Walking into a Lush store makes you feel like you’re wandering through a grocery store, with its brightly coloured bath and body products enticingly laid out as how you would see fruits and vegetables for sale.
And, immediately the smell hits you. The beautiful scents of an assortment of essential oils, flowers and fruits permeates the store.
Established 23 years ago, British high-street beauty retailer Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is finally here in Malaysia at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Known for its fizzing bath bomb, shower jellies, solid shampoo bars and solid toothpaste, Lush places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables, and the highest quality herbs, flowers and essential oils.
Lush was founded in 1995 by six co-founders; Mo Constantine, Mark Constantine, Rowena Bird, Helen Ambrosen, Liz Bennett and Paul Greeves. Their HQ remains in Poole, Dorset, and there are now 106 shops in the UK and over 900 worldwide in 49 countries.
“Lush is an activist brand and the business is based on four keys values, from being passionate about the brand and being considerate of animal welfare, human rights, environmental protection and digital rights, so all of the campaigns and activities that Lush does is based around these values,” says Karen Huxley, Global PR for Lush at the recent launch of Lush in Kuala Lumpur.
With a freshly made concept, Lush products are in store for only six months with some lasting longer.
“We encourage people to use a product while it’s fresh as the ingredients work better. It’s the same with food, you wouldn’t want to eat something out of date, so why would you want to put that on your skin?” Huxley says.
“We place orders weekly to ensure freshness of items in our store. Eventually, the cleansers and masks will be made locally so that will be totally fresh as well,” says Harvinder Harchand, director of Lush Malaysia.
To reduce freight time, Lush products for Malaysia comes from Japan.
Lush is known to be sold “naked” without packaging and Huxley explains that they prefer innovating something to be solid so that their money is better spent on ingredients and the brand doesn’t contribute to plastics polluting the oceans.
“All Lush products are handmade so we have a lot of people making the products very quickly. To meet with the demand we have 19 factories in the UK and seven other factories around the world,” says Steve Brackstone, whose name card designates him as “All Things To Everyone”.
“Where we have factories, we have an ethical buying team and they work together to visit our growers. We don’t have middle men, so we go direct to the supplier or source and build relationships with them,” Huxley says.
“We use ingredients from all over the world and we are one of the biggest buyers of essential oils so it makes business sense for us to work with a regenerative model because being sustainable isn’t really enough. If you are sustaining something it’s already a degraded system, be it environmentally or socially. Basically, we need to be able to put more back in,” Huxley explains.
She points out that they have projects around the world and in the UK alone they have 167 direct growers and suppliers, and each ingredient has a different story that one can read in the UK website.
Going forward Harvinder says, “We are looking at opening 10 to 15 Lush stores throughout Malaysia and possibly a Lush Spa, but it also depends on customers’ response.”
“You will also be happy to know that your money has gone towards helping communities around the world such as sending children to school or helping get women back into employment, and you have also funded something that is against animal cruelty.” says Huxley.