Hi guys, today’s post is about Lush and their store opening that went down on the 8th of June at their new Cavendish branch. Jess and I got up early (Saturdays have mornings?) and headed on over there to see what new and exciting goodies had made their way to the southern suburbs. I had only once briefly been into the V&A Waterfront store (the smell just lures you in), but had heard of Lush’s mystical goodness here and there over the interwebs every now and then.
I’ll briefly introduce you to the company if you are unfamiliar with the amazingness that is Lush. In 1995 Lush first opened its doors in Poole, England with their wonderful handmade products made right above the store. 18 years later Lush now has branches in 55 countries around the world. They produce handmade, fresh cosmetics that are 100% vegetarian, 82% vegan, 60% preservative free and 38% naked.
So let’s break that down a bit…
100% vegetarian – This means that the products are cruelty free and any by-product taken from an animal was not harmful to it in any way. They also do not contain animal products like meat, rennet or gelatine etc. Lush is a huge and consistently active campaigner for beauty without cruelty. And not only are their final products not tested on animals, each product’s ingredients aren’t either. Some (if not most) cosmetic companies claim to be cruelty free because their final product has not been animal tested, however the ingredients used to make a product have been. Lush also does not use a stitch of Palm oil in any of their products, a nasty cheap ingredient which has destroyed a large chunk of the forests in the world and has endangered the orangutang population.
82% vegan – Being a vegan means that you don’t consume/use the by-products or produce from animals i.e. milk and eggs. So the reason Lush is not 100% vegan is because some of their products contain ingredients like beeswax and lanolin (the oil that comes from sheep’s wool). However Lush has some of the most comprehensive anti animal testing policies of any company and insist that their suppliers stick to their philosophy and rules. This even applies to their supplier’s suppliers.
60% preservative free – Being a company that values freshness as a founding quality, Lush is going to try to exclude as many preservatives as possible. How do they get around this? Any cosmetic product that is in liquid form has a preservative. You add aqua, you’re gonna have to add those ominous parabens and such. By creating shampoo bars and powder deodorants, Lush removes the ingredients that allow it to stand on your shelf for months, if not years!
38% naked – This is my favourite bit. Since Lush is a brand with a conscience (those two words together sound like an oxymoron!) they are not only limited to their cruelty free products and methods of testing, but have created values that extend to saving our planet too. Naked doesn’t mean your products will be served to you by staff sans clothing (although that would be living true to your brands ethics!) but rather that some of their store items do not require any packaging at all. What a risk for a company, packaging is essential in terms of aesthetics (what looks good, sells better no?). But Lush sees beyond that and recognises the dire need to lower pollution, plastic manufacturing and lessen the footprint being made on the planet through label printing, manufacturing and packaging transportation, etc.
So why do I like Lush so much? For so many reasons! Their products are really yummy and, most importantly, nourishing in a way that I can testify to actually working. Sometimes organic/green beauty products have the very best intentions but completely fail to show any results. Another reason is that I feel like it is one of the most honest cosmetic companies that I would actually enjoy supporting. They are an active campaigning company and post their mission statement proudly all over their store, bags and back walls. Most importantly, they put their money where their mouth is and are truly ethical.
When the Body Shop first made its way to SA shores it soon became my preference because of its similar values, anyone remember those Body Shop postcards? Shortly after Anita Roddick passed, her dreams sort of went too as The Body Shop was quickly snapped up by L’Oreal. But the Body Shop still tells me it’s doing good in the world right? It still does not test on animals and supports fair trade and all that other jazz. Yes, it may very well be but the second you hand over your money (and subsequently your support) when buying a product it all goes into the hands of the company that owns its ass, in this case L’Oreal, and they do test some of their products on animals.
In saying that, I truly do believe that no brand is essentially pure and untainted, but it is just so nice to have a brand that I can legitimately start to use to replace my existing skincare and beauty products with ones that I feel are really doing better by me, the environment and most importantly the furry community. Hooray for Lush!