Lush kicks up a stink and their customers love them for it. Blending natural, cruelty free products with social activism has reaped big rewards.

There are many businesses that would describe themselves as ethical – particularly in the current climate of an increasingly politically aware consumer base, because being ethical means being trustworthy. But what is a real ethical business? We’re taking a look at Lush this week to teach us a few things about the ethical business movement

Meet Lush

Lush is a beauty company that prides itself on the use of natural, vegetarian products with zero animal testing. They have taken the same approach to their products as they have to social activism – ethical, environmental and organic. From sending sums of money to campaign and protest groups to encouraging their customers to vote, to creating their own social activism cash prizes. Lush’s ethical business practice genuinely engages social activism.

What’s the role of Lush HQ?

Lush have created an organic movement that stems from natural beauty products and feeds into social activism. It’s an authentic movement based on the shared values of love for the environment, passion for for social justice, and responsible business. Just last month Lush celebrated its 10 year anniversary of the ‘charity pot’,  in which all proceeds from this pot of lotion goes to grassroots charities and organisations working in animal or human rights and environmental protection. It’s a movement that merges business with social justice campaigning. And, let’s face it, if you’re buying your beauty products and simultaneously supporting the environment and social justice campaigners, why wouldn’t you?

There have been other ethical businesses that have paved the way for Lush. The Body Shop, founded in 1976, has long been established as the provider of natural beauty products through ethical means. Where The Body Shop paved the way, Lush took up the mantel. A movement was created, tapping into the shared values of responsible business, ethically sourced goods and fair pay.

What next?

Movement members are acting out their political and social ideology as consumers. The next steps for Lush could be to really tap into their customer base, developing a personal relationship and harvesting trust with their members, so that Lush customers feel a greater sense of affinity to the movement and the brand.