TEN Awards Spotlight: Lush Handmade Cosmetics
On May 23rd, the National Center for Transgender Equality will host its annual Trans Equality Now Awards, an opportunity to commemorate and honor advocates and allies for transgender people and our rights. Among the honorees at this year’s ceremony will be Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, purveyors of skincare, haircare, and bath products, which will receive the Ally Award.
Lush Handmade Cosmetics
Founded in 1995 as a small, family-run business in Poole, UK, Lush Cosmetics expanded across the water in 1996. Once a single room factory with a lone free-standing store on in Vancouver, Canada, Lush now has 250 locations across North America.
Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85 percent are vegan, 40 percent preservative-free and 35 percent unpackaged. Lush supports fair trade, community trade and charitable initiatives, and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products.
Campaigns and Charitable Giving
Lush campaigns on animal protection, human rights and environmental justice issues such as banning the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in North America, welcoming refugees from Syria and ending fossil fuels extraction. With over 930 shops worldwide, Lush is in a unique position to raise awareness on serious issues and bring about real change.
Lush’s Charity Pot is a hand and body lotion that supports small, grassroots organizations in North America and around the world that are working on the root cause of issues and creating long-term sustainable change. One hundred percent of what a customer pays for the lotion goes into a charitable giving fund. Last year Charity Pot contributions topped $9 million.
Trans Rights Are Human Rights Campaign
In February 2017, the company launched a 2-week campaign in its 250 shops and online across North America supporting trans rights and encouraging allyship among its staff and customers with the distribution of 75,000 booklets of “How to be a Trans Ally’, developed with NCTE’s input. Five short videos of trans people and trans allies demonstrating allyship were also released and resources were permanently developed for its website. And, as part of the Trans Rights Are Human Rights campaign, Lush produced a limited edition Bath Melt, called Inner Truth with100% of the purchase price donated to trans-led and trans-focused organizations across North America. In addition to Charity Pot support for a dozen trans organizations, Inner Truth raised $450,000. Just four days after the product’s launch the Inner Truth Bath Melt was the company’s top-selling product.
Carleen Pickard, campaigner with Lush, told Teen Vogue:
"It’s important for us to listen to our staff and find out what issues they are most passionate about. Transgender rights have consistently been at the top of the list. As an inclusive employer that champions equality, we simply couldn’t stand by. We needed to shed light on these daily discriminations and work to advance and secure their basic rights. What’s really special about this campaign is that our transgender and non-binary colleagues have genuinely impacted every aspect of it, from providing guidance and sharing personal experiences to educating us on how to become better allies to the community, ultimately creating a safer and more inclusive environment for all."
Since the campaign, Lush and NCTE have continued to collaborate to this day. The National Center for Transgender Equality remains proud to have partnered with Lush on this campaign.