shared both internally and externally, with updates on the actions we are intending to take within the next 100 days. At the end of that 100 days we will produce a report outlining how much of the plan was achieved, what items still remain to be worked on, and what further work needs to be added for the next period. We hope to be ready with this and able to share the plan within two weeks at the latest.
An awareness and fundraising campaign. We know that there is a huge desire within the company to raise funds and awareness around Black Lives Matter issues at this hugely important time for the movement . A product is being invented as we speak. Of course, where the money from any charity product goes is vitally important, so this is another thing we are currently working and consulting on, to ensure funds go to grassroots groups who are struggling to get their voices heard. Meanwhile, discussions and decisions are ongoing around how to campaign during coronavirus – so whether this is a purely digital campaign or can also be featured in-store has yet to be concluded. We know that if this can be an in-store campaign (where lockdowns are lifted and shoppers back out and about) that you will need a comprehensive training pack and resources to ensure you have the information to give you confidence to do the amazing, enthusiastic advocacy that you always do when Lush campaigns. These resources are being compiled right now by the people who can bring their campaigning expertise and their lived experience to the task.
As a brand we are being asked to publish our diversity and inclusion statistics. At this time we do not have this information but we are working on it. We won’t be posting anything on the brand channel as we feel our Lush voice does not deserve a place in these conversations until we are held accountable for our dedication to the Black Lives Matter movement. At a shop level, there is no expectation for you to post anything until you are clear on what internal changes have been committed to. If you do decide to post and receive any comments that you do not know how to respond to please feel free to email [email protected] there will be support over the weekend.
We are documenting our commitment to doing better and we expect to be held accountable to our words written here. We ask for your collaboration, participation and patience as we deliver against this.
We understand that this topic of conversation can be triggering so please remember that Health Assured is there to support you with free, confidential and impartial advice 24 hours a day, every day. You can find the details on this Lush Labs article.
For any questions that remain unanswered, or if you would like to be part of these conversations, please reach out to: [email protected]
We will do better.
Many of you have made contact through the various channels of the company to ask what Lush are doing regarding Black Lives Matter – so we thought a very quick update might help.
It is imperative that we say something publicly on social media and raise our voice in support and acknowledge the pain experienced by black communities. It is time for the white voices to acknowledge our privilege and use it to amplify black voices, to accept the wrongdoing and work on building a better more inclusive future.
You will see the company message appear on our channels. But a public statement is just a start – we need to play our part in bringing about real change to address the issues that black voices are crying out to us.
We are working quickly to invent a product that we can sell, with all money raised going towards black rights movements, activists and organisations. As shop reopening dates in each country are still not set in stone, we aim to get the product for sale online initially whilst we wait for shops to get back up and running. We will update you as soon as there is news on the product.
We know that Lush is not perfect and that we are late to the table. We acknowledge that there is so much more we could do to ensure that the systemic racism of our society is not reflected inside our business. It is time to address this head on and create the change internally that we wish to see elsewhere. We want all to be welcome always at Lush. We want it to be a truly safe home to all who have met prejudice or exclusion elsewhere. We can only do this by listening to what we have got wrong and working together to put it right. We will be putting consultation and meetings in place where everyone can feed in and have their voices and their opinions heard.
We will let you know as soon as we can get something up and running so you can contribute and take part.
If you want to get in touch now, you can email [email protected]
Our customers and audience
We have been lucky to have so many great activists and campaigners attend our Showcase and Summits to speak on many of the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement and other marginalised communities – and lots of these talks were filmed. We will ensure we have this content available to view and easy to find for our customers, because it is important to elevate the voices of those involved directly in the struggle.
We have also, through our Film Fund, contributed to filmmakers addressing these issues. Again, we will endeavour to promote this work and bring it to the attention of the public.
We want our platforms to be of use to the black community as they try to get their voices heard, not just on the streets but to reach through to our homes and our lives with the messages we all need to hear, digest and act upon.
Copy to accompany Social posts
Like the warp thread, racism is woven unseen through the fabric of our society just below the surface of our institutions, our education and employment, and our everyday life – scratch the surface or cut through and you will see our very structure is built on it.
We admit that we are late to the table and that like society, Lush needs to change and do better.
We are a proudly diverse company, but the majority of us are white. However we will not be white and silent at this moment. We want to raise our voice alongside black people worldwide and say NOW is the time for justice, for respect, for equity, for EQUALITY. Now is a time to listen, to restructure and to weave a different future together.
Info regarding a fundraising product to follow soon…