In the summer of 2007 Lush staff had a very cheeky day of campaigning against the over packaging of products - they went naked!
On the 12 July (at noon sharp!) in 55 cities in the UK, Lush staff took to the streets to raise awareness of the environmental crisis being brought on by the over packaging of products. It has only been in the past few years that people have become more aware of this issue and have really took recycling to heart and at the time it was a bold brave move.
Sustainability has always been at the heart of Lush and the media refused to listen about the growing environmental crisis but by going naked, like many of Lush's products, the brave Lush staff made the media sit up and take notice.
At the time of the campaign, the founder of Lush, Mark Constantine said “Packaging is rubbish and for too long we had had to suffer excessive amounts of it, now that the true financial and environmental costs are becoming obvious, customers are challenging manufacturers and retailers to cut the wrap. Companies like ours need to think out of the box and present customers with innovations that allow them to buy truly naked products”
Product packaging in 2006 was responsible for 2% of all greenhouse gases in and the manufacture of plastic used 8% of the world's oil resources. The UK alone produced 10 million tonnes of packaging waste, half of which was going to landfill. its easy to see why it was becoming a huge problem.
Though Lush saved 3 million plastic bottles from being made, transported and disposed of in 20006 because customers bought naked shampoo bars instead of liquid, packaged shampoo.
Lush shop management and staff dressed in nothing but aprons (!) printed with ”ask me why I’m naked on the front” gave out leaflets and spoke to press and the public about the over packaging of products and the contribution overpackaging was making to the environmental crisis. They explained how by buying only unpackaged products and keeping them unpackaged whenever possible that they could help to stop an impending environmental disaster.
They also enlightened the press and the public to the fact that they could leave excess packaging at the checkout in stores, ask for unpackaged goods to be made available and even report retailers to trading standards to ask that they take action against the offending products under the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003, that state that packaging weight and volume must be kept to the minimum amount necessary, making retailers aware that their customers were concerned about over packaged products.
The campaign coincided with the airing of a channel 4 programme presented by Mark Constantine called, ‘The Insider: Packaging is Rubbish’
Currently 38% of Lush products are available naked.