Due to some fairly traumatic experiences at a cult-like Socialist/Zionist summer camp, I have a deep distrust of anything even vaguely hippy-dippy. The following phrases immediately arouse my suspicion: “all-natural”, “green”, “organic”, “holistic”, “the man”, “jam session”, and “goats”. (We raised our own goats at that summer camp. They smelled terrible and were unbelievably bad-tempered. God, I hate those goats.)
So no one was more surprised than I by my recent interest in UK brand Lush. All of Lush’s products are vegetarian (many are even vegan) and over 70% are all-natural*. Their hideous packaging is designed to be environmentally friendly and reduce waste. They are about as green as it gets. Nothing about Lush should appeal to me conceptually, and yet I squeal like a preteen at a Bieber concert every time I enter one of their stores.
Here’s why Lush succeeds where so many others have failed: the Lush experience is really, really fun. Being socially responsible and environmentally friendly are not usually particularly fun, unless “An Inconvenient Truth” was your idea of a good time. (No judgment if it was. Love me some Al.) Too often, beauty companies genuinely attempting to support good causes come off as overly earnest or even judgmental. Nobody wants to feel like they have to buy your organic shampoo out of guilt, or because you’ve put them on the verge of a nervous breakdown about global warming and the potentially tragic future of the polar bears. (This happens to me all the time, by the way. A good 15% of my time is spent silently freaking out about what’s going to happen to the polar bears. I’m pretty fun to be around, you guys.)
Lush manages to keep everything positive. The stores, which are set up like a fruit stand at a bazaar, are colorful and interactive. You can cut off your own chunk of soap, try on a cupcake-scented face mask, or set off a bath bomb. Lush wisely allows its products to speak for themselves rather than resorting to scare tactics. Who needs to threaten impending polar bear doom when you sell bath bombs that are shaped like robots and turn your bath water exciting colors? I have decided to honor Lush’s quality products and commendable marketing by dedicating this week to reviewing some of their Gorilla Perfume fragrances. Thank you, Lush, for putting the “fun” back in “the last polar ice cap will melt in 2042.”
What do you think about Lush, and about natural/green brands in general? Are you a fan of any of the Lush fragrances?