Ethics and values at the heart of LUSH are upheld by its employees with Employee Ownership.

When fellow British cosmetics company The Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal, the entire staff force was included in the sale just like the stock, tables, chairs and other assets.  This sale to a business who didn’t share the core values of The Body Shop was so demoralising for the staff, the Lush Founders learned from the cautionary tale and sought to find a way to make sure this could never happen to Lush.

In 2017, Lush became partly employee owned when 10% of the company shares were put into an Employee Benefit Trust (affectionately known as the ‘EBT’) on behalf of the staff. These shares are held in trust on behalf of more than 12,000 staff in 27 countries, known as the ‘Lush Group’ (which now also includes North America), who are all beneficiaries of the EBT.

Employee Ownership is something Lush had been exploring for over 15 years – “It just made sense as we already fostered so many of the typical values and behaviours you see in employee owned businesses.” – Karl Bygrave, Lush Director

Lush’s model for employee ownership is intentionally designed to protect the independent ownership of the company and enshrine our ethics for the future.  By entrusting our staff and giving them a real stake in the business through the Lush EBT,  we have the reassurance of knowing that what happened to The Body Shop, could never happen to Lush.

One of the core principles of the Lush EBT is to ensure that Lush’s values are upheld in every area of the global business, by giving all staff a voice on any proposed change to our core ethical principles and a platform to speak up if they feel they are not being upheld.  In addition to this, Lush Colleagues also have the reassurance of knowing they will always have a say on any external sale of the company.  In the unlikely event that a controlling share of the company becomes available for sale, every person working in the Group business would have a vote and the sale could only go ahead with majority consent from our staff.


The EBT Trustees are guardians of Lush’s Ethical Charter and all colleagues have the responsibility to ensure it is upheld.  The Lush Ethical Charter created by Ethics Director Hilary Jones, Director Karl Bygrave, Product Inventor Jack Constantine, and Simon Constantine,  is a legal document that sets out Lush’s minimum ethical standards and the behaviours that should accompany them through core and evolving principles.

The Core ethical principles are unwavering cornerstones of Lush’s values. The Ethical Charter shows seven core values including our stances on animal testing, being a vegetarian company, our company tax policy, our commitment to being a campaigning company, fair wages for staff, and our statement of intent: All Are Welcome, Always.

The Evolving ethical principles are equally fundamental to the Lush ethical ethos, but may be defined differently over time, being affected by new advances in science, technology, differing world situations, and newly available inventions and solutions. The evolving principles  include Digital Ethics, Renewable Energy, and more. 

The Ethical Charter also defines a mechanism to ensure that if a breach to any of the core principles were to occur, there is a formal process for the Trustees to investigate and ensure the breach is remedied and the ethics upheld.

As part of our commitment to continually developing a culture of employee ownership throughout the business, all staff have access to channels to share ideas and suggestions to contribute to the future of the business, beyond their day-to-day roles at Lush.  We are incredibly lucky to have such diligent, passionate staff who are so generous with their ideas and opinions to help continually build the business. 

“To have ideas coming through from employees on products, innovation and ethics is quite unique and a really positive sign. It demonstrates that your people really care about 
the business and its future.”

– Helen Moreton, Lush & CW EBT 
Independent Trustee

What Employee Ownership means at Lush:

  • Protecting the business for the future: Who we are, our unique way of doing business, and our founding values – The We Believe.
  • Staying true to our values: Through the Lush Ethical Charter, we all play a role in ensuring our ethics are upheld and never diluted.
  • Ensuring the business remains independent and giving our colleagues a say in any external sale of a controlling share of the company. 
  • Putting more information into everyone’s hands and having a channel where we can all contribute our ideas and suggestions. 

Promoting a culture where everyone is driven to ensure Lush thrives, because when the business is thriving we all benefit and share in the company’s success.


About Lush
Lush was founded in 1995 by 6 co-founders; Mo Constantine, Mark Constantine, Rowena Bird, Helen Ambrosen, Liz Bennett and Paul Greeves. Emerging from the demise of a previous mail order business called Cosmetics To Go – a massive success that collapsed through a combination of over-trading and flooding – it was the same team that created and inspired this new venture.The first shop opened in Poole, Dorset where it still remains as the heart of Lush business ventures today. There are now 104 shops in the UK and Ireland, and over 886 worldwide in 52 countries.

For further information or interview opportunities, please email [email protected] / [email protected]

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