This week has been a week for firsts and it kicked off with an invitation to my first ever PR event courtesy of the lovely team at Lush Cardiff. Now I am not a huge Lush shopper usually but it seemed so fitting that the company that first got me thinking about conscious consumerism would be the first company to invite me to an event, so I couldn’t say no!
Lush do something that many other companies struggle to do and that is bring big conversations and great causes on to the high street for the masses to see. With an amazing push on their ‘naked’ product range that provides a packaging free alternative for an enormous percentage of their collection it is incredible to see what you can now purchase and their innovation should set an example to all.
Whilst I personally don’t agree with all of their ingredient choices, and as many of you will know, I will always try to avoid unnecessary toxins and chemicals when I can, I decided to set myself a little challenge… Was there a way I could shop in these iconic stores whilst sticking to the core Pretty Green Life principles – NO Unnecessary Packaging, NO Parabens, NO Sodium Lauryl Sulphates, Vegan Friendly.
(*SPOILER* Yes, I can!)
So with this in mind I was welcomed into the warmth along with a gorgeous group of other local bloggers, to jugs filled with fresh fruit and water and a feast for the eyes as colours and smells take over the store. Christmas carols played in the background as the staff jumped straight in guiding us around the shop, showing off all of the latest creations to grace the shelves. Demonstrations filled every sink and stations set up to create your own bath bombs and cleansers kept everyone busy, whilst upstairs in the spa a sanctuary of calm greeted us with tea brewing and mini treatments galore.
As I wandered around the store, I made a beeline for the display of reusable knot wraps and fell in love with a collection of gorgeous prints created by Atelier Element Present, an art studio based in Japan working with artists and designers with Down’s Syndrome. These wraps make not only a perfect gift in their own right but they are a brilliant alternative to traditional wrapping papers that can’t be recycled. (Check out Lush’s website for a brilliant video on how to fold them in to all sorts of creative bags and bows!)
Steering away from bath bombs, (I know I know it’s hard to do, but I promise delve into the rest of the shop’s offerings and you’ll discover some real treats!) I started exploring the shelves of bodycare and loved seeing so many package free options in the new range, the sweet Satsuma soap that could be popped into the bottom of a stocking, the Buck’s Fizz and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioners that smell PHENOMENAL, and met all my challenge criteria, and the shelves of gourmet soaps that have incredible, inspiring stories to tell of women’s cooperatives in Morrocco, olive oil farmers in Palestine and crops in Fukushima that are helping to regenerate the land for future farming.
It’s clear that there is so much more to this company than fluorescent baths of foaming technicolor, there are products that really challenge the beauty industry, that take social responsibility seriously and that focus on giving a voice to suppliers, farmers, artisans and causes that otherwise might not have one. Whilst I would still advise that you always check the labels, I am so happy to have been able to shop sustainably in the store that started it all for me, without compromising my own consumer ethics. So here is a big thank you to Lush, to the PR team for inviting little old me to such a gorgeous evening and to the staff at the Cardiff branch for taking the time to answer all our questions and shower us with treats. Christmas is calling and I’ll be sure to not leave it so long before my next visit.
Have you shopped in Lush recently? Spotted anything in the new collection you love? I’d love to hear all your thoughts so be sure to pop them in the comments