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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Type Private limited company
Founded 1994
Founder(s) Mark Constantine
Headquarters Poole, England, United Kingdom
Industry Cosmetics
Products Bath supplies

Lush is a handmade cosmetics company headquartered in Poole, Dorset in the UK. There are more than 600 stores in 43 countries. Lush produces and sells a variety of handmade products, including face masks, soaps, bath bombs (bubble bath), hand and body lotions, and hair treatments. In 1994, husband and wife Mark and Mo Constantine opened the first Lush store in Poole.[1][2]

Lush uses organic fruit and vegetables, essential oils, and safe-synthetic ingredients in all products produced. In addition to not using animal fats in their products, they are also against animal testing and perform tests solely with volunteers instead.[3]



The original incarnation of what is now Lush was started in the 1970s when Mark Constantine, an herbal trichologist, and Elizabeth Weir, who had an interest in beauty therapy formed a company named Constantine & Weir. [4] They began to develop recipes for bath and beauty products with the intention of selling them to other companies. The Body Shop, a UK-based company founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick contracted Constantine & Weir as one of their suppliers.

As The Body Shop grew, Anita Roddick made a bid for the Constantine & Weir company in which she bought the rights to many of the products that had been produced by C&W for The Body Shop. In 1988, Constantine started a new company called Cosmetics to Go.[5] The company was primarily a mail-order business. The company went under in 1994.

However, new finance was injected from Peter Blacker, of British Ensign Estates, and his finance director, Andrew Gerrie, who now sits on the board of Lush. Later in 1994, they sent out a catalog to all previous Cosmetics to Go customers that included a contest for a customer to come up with the new name. A woman named Elizabeth Bennett from Edinburgh was the winner, having chosen the name LUSH. [6]

Business structure

Lush is a privately-owned company with only a small number of shares available on an invitation basis only.[7] The company's growth is based mainly upon partnerships and franchise holders.

The company also owns the B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful brand, which has outlets in Poole, Leeds, Covent Garden, and Oxford Street. However, Lush announced in Autumn 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."[8][9]


Lush makes solid products to reduce packaging waste and the need for preservatives. Solid products are sold wrapped in paper or in small bags. Some examples of Lush's solid products include bubble bath bars, shampoo bars, hair conditioner bars, and massage bars. Lush also carries bath bombs, also called bath ballistics, which are solid balls that fizz as they dissolve in the bath, releasing scent and in some cases glitter, confetti, flower petals or seaweed. They hand-make the products in a factory in small batches based on orders from individual stores.[10]



Lush lists their product ingredients in English as well as Latin, and uses fruit, vegetables, other plant products, and safe synthetics. Many products are labeled with a use-by date.

All Lush products are vegetarian, and less than 30% contain animal products such as beeswax, honey, free range eggs and lanolin.[11]

Products which contain no animal ingredients at all are marked as vegan in Lush catalogs, on store displays, and on the container itself.[12]

Some Lush products contain Paraben-based preservatives, the safety of which have been subject to recent speculation. Lush uses methyl- and propyl- parabens, which have been used in food preservation. Only the liquid products contain parabens; solid products have no preservative content as it is water that can breed bacteria in products. 65% of Lush products are preservative-free.[12]

The Apprentice

The Lush Factory based in Poole, Dorset was used in Series 5 episode 4 of The Apprentice. The episode was aired on 14 April 2009 in Great Britain. Despite not being directly mentioned on the programme, the sign of the factory is visible on a few occasions. The company responded with a new product to represent the partnership with the programme.[13]

Ethos and campaigning

Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing.[14] Lush itself tests its products on human volunteers before they are sold. [15]

In keeping with its stated ethos, 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. Greenwash, a pine scented soap, is the first soap to be made using palm-free soap noodles, but as of 2008 all Lush soaps are made with palm-free soap base. Lush is currently working on removing all traces of palm oil from the products. [16]

Lush is a supporter of controversial direct action, animal rights operations including the Sea Shepherds, a group that attempts to protect whales, seals, and other aquatic animals.[17] In 1986, the Sea Shepherds had their whaling observer status revoked after they sank two Icelandic whaling ships.[18]

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, Seeds for change (activist training), Hacan Clear Skies (anti-aviation group), and Dump the Dump (which is fighting against an incinerator)[19] They introduced the "Charity Pot" body lotion, each pot promotes a different small charity on the lid, and the full purchase price (except for VAT) goes to charity.[20] They have also introduced a range of "Go Green" products that they say are inspired by Rebecca Lush (no relation), a roads campaigner who set up Road Block in the early 1990s and who pied Jeremy Clarkson for his glorification of the car.


  1. ^ "LUSH Fresh Handmade Soaps and Natural Cosmetics". Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  2. ^ "Interview: Mark and Mo Constantine, founders of Lush cosmetics | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  3. ^ "Caring Consumer // Information for Consumers // Consumer Products // Featured Cruelty-Free Company: Lush Cosmetics". Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  4. ^ "THE BIG BOOK: An Introduction To & History Of Cosmetics To Go". Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  5. ^ "Lush Cosmetics - LoveToKnow Makeup". 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  6. ^ "Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics". 2002-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics". 2002-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  11. ^ "Use Fresh Ingredients". 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  
  12. ^ a b "Press - LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics". 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  13. ^ "A.Sugar Scrub". Retrieved 2009-04-21.  
  14. ^ "Lush - Still Against Animal Testing".  
  15. ^ "Still Against Animal Testing". Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  16. ^ "Ground breaking Palm Free Base". Retrieved 2009-03-07.  
  17. ^ "LUSH and Sea Shepherd Launch Global Anti-Shark-Finning Campaign". 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2008-10-13.  
  18. ^ The History of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Whaling
  19. ^ Bibi van der Zee (2007-04-17). "Guerrilla giveaway". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  20. ^ "CharityPot". Lush. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  

External links


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