After humble beginnings in a garden shed, Lush has now become a household name thanks to its ethical approach and focus on making cosmetic products by hand, using fresh fruit and vegetables.
Andrew Gerrie, CEO at Lush, explains: “Our aim is for everything in store to be less than one month old, which is highly unusual for a cosmetics business. Each product has a sticker with the face and name of the person who made it and the date it was made and the date it should be used by.
“Our ultimate aim would be to run like a bakery where we make the product today, ship it to the stores overnight and it would be available to buy tomorrow.
“If it’s fresh it means we don’t have to use preservatives. In excess of 70 per cent of our range has no preservatives in it. Preservatives are poisons which kill the good bacteria on your skin and hair. If you can make a product with no preservatives you can make a more effective product that should deliver greater results.”
The products, ranging from chunky cut soaps, to shower gels and bath bombs are made in batches using fresh fruit and vegetables around the world.
Gerrie adds: “If you come to the factory you will use huge piles of avocado and oranges piled up on the floor. It’s more like a big catering company!”
The company has a strong ethos and believes in making effective products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, buying ingredients from companies that do not commission tests on animals, using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients and telling you when they were made.
Lush manufactures in seven locations across six different countries, including both coasts of North America, UK, Croatia, Japan, Australia and Chile serving the countries nearest to them. The brand is also investigating two other locations.
In the UK Lush has 94 stores, with around 715 stores worldwide. The majority of the stores are company owned employing in excess of 6,000 people.
“We are opening a lot of stores all the time. Our next store in the UK will be in Sunderland”, Gerrie says. “Last week we opened another store in Germany, but there are stores opening every week. I would hope we would open in excess of 50 stores in 2011. Hopefully I’m being conservative with that figure.
For the full article, please see the MONTH YEAR issue.