LUSH: the most impressive touchpoints of the pioneer in the “unpackaged” theme

The couple Mo and Mark Constantine founded Lush in 1995 with four other friends. The headquarters are in Poole in the English county of Dorset. Today, Lush has over 900 stores worldwide. In 2019 alone, the label said it produced 1.9 million shampoo bars. The first soap molds were made from pipes, gutters and cat litter boxes. Today, Lush is a leading pioneer in “unpackaged.” Most famous, however, are the bath bombs invented by Mo Constantine in 1989.

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1. Lush store1

The store design is based on an upcycling concept. All shelves, presentation surfaces and furniture are made of recycled wood. The products are presented in small stalls like at a weekly market. Characteristic are the openly displayed circular soap blocks, from which pieces are cut as if from a wheel of cheese and charged by weight. The interior design is said to be inspired by a London cheese store and greengrocer’s stores. Slate boards serve as price and product information signs. Another feature is the scent of the open products. LUSH places special emphasis on a unique shopping experience. In the stores it is possible to try all products. Lush has 38 stores in Germany. Worldwide, there were about 930 branches in 2020. The largest Lush branch is located in Liverpool on 1300 square meters. The store includes a variety of innovative offers and activities, including a florist, a perfume library, a fair trade coffee kiosk and an activist community area.

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2. The bath bomb2

The fast fizzing bath bomb was invented in 1989 by Mo Constantine, co-founder of LUSH, in her garden shed. Creatively packaged, these single-layered, new and exciting products turned bath time on its head. Patented bath bombs with multiple layers changed the bathing experience. Today, there are 22 different bath bombs to choose from in the regular assortment. The “Butterball” bath bomb has been with the label since its inception. “The ‘bath bombs’ category has been the top-selling category worldwide in Germany behind ‘hair’ in the last twelve months.” Incidentally, the world’s best-selling bath bomb is the “Intergalactic” with grapefruit oil and peppermint oil.

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3. Campaigns3

Lush is known for incisive campaigns. The so-called Charity Pot is available for the promotion of hot topics. Groups, aid initiatives and people with a lot of commitment can then apply for funding. The groups are free to decide whether or not they want to talk about the sponsor. The focus is on three key areas: human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare. Lush uses its stores as a discussion platform. Hundreds of stores in the best business locations around the world are a huge potential, especially for smaller groups that otherwise cannot find a mouthpiece.

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4. Naked products4

As one of the first cosmetics companies, Lush has been offering shampoos and bath balls in solid form without any packaging since the 1990s, and the range of unpackaged products is now huge. The solid care products are offered in bulk in the Lush stores, and soap bars can sometimes be cut to the desired size. After buying, you take the goods home in recycled paper bags. The company regularly develops new solid products without packaging: in the meantime, for example, face oil, lipstick and perfume are also available in solid form. Many of the packaged creams, lotions and masks are offered in small black plated pots – these are made of recycled PP, taken back by Lush and recycled back into new containers in a closed loop. The „Bring it back – Recycle program“ will also start in Germany from March 2022. For each returned packaging that is part of the program, you can have 50 cents credited to your Lush purchase.

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5. Online appearance5

Lush is one of the best practice examples when it comes to branding. At the center of everything they do are key performance indicators. It’s not about selling bath products and lipstick, but about revolutionizing an industry that they believe is unsustainable. The “Our Values” page highlights the six guidelines by which the company lives and dies. The items in the online store contain, in addition to the product image, a header image in GIF format that plays the application of the product when called. A classic product description is dispensed with in the online store. Instead, the cosmetics manufacturer engages in professional storytelling. On the social media channels, Lush not only posts articles about products, but also relies on the community. People interact with Lush’s content, share it and spread the message and mission.

Image sources:

1. Lush store | Pxhere

2. The bath bomb | Photo by writerelh | Pixabay

3. Campaigns | Ted Eytan

4. Naked products | Ted Eytan

5. Online appearance | Photo by Brandification