If you’ve logged onto Instagram even once in 2016, your timeline was likely filled with photos of bright, colorful, and extremely aesthetic baths. Bath bombs were the craze that swept over all those interested in an otherwordly-esque bath time experience. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bath bombs are essentially mixtures of dry ingredients (mostly baking soda and Epsom salts) combined with essential oils, hard-pressed together and meant to be dropped under running bath water. There’s some fizzing, some bubbling, and, instantly, your bath is transformed.
Who, you may ask, is the mastermind behind everyone’s favorite bath product? None other than Lush, a skin care retailer specializing in fresh, handmade cosmetics, with a focus on fair trade and natural ingredients. The company was founded in 1995 by Mark Constantine and Liz Weir, and has since made a commitment to quality cosmetics, innovative products (they did invent the bath bomb, after all), and above all – ethical business.
Well, today on “out of the ordinary ethical campaigns”, we have Lush’s recent initiative to tackle the issue of overly-packaged products in the cosmetic and retail industry. The initiative sought to educate consumers on the negative environmental impact of packaging pollution. So, employees of Lush (otherwise known as “lushies”) stripped down to nothing but their signature aprons, with the goal of encouraging customers to consciously purchase “naked” products.
A naked product is one that has absolutely no packaging and no synthetic preservatives. Most Lush products, with the exception of all things liquid, come naked. Products that do require packaging are packaged with 100% postconsumer recyclable plastics. Lush pots and bottles can be returned to the store by customers, and from there, they go through a process of remolding, to be reused for other products. For the creation of new pots and bottles, the company sources from curbside blue bins. If ever there was such thing as an innovative recycler, Lush would be it.
Now, let’s break down why traditional over-packaging of products is so devastatingly harmful to the environment. Plastic packaging heavily pollutes the world’s oceans, accounting for nearly 300,000 tons of floating debris. In fact, amidst nationwide clean-ups, a whopping 80% of litter collected from beaches has been virgin plastic packaging. Unsurprisingly, most of the plastic that has ever been produced still exists today, as the company had noted.
The campaign – appropriately called “Get Naked” – featured lushies who stood outside Lush shops all across North America, wearing nothing but their black aprons. The company is no stranger to such bold campaigning (most of which you can read about on their website here), and this one was no exception. “If flashing our bums inspires consumers and [industries] to reconsider their packaging practices, then we’d say it’s definitely worth a few blushes” noted Brandi Halls, director of Lush brand communications.
The company’s efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed, as other beauty brands are joining in on the quest against excess packaging. Brands like L’Occitane, Tata Harper, Aveda, and Cargo have all found ways to be environmentally-friendly in their packaging and sourcing activities.
Safe to say, Lush is not shy when it comes to pushing boundaries for the sake of business ethics, which leads us to wonder: what will be their next big move, and how will they keep pushing other companies to be equally as bold?
And for those curious, yes, the beloved bath bomb is in fact a “naked” product.
Information gathered from: Huffington Post