I don’t know how many times I have seen Lush stores in cities all over the world and just walked past them. I already discovered the soaps and make-up that I love a while back and have been using them ever since.
My go-to soaps are chamomile bubble bath by Santa Maria Novella, that has a divine fragrance and feel, or Lebanese natural soap with orange blossom at Liwan. I normally visit the Paris branch of Liwan, but there are also branches in other countries, with the flagship store being in Beirut, of course.
Make-up wise, I am into natural bio make-up which I find so easily in Germany. I have many reasons for loving Germany and the Germans, and their commitment to organic products is certainly one of them. You can walk into a regular supermarket in any German city and find bio make-up, now that’s a culture dedicated to protecting the environment and the quality of human life.
So, it was a wonderful discovery when my two very close friends, a Syrian and her 9 year old daughter who is fascinated by theatre make-up introduced me to a two in one blush and lipstick by Lush. That recommendation inspired me to visit Lush and explore their range of natural products. The next Lush store I passed was in Milan so I went in to explore shampoos and conditioners.
In my quest, I ended up talking with Matia who helped me enthusiastically and intelligently to navigate the many choices. He told me that Lush sources some of it’s ingredients from communities that need support and trade fairly. For example the olive oil they use can come from the Sindyanna cooperative in Galilea that has Israelis and Palestinians working together to make a shared living. Now that really peaked my interest and opened my eyes to a whole new beautiful world of humane and ethical trade. Be still my heart. I quickly asked him to show me the products that used the Syndayanna olive oil and took photos.
I went back again to ask for help locating the information online and the lovely Marta with the gorgeous green eyes explained to me that Lush is involved in a number of charity projects. She ended with saying that Lush "is all about the heart" and that it makes her feel good to work somewhere with substance. Lovely Marta had already found a truth to live by, a life of that gives her meaning and joy. Matia shared the same beautiful vibe. What a pleasure it was to meet them and feel their passion for this wonderful project and the many levels of beauty it adds to our world.
It turns out that Lush are committed to ethical and free trade practices and have established 3 charity projects in addition to sourcing from fair trade communities around the world. The 3 main charity projects that Lush initiated are Charity Pot, the SLush fund and FunD. The charity pots are pots of body lotion, that Lush donate 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small, grassroots organisations that align with Lush’s ethics in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights. The SLush Fund commits up to £1m to start sustainable farms and community projects from scratch, some of which then become suppliers to Lush. Lastly, FunD grants 10p from every Fun soap sold to projects providing fun and recreational activities for children living in challenging environments.
I love seeing innovative ways that businesses engage and interact with their customers. It was something to read up on the Lush store in Oxford street that has a demo lab where you can take a shower to experience the products, a music space where you can relax listening to music, and a speaker's space where individuals can give talks and spread awareness on issues that Lush is involved in supporting. They even give a reading list through the Lush Library.
In addition to what’s one offer in their stores, you can:
Take a tour to discover how how their products are made
Attend the LUSH Summit which is simply out of this world with talks, activism, conservation, #BathArt, a spa, a Karma Reveal Room and much more.
Win up to £350,000 as part of The Lush Prize that rewards initiatives across science and campaigning that work to end or replace animal testing, particularly in the area of toxicology research.
It's a joy to see humane people, like the co-founders of Lush staying true to their morals and committing themselves to causes that aren't always easy to support in terms of consequences. In 2011, the UK Zionist Federation StandWithUS encouraged people to stop buying Lush products until it dropped it’s support for the ‘OneWorld - Freedom for Palestine’ campaign. Lush stood strong by their principles and continued to support both peace and the livelihood of Palestinians both in Israel and in the West bank. Let us show our support and appreciation for these kind of brave stances for truth and justice. Please go to Lush stores and thank them for helping our weak be strong and giving us hope one product at a time. And make sure to spread the good word and go clean the Lush way.
Lush Ltd. is a British cosmetics retailer founded by Mark Constantine, a trichologist and Liz Weir, a beauty therapist. They met in a hair and beauty salon in Poole, England. A few years later, they decided to branch out and start their own business selling natural hair and beauty products.
Lush products are 100% vegetarian, and often contain fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit juice, vanilla beans, avocado butter, rosemary oil, fresh papaya and coconut. Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing. They test their products on human volunteers before they are sold to the public.
Lush is also well known for its philanthropy and active support of communities around the world, supporting them through funding and buying fairly traded ingredients to create their products.
DISCOVER Lush products with ingredients sourced from communities the Arab world
AbdulRehman for his contribution of images to this article.