I hate to burst your “Lush” bubble but…
Alright, so, someone I know posted a link to Lush’s so called “Green Policy” on facebook today with a status of “finally a company I can get behind!” – noooooooo, you can’t!!!!!!!
Lush has been bothering me for a while. It’s great that they are doing some things to lessen their impact on the environment – they claim to be using recycled materials, and more efficient practices with their raw materials and transportation, etc. That’s good, but I’m sure most companies are trying to be as efficient as possible with their raw materials, etc., in order to keep costs down and they don’t tout it as being ‘for the environment’. They also have a vegan line, which is good, but it leads people to thinking that their products are somehow more natural when vegan only means they aren’t tested on animals or use animal products.
All of this marketing has people believing that their products are natural and good for the environment when often they’re not. If you read a lot of their ingredient labels they have things like sodium laureth sulfate, benzoates, and parabens. They’re mixed in with nice things like ‘organic tea tree oil’ or whatever, but they’re still there. Just search some of the chemically-sounding ingredients in the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database if you don’t know much about them.
But of course their products are full of chemicals, just look at them! All those bright colors, and fragrances so powerful some people can’t even go in the store. I realize it’s hard to have all natural ingredients, especially if you want things to go all foamy and do fun things, but I think they could certainly make much more of an effort to remove some of these unnecessary chemical ingredients and stop the misleading advertising.
Just take this section of their “Green Policy”:
We prefer to use ingredients that are produced in a sustainable way and avoid those that aren’t. Palm oil, for example, went into our “little black book” and was replaced by more earth-friendly oils in our soap base. We are now working to remove it from all products, as well as encouraging other companies to do the same. We use almond and olive oil – not mineral oil – partly because we think fields of trees make our lives much richer than oil fields. In designing our products, we go for natural ingredients and use as few synthetics as possible. In fact, we have an incredible range of natural products with no synthetics at all. Over 70% of our range is totally unpreserved and we aim to improve on that.
The text is very vague and uses a couple of questionable examples to illustrate how natural their products are. I don’t know what they mean by “incredible range of natural products with no synthetics at all” because that’s not the impression I get when I read their labels, and I’m not sure what “unpreserved” products are.
Anyway, I’m glad they’re making some efforts to reduce their impacts on the environment but they certainly do need to “aim to improve” on the chemicals in their products. Here’s a link to what someone who worked at Lush has to say about the chemicals they use and the marketing they employ: The good, the bad, and the ugly: Lush Cosmetics
Now here is a good ol’ Canadian company that actually does make wonderful, completely natural and organic products – Smith Farms. I just love their stuff. No artificial colors or fragrances, most of their products are white or tan colored and actually smell like nature (that’s the best way I can put it). They seem expensive but one bottle or tube of any of their products will last forever! They don’t have nearly the range of things that Lush does, but the quality is fantastic.
Related side-story: Once whilst showering and using some Lush bodywash I accidentally inhaled some of the suds from off my shoulder or something (don’t ask me how), and about 10 seconds later I got really sick, started seeing spots and nearly passed out. I had to quickly exit the shower and go lay down, and I was completely sick for the rest of the day. I was going to send them a letter/e-mail and inform them of this incident but I never got around to it. I forget which shower gel it was but it was dark green I think and had a very earthy smell. That’s when I started looking into their ingredients and discovered they’re not so natural after all!