Designing Gifts with Diversity in mind
image: blue room at lush liverpool
Above all, Lush is passionate about art and design, and this includes the people who create it. It is important to have a breadth of design from a variety of voices and from as many diverse backgrounds as possible. Regardless of background, all artists should have the opportunity to showcase their work.
Lush understands that it is a privilege to work in this way and one in which the brand is able to create opportunities for as a commercial business. By setting this example, it hopes to inspire other companies, highlighting the benefits of working in this way and how valuable it can be for everyone involved.
Lush has been working with ARTHOUSE Unlimited for 8 years, commissioning artwork for a variety of products including Knot Wraps and Gifts. A charity that represents a collective of artists with complex neuro-diverse and physical support needs. Suzie and the Creative Team often feel incredibly inspired meeting the artists when visiting the studio and shop in Godalming, Surrey as the passion and humour that comes through their work is infectious.
Lush’s relationship with ARTHOUSE has inspired the team to create more opportunities for artists in similar organisations working in design-led studios, created to support artists with varying additional support needs.
“This became our mission, to be a platform for and champion the work from as diverse a range of artists as we could find. This was a very exciting prospect and is now part of the ethos of the way Lush will continue to commission work in all of its collections.”
– Suzie Hackney, Lush Gifts Creative and Category Lead
Providing opportunities for in-house employees, Lush also has a ‘Co-Create’ programme which is a product creation internship for Lush staff, aiming to promote diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging by lifting up authentic stories from respective communities.
Lush has now gone on to collaborate with a further ten artist groups with their work featuring in the Gift and Knot Wrap collections. These groups include Venture Arts, Blue Room, Intoart, Project Ability, Artbox, Downs Town Project (formerly Atelier Element Present), Fresh Talent, Rocket Artists, Winchelsea School and Impact Arts.
Suzie continues: “With the work we have been doing over the past five years, creating collections for holidays celebrated by communities across the globe, including Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali, White Day and Lunar New Year, we have worked exclusively with artists and designers who observe these religious backgrounds, many of whom are ethnic minorities. We specifically work with creatives who celebrate these occasions as we want these designs to have an authentic voice and tell a story through their work.”
“We know that we have just begun this work in diversity and equity in design and we have a long way to go and a lot still to learn. With the relationships we have built so far we’ve learned a lot, had some great experiences and met a lot of inspiring people and artists along the way. We hope that through these collaborations we inspire others too.”
notes to editors
About Suzie Hackney … Suzie is Lush’s Gifts Creative and Category Lead and is passionate about developing new ways to package gifts and creating incredible designs using a variety of recycled, regenerative and reusable materials. Suzie’s role is to seek out exciting ways for customers to present gifts to their friends and loved ones for every occasion.
Since establishing 27 years ago, Lush has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products such as the fizzing bath bomb, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars, Lush places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables. Lush fights tirelessly against animal testing and operates a thoroughly comprehensive Ethical Buying department, developing fair and direct trade initiatives. Lush leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer without any packaging.
Today Lush operates in 48 countries with over 886 shops, 38 websites shipping worldwide and a global network of native apps, broadcasting channels and digital communities in over 30 languages.
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