Freedom of movement builds a resilient business
To financially support our staff and reward their hard work, we need a business that will grow and develop for years to come - in reality, a very hard thing to do. Most businesses fail. Most businesses don't last a lifetime. Lush’s ethics will never justify short-term profit making over doing the right thing, so how do we not only survive but thrive?
We need to put the best people in the areas of the business where they will have the biggest impact. Artificial borders make it very difficult to do this. Without freedom of movement for people emigrating to the UK, Lush Manufacturing (one of the last UK retailers still manufacturing product here) will struggle to recruit the volume of people needed. This means we will struggle to produce the product required to meet sales volume.
Our UK factory is based in Poole where 45% of our current staff are British and 55% are not. Every August to December we employ an additional 1,400 people to meet Christmas demand and deeply value and depend on people from outside the UK filling these roles. With only 3,000 people in the entire Dorset county currently claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance, we otherwise have a very small pool of local people to fill these roles.
Freedom of movement creates a diverse and successful international staff base
A global business needs truly localised knowledge to align everything we do across the world, and so it’s crucial to have diverse international staff to advise on and deliver everything, from ethical campaigns to product launches. That doesn't mean simply picking up a Brit and moving them to another country. Speaking to customers around the world cannot be done with just one voice; it takes a village.
Global collaboration has kept the business fresh and evolving. There is so much we can learn from working with others, listening to alternative viewpoints and developing each other’s skills. Exchanging stories about different cultures and backgrounds can only make us more human; after all, we work in the business of people.
Freedom of movement enables us to look for people who are catalysts - the Mary Poppins and architects of the business - who will create new opportunities, support our values and embrace adventure, no matter where in the world that may be.
Written by Boo Beer, Aaron Mudd, Kat Hannible, Victoria Bradford Snell, Joe Craven and Patrick Lloyd.