Lush Shutdown with Greta Thunberg

Beibhinn Thorsch

The cruelty-free beauty brand Lush temporarily shut the doors of over 250 of its stores to protest the climate emergency, inspired by the work of activist Greta Thunberg.

On the week of September 20th, 2019, a global week-long strike for climate change began. Called the Week for Future it was inspired by climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s movement #FridaysForFuture.

Thunberg began #FridaysForFuture in 2018, when she missed school to sit in the Swedish parliament to protest their inaction on climate change. She now says she will continue to strike every Friday until Swedish policies are updated to include a pathway to lowering emissions to be in line with the Paris Agreement.

On the #FridaysForFuture website, it states “Greta requests that people strike in front of their closest town hall, every Friday. With a sign, take a picture and post it with the hashtags”.

On September 20th Lush shut down its entire operations — factories, headquarters, and e-commerce — to mobilize more than 5,000 employees and take to the streets to demand action.

In a brand statement, Lush Cosmetics North America CEO and president Mark Wolverton said “As a business with deep roots in environmental activism, giving our thousands of staff the time to get out there and demand bold action is a no brainer…”

“… we need to band together to sound the alarm and show our politicians that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. Climate crisis won’t wait, and neither will we.”

Lush’s ethical campaign specialist Carleen Pickard, noted that the brand’s North American workers were deeply affected by climate change, saying “They have experienced hurricanes, wildfires, record-breaking heat waves,”.

The brand has made a strong name for itself as an honest and sustainable brand which continually works towards multiple goals to improve the climate impact of all of its products and manufacturing.

On the homepage of the Lush website it reads:

“Young people have recently taken the lead in climate awareness raising, with movements like SchoolStrikeForClimate, Fridays For Future, and Student Climate Network crying out for those responsible and those in power to deal with the crisis immediately without any more delay and give them back hope for their futures,”

It continues:

“There can be no call stronger than our children sincerely asking us to do the right thing. For this reason, Lush will stop our business-as-usual on Sept 20th for the Strike. Our tills will switch off, our shops will shut, our factories will come to a standstill. We hear our children and we stand with them.”

Lush uses solar power to offset 100 percent of its retail energy consumption. It is testing new technology that captures the carbon dioxide generated from bath bomb production and converts it into a safe, usable by-product.

Lush also produces an increasing number of packaging-free products, which now make up 52 percent of its core range. Lush’s 2018 shampoo bar sales saved more than 1,145 million recycled plastic bottles from being produced.

Lush is one of many brands who are getting involved in the global climate strike – as directed by Greta Thunberg.

Beibhinn Thorsch

image Credit: WikiMedia