|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2011)|
|Type||Public limited company|
|Founder(s)||Mark Constantine and Mo Constantine|
Lush Retail, Limited is a cosmetics company headquartered in the United Kingdom. In 1994, husband and wife Mark and Mo Constantine opened the first Lush store in Poole under the name Cosmetic House Limited. Lush adopted its current name on 10 April 1995. There are now 830 stores in 51 countries. Lush produces and sells a variety of handmade products, including soaps, shower gels, shampoos and hair conditioners, bath bombs, bubble bars, hand and body lotions and face masks.
Lush uses fruit and vegetables, essential oils, synthetic ingredients, honey and beeswax in their products. In addition to not using animal fats in their products, they are also against animal testing and perform tests with volunteers instead.
The original incarnation of what is now Lush was started in the 1970s when Mark Constantine, a herbal trichologist, and Elizabeth Weir, who had an interest in beauty therapy formed a company named Constantine & Weir. They began to develop recipes for bath and beauty products with the intention of selling them to other companies. The Body Shop, a UK-based company founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, contracted Constantine & Weir as one of their suppliers.
Lush is a privately owned company with a small number of shares available on an invitation basis only. The company's growth is based mainly upon partnerships.
The company also owned the B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful brand, which had outlets in Poole, Leeds, Covent Garden, and Oxford Street. Lush announced in 2009 that B would cease trading, saying "the company has NOT gone bust or bankrupt and there are no administrators involved, we are simply unable to make a profit. Lush will be absorbing the business in order to retain the assets."
Lush produces soaps, shampoos, shower gels, lotions, moisturizers, scrubs, and other cosmetics for the face, hair, and body using vegetarian recipes. It also produces solid shampoos, "Shower Jellies", semi-solid jelly hair & body wash; "Toothy Tabs", solid toothpaste tablets; and "Bath Ballistics," solid balls made of sodium bicarbonate that fizz with different scents and colours when dropped in the bathtub. Lush products are made in factories around the world (including Poole, Dorset and Vancouver, Canada), and are made in small batches based on orders from individual stores to ensure the freshness of the product. Stores do not sell products older than four months and most products have a total shelf life of approximately 14 months.
Lush products are not 100% vegetarian as some products contain lanolin. There is debate as to whether lanolin is a non-vegetarian product, since it is derived from sheep wool and is no more cruel to obtain than milk, eggs or honey. Many categorize lanolin as a vegetarian product. Lush products are 83% vegan, and 60% preservative-free (though these numbers fluctuate, as the product range changes frequently) and feature grapefruit juice, vanilla beans, avocado butter, rosemary oil, and fresh papaya and coconut. They also contain more traditional soap ingredients, including glycerine, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens.
The safety of these parabens have been subject to recent speculation.
Ethos and campaigning
Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing. Lush tests its products on human volunteers before they are sold. Lush has also begun to phase out its use of sodium palm kernelate. Sodium palm kernelate is derived from trees in the natural habitat of orangutans. Since 2008 all Lush soaps have been made with palm-free soap base. Lush is currently working on removing all traces of palm oil from the products.
Lush is a supporter of direct action, animal rights operations including Sea Shepherd, a group that works to protect whales, seals, and other aquatic animals. Lush has also been a supporter of anti-tax avoidance grouping UKuncut and its protests which have resulted in criminal damage.
In 2007 Lush started openly supporting campaigning groups by sending a dozen cheques for £1000 each, including road protests groups such as Road Block and NoM1Widening, Hacan Clear Skies (anti-aviation group), and Dump the Dump (which is fighting against an incinerator) They introduced the "Charity Pot" body lotion, each pot promotes a different small charity on the lid, and the full purchase price (except for VAT) goes to charity.
In 2011 Israel advocacy groups StandWithUs and United With Israel launched a campaign encouraging consumers to boycott Lush products on account of the company's decision to promote OneWorld's Freedom for Palestine initiative.
UK website hacked
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lush (company).|
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- "Ground breaking Palm Free Base". Info.lush.co.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2009.[dead link]
- "LUSH and Sea Shepherd Launch Global Anti-Shark-Finning Campaign". 3 September 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
- Bibi van der Zee (17 April 2007). "Guerrilla giveaway". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 January 2008.
- "CharityPot". LUSH. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
- Ghert-Zand, Renee (5 July 2011). "LUSH Soap Brand Boycotted for Ties to Pro-Palestinian Group". The Forward. Retrieved 25 July 2011. "Those of us who like to like to soften our skin are being asked to toughen our stance against one of the largest purveyors of natural soaps and cosmetics. The pro-Israel organization United With Israel is calling on people to boycott LUSH products in response to the company’s financial support of OneWorld."
- "Don't Rush to Buy Lush (Cosmetics)". StandWithUs. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. "We hope that as supporters of peaceful coexistence, you will decide to stop buying LUSH products until LUSH reverses this policy or at least until LUSH’s North American subsidiary publicly distances itself from this campaign. We also hope that you will urge your family, friends, and community to do the same until LUSH'S-UK stops supporting WoW and ends its involvement with campaigns that harm Israel and the peace process."
- "Our website has been the victim of hackers.". www.lush.co.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- King, Mark (21 January 2011). "Lush website hack sees customers defrauded.". London: www.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- "Poole-based cosmetics firm Lush has website hacked". www.bbc.co.uk/ews. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.