8 things I didn’t know about Lush Cosmetics.

Lush. Handmade. 100% Vegetarian. 85% Vegan. Fighting against animal testing. Freshly sourced ingredients. Free from palm oil. Naked packaging. Just a few of the things that makes this brand truly lush. Pardon the pun. I was invited to spend the day with Lush learning about their new naked product range and how they are investing in trying to make our planet a more sustainable one. I’d call myself a repeat Lush customer and definitely head there for any smellies friends and families may need for their Birthdays, Christmas’, Easters, bar mitzvahs (I’ve never actually been to a bar mitzvah but If anyone would like to invite me then mazel tov!) but when I visited I learnt so much about the brand and fell in love with it a little bit more… (plus I left smelling fantastic, so win-win!)

  1. 2007

What is so significant about 2007? (No, not Britney shaving her head) This is the last time Lush bought any plastics. 12 years ago. This is a big deal. More recently, You’ll see supermarkets and some of the giants of the high street have all signed pledges to cut down on plastic pollution by 2025 but LUSH has stormed ahead of the game so long ago — I wonder how long it’ll take other companies to catch up? Lush boast a whole 35% of their products are sold naked with absolutely no waste with their naked range expanding all the time. Bestsellers are being stripped naked and the ‘Lushies’ (Lush’s very dedicated fan base) are here for it. Lush’s steady increase in revenue over the years suggest that the companies heavily millennial audience is also loving Lush’s seriousness to reduce the impact we’re having on our lovely planet.

2. Gift wrapping

Since not buying any plastics, Lush has found other alternatives to package and gift wrap their products. So, if you’re a little lazy like me or leave your Christmas shopping till 2 pm on Christmas eve — you rely on big stores being able to wrap your presents for you…. just know that not all wrapping paper is recyclable and that beautiful red and white striped paper will probably end up on landfill. However, in 2010 (The year One Direction were formed on XFactor, not as iconic as Britney but it’ll do), Lush phased out their gift wrapping service and introduced Knot Wraps! Square scarves that are made of organic cotton or a super silky fabric made from recycled plastic bottles — the Knot Wraps are a great green alternative to wrapping paper and your presents will definitely stand out under the tree!

Even the beautiful gift set boxes everyone rushes to pick up at 50% off on Boxing Day have been carefully thought through, the packing peanuts you find in these boxes are actually 100% biodegradable and made out of potato starch meaning it can be thrown straight into the compost bin! Who’d have thought it?

3. Nakey Skincare

Lush now has 3 completely naked stores (if you haven’t guessed by now, the products are naked and not the staff) located in Milan, Berlin and Manchester — it really does feel like there is no stopping them. They’ve got a complete skincare range boasting 79 products that are stripped back but still there to meet all of your skins needs whether you’re combination oily like me or extra dry! Product inventor Alessandro Commisso introduces the range, he says: “There is something beautiful in using our naked skincare products. Each bar is made with few, effective natural materials that go directly into the skin in their most simple form. The moment you stop worrying about the packaging, you really can start enjoying the benefits.” You have everything from cleansing balms, toner tablets, facial oils, scrubs, toothpaste and mouthwash tablets!!! Lush really are changing and leading the way on plastic and packaging-free skincare. All of the products have great naturally sourced ingredients that all come from Fairtrade companies. Their lavender comes from France and their salt comes from a guy named Pete in Portugal! I mean, what company can dig that deep into their ingredients list? My favourite product from the range has to be the reusable face wipe that’s made from seaweed. Out with the non-recyclable makeup wipes and in with the biodegradable seaweed wipe! They come in at a reasonable £2.95 and you can get up to 5 uses. Everyone is a winner here. You can and should shop the whole range right here.

4. Five pot recycling scheme

Who loves a free face mask? Everyone. Did you know you can return five clean black pots to any Lush store in exchange for a free fresh face mask of your choice? They then melt them down and remould them into new black pots in a closed recycling loop called ‘The Green Hub’. You’re being rewarded for recycling and get a funky fresh face in the process? Another win-win.

5. Plastic-smashtic!

Lush recently came under fire for wrapping some products in what looked like plastic — in actual fact, this cellophane is made out of potato starch and is 100% biodegradable… another one for the compost bin! I mean… you could’ve fooled me, it really does look like plastic.

6. Charity pot

The charity pot. This whole initiative warms my heart and really empathises how dedicated Lush is with their core values and ethics. Lush make absolutely no money from these Charity pots. I’ll say it louder for the people at the back, Absolutely no money is made. 100% of the money made through these pots goes into a Charity Pot Fund which is then donated to humanitarian, environmental and animal rights charities. In the last financial year, Lush UK donated over £1.6 million to these small charities and campaigns and globally that figure rises to £6.3 million. Amazing and know you know — be sure to grab one whilst you’re in-store getting your pals bar mitzvah present knot-wrapped.

7. Spa Day!

Nestled above the hustle and bustle of St Mary’s street you’ll find Lush Spa, Cardiff. Not many people know that they have a spa and not many people know its actually above the shop floor split over 2 levels. It boasts of 6 treatments rooms (one of which is accessible for wheelchair users), a spa lounge, a ‘kitchen’ and one of the best looking shower rooms I’ve ever seen. Actual goals. All the details of the spa are thought out so beautifully and the decor is so aesthetically pleasing. The whole spa is Dorset Countryside themed and all the wood seen is reclaimed wood and all of the beautifully quaint decorative spa items have either been donated or bought from charity shops. Every detail of the spa reflects Lush and its embedded values. The Co-owner of Lush, Mark Constantine who likes to bird watch even recorded some birds singing and that audio is now played in the Spa lounge — doesn’t get more personal than that. All the backgrounds to the spa treatments are actually the brain waves of customers having that specific treatment done and the sleeve is heat sensitive! 10/10 for creativity, Lush.

8. The Great Make Up Shake-Up

2018 gave Lush its first solid foundation, ‘Slap Sticks’ and from there packaging-free make up was a reality for lush. Next up was ‘The Trix Sticks’, multi-use naked concealers followed closely by a range of 31 ‘Naked Lipsticks’ with every colour you could ever want. Just March this year another foundation was released alongside the launch of Lush Liverpool. Who knows what’s next for Lush plastic-free makeup but rumour has it we may be seeing some eyeshadows in some compostable packing. You can shop the whole make up range here — go treat yourself.


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Chelsea O'Driscoll

Cardiff, Wales.


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