Lush (company)

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"LUSH" redirects here. For other uses, see Lush (disambiguation).
Lush Retail, Limited
Public limited company
Industry Personal care
Founded 1995
Founder Mark Constantine and Mo Constantine
Headquarters Poole, United Kingdom
Products Cosmetics

Lush is a cosmetics retailer headquartered in Poole, Dorset United Kingdom. Founded in 1994, the name Lush was the result of a competition that founders Mark and Mo Constantine published in their first handmade newsletter and catalogue. In 1994, husband and wife Mark and Mo Constantine opened the first LUSH store in Poole, England,[1][2] under the name Cosmetics to Go. Lush adopted its current name on 10 April 1995.[3] There are now over 800 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, face masks, and hand and body lotions for various skin types.

Lush products often contain fruits and vegetables, essential oils, synthetic ingredients, honey and beeswax.[4]The company is against animal testing, and opts to use volunteers in order to test their products instead.


The original Lush store, located in Poole, Dorset, UK. The store also houses a Lush Spa, accessed via the door on the left.

Mark Constantine started mixing potions in his kitchen for Anita and Gordon Roddick and became a supplier of The Body Shop in the 1970s. Mark Constantine, a herbal trichologist, and Elizabeth Weir, had an interest in beauty therapy and thus, formed a company named Constantine & Weir.[5] They developed a number of recipes for bath and beauty products and were a major supplier to The Body Shop, until Roddick was consulted to take more products inhouse. The Body Shop then paid £6m for the rights of Constantine & Weir's recipes.[2][6][7]

In December 2010, Mark and Mo Constantine were awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours list, for services to the beauty industry.[8]

Business structure[edit]

Lush is a privately owned company with a small number of shares available on an invitation basis only.[9] 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 is renowned for producing handmade soaps, shampoos, shower gels, lotions, moisturizers, scrubs, masks and other cosmetics for the face, hair, and body using vegetarian recipes. Lush produces solid shampoos as well as "Toothy Tabs" which are solid toothpaste tablets. "Bath bombs" are solid balls of sodium bicarbonate. When exposed to water, they fizz and deliver various scents and effects on the skin.

Lush launched its "Emotional Brilliance" collection on 21 July 2012, a makeup collection that be applied in multiple areas such as lips and cheeks. "Emotional Brilliance" includes 13 liquid lipsticks, 11 liquid eyeliners, and six cream shadows. Lush also launched their first mascara, Eyes Right, under the "Emotional Brilliance" line. Lush products are made in factories around the world including Poole, Dorset, Toronto, Canada, and Vancouver, Canada, and are made in small batches based on orders from individual stores to ensure the freshness of the product. Lush marks its trademark black tub products with stickers of the actual creators of the product being sold, a unique trademark stamped on their recyclable black pots. Most Lush products are to be stored at room temperature, with the exception of their Fresh Face Masks, which are to be refrigerated due to the absence of preservatives and the main ingredients being fruits and vegetables.[10] Stores do not typically sell products older than four or five months and most products have a shelf life of approximately 14 months.[11]


Lush products are 100% vegetarian. They 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, fresh papaya and coconut. They contain more traditional soap ingredients, including glycerine, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens. However, some products contain lanolin, milk, eggs, honey, and beeswax. Constantine & Weir patented a shampoo containing sodium lauryl sulphate.[12]

Ethos and campaigning[edit]

Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing.[13] They test their products on human volunteers before they are sold to the public.[14] Lush has also phased out its use of sodium palm kernelate, which is derived from trees in the natural habitat of orangutans. Since 2008, all Lush soaps have been made with palm-free soap base, and they have since removed all traces of palm oil from the products.[15]

Lush has created a product called 'Charity Pot', a hand and body lotion that ensures that 100% of all proceeds of these 'Charity Pots' go to charitable organizations that Lush supports. 'Charity Pots' support areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.[16]

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.[17] Lush has been a supporter of anti-tax avoidance grouping UKuncut.

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).[18][19]

In 2011, Israel advocacy groups StandWithUs and United With Israel UK launched a campaign encouraging consumers to boycott Lush products on account of the company's decision to promote OneWorld's Freedom for Palestine initiative.[20][21]

Since 2013, Lush's 'Charity Pot' has included the campaign to release Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer to the U.K., who is presently only clear for release to Saudi Arabia.[22]


  1. ^ "LUSH Fresh Handmade Soaps and Natural Cosmetics". Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Teather, David (13 April 2007). "Interview: Mark and Mo Constantine, founders of LUSH cosmetics | Business". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Companies House". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Use Fresh Ingredients". 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "THE BIG BOOK: An Introduction To & History Of Cosmetics To Go". Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Body Flop: Anita Roddick proclaimed that business could be caring as well as capitalist, by Jon Entine, The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine". 31 May 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Business Lessons for the Entrepreneur from Lush,, 2012-10-04.
  8. ^ "OBE for Dorset couple who founded cosmetics firm Lush". BBC News. 31 December 2010. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics". 21 December 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Fresh Products". 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Solid shampoo composition in compact needle form with water as a binder, Constantine & Weir Ltd., 1989-02-21.
  13. ^ "Lush – Still Against Animal Testing". 
  14. ^ "Still Against Animal Testing". Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Ground breaking Palm Free Base". Retrieved 7 March 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^
  17. ^ "LUSH and Sea Shepherd Launch Global Anti-Shark-Finning Campaign". 3 September 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2008. 
  18. ^ Bibi van der Zee (17 April 2007). "Guerrilla giveaway". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  19. ^ "CharityPot". LUSH. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ "Guantanamo Bay - Free Shaker Aamer". LUSH Campaigns. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 

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