I’ve been feeling poorly. Nyee nyee nyee, I can hear the violins already.
But help was at hand, my lovely wife brought me home some goodies, namely comfort food and a bath bomb from Lush (not doing much for my manliness rating here am I?).
Moving on. I like Lush’s packaging. I like the whole outfit. If you’re not familiar with the brand,its shops are full of stuff for the bath, I’ve no idea what any of it does, but it all looks and smells good enough to eat. The products are hand-made, packaged in eco-friendly materials and then each one is finished with a little cartoon of the person who made it. On top of this, none of the products are tested on animals, and they do not source materials from firms that do.
The staff are bouncy and friendly, and manage to hit the right balance between being helpful when you look lost (they can see me coming a mile off) and being intrusive when you know what you’re doing; my wife is a dab hand who can differentiate between a block of hair soap and regular soap at twenty paces .
The bath bomb arrived in a paper bag featuring a fairly wordy declaration of Lush’s beliefs:
…in making effective products from fresh* organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.
We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.
We invent our own products and fragrances, we make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients and tell you when they were made.
We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.
We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.
We believe our products are good value, that we should make a profit and that the customer is always right.
*We also believe words like ‘Fresh’ and ‘Organic’ have an honest meaning beyond marketing.
(Disclaimer: I didn’t painstakingly retype it; I cribbed it from the Lush website, sorry, I’m ill). I’m often against long texts on packaging but this is spot on. The copy is aspirational without becoming cheesy, and whimsical enough to make it easy to read.
It won’t appeal to everyone, but I doubt it will turn anyone off, and as consumers become more concerned with the ethics of their purchases, a statement like this will carry a lot of weight with the green shopper.
A fellow blogger Martha Flatley writes of Lush: “I really think this is probably one of my all time favorite companies if not my favorite. Their story is fascinating. I wish there was a book about them, but since there isn’t, some articles and interviews with Mark Constantine, the founder, have to suffice. Wish I had invented Lush.”
Lots of brands are capitalising on bringing ethical products to the mass market, either directly like Anita Roddick’s groundbreaking Body Shop (one of the forerunners of Lush) or as labels like Fairtrade.
There’s a lot to be said for giving your customers products that not only make them feel good on the outside, but make them feel good on the inside too.