|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2011)|
|Type||Public limited company|
|Founder(s)||Mark Constantine and Mo Constantine|
Lush is a fresh, handmade cosmetics company headquartered in the United Kingdom. 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 under the name Cosmetic to Go in the UK. 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, face masks, and hand and body lotions for a variety of skin types.
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.
Mark Constantine started mixing potions in his kitchen for Anita and Gordon Roddick and became supplier of The Body Shop in the 1970s. Mark Constantine, a herbal trichologist, and Elizabeth Weir, had an interest in beauty therapy formed a company named Constantine & Weir. They developed many 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.
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 is famous for producing soaps, shampoos, shower gels, lotions, moisturizers, scrubs,masks and other cosmetics for the face, hair, and body using vegan recipes. Lush produces solid shampoos as well as "Toothy Tabs" which happens to be solid toothpaste tablets."Bath Ballistics" are solid balls made of sodium bicarbonate that fizz with different scents and colours when dropped into a water filled bathtub. Lush recently launched its' "Emotional Brilliance" collection on July 21, 2012, a natural 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 that were uniquely designed to match consumers and up their self-esteem. Lush also plans to launch their first, new mascara, Eyes Right, with "Emotional Brilliance". 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. Lush marks its notorious 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, primarily their Fresh Face Masks, are to be refrigerated due to the absence of preservatives. 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, grease from animal fur. Lanolin has caused controversy since it is "second hand" animal product. 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, fresh papaya and coconut. They also contain more traditional soap ingredients, including glycerine, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens. Constantine&Weir also patented a shampoo containing sodium lauryl sulphate.
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 to the public. 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 has created a 'Charity Pot' line that ensures that 100% of all proceeds of these 'Charity Pots' go to various charitable organizations that Lush supports. 'Charity Pots' support areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.
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.
In 2007 Lush started openly supporting campaigning groups by sending a dozen checks 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)
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lush (company).|
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- Bibi van der Zee (17 April 2007). "Guerrilla giveaway". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 January 2008.
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- 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."