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How Lush does Handmade Christmas Gifts

Finding the perfect Christmas gift sets can be tricky. But luckily, Lush’s gift team is always up for the challenge. Large or small, each Lush gift is carefully thought out and crafted, from the handmade treats nestled inside, to the final tie of the bow.

When it comes to the most wonderful time of the year, we all want to ensure that whatever we present receives a warm response. The aim is that by paying extra special attention to every aspect, from box to bath, the lucky recipient will have an extra incentive to keep the boxes, reuse the wrapping paper or upcycle the ribbons. We’re not manufacturing throwaway fillers, but keepsakes that we hope will be treasured.

Handmade on your behalf

From inspiration trips to gathering a team of eager artists from around the business, a lot goes into ensuring that every gift is given the attention it deserves. To inspire this year’s winter range, the team went to Liseberg Christmas amusement park in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Suzie Hackney, creative director of the gifts team, says: “The first thing that caught our eye was the map of the market. We thought, ‘This could be cool - how could we create a Lush world with the Christmas range?’ So we set ourselves quite a big task.”

But no task is too big when you have a group of talented designers waiting in the wings. Once the team was in place, they set to work to imagine a winter collection that was sure to captivate.

The art of collaboration

Tins, tubes, hatboxes; it’s not only the artwork of a gift that takes careful consideration. Sometimes it isn’t until a design is done and dusted that a decision is made as to what type of packaging it will become. Take Santa’s Grotto. As the design progressed, so did the image of the finished product. Emma Caswell shares: 

“At first, we didn’t know what it would become. We had Josh Constantine, Lush graphic designer, work on the design. He developed the Santa and chair and really transformed it into a scene. It was at that point that we thought ‘actually, this would look really cool on a tin’”.

If traditional with a twist is what you’re after, Golden Pear takes the prize. What makes this gift extra special is the gold foiling and overall texture of the wrapping. 

“A lot of work went into trying different materials for this gift, but we really felt that cotton rag paper worked best. And it really does complete the gift,’ says Emma.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas and so it was also important that not all gifts explicitly said Christmas. Emma explains: “Some people like to buy our festive collection for other occasions too. So Starbright is great because there is no reference to Christmas at all.” 

To tag or not to tag?

The gifts team is always looking for ways to reduce packaging. Suzie explains: “What we're looking to do now is reduce the waste quite considerably by having no tags or ribbon on some of our gifts. So that's why we’ve created the Lens gifts.” 

If you haven’t been introduced, the Lush Labs App has a feature called Lens, which can scan any naked product or Lens gift and give you all the information you may want to know about it, from the materials used to the ingredients inside.

Kaleidoscope is not only a Lens gift, but it’s also interactive. Emma says: “This was a really fun gift to work on. The tube is actually split into three different sections. As you twist, the foil behind gives the same illusion as those old kaleidoscopes you could look into and see all the shapes and colours changing before your eyes.”

Big Bang was created a little later on in the collection when the team saw an opportunity to have a play with a different style of box. 

Emma shares: “I loved designing this gift. The customer will not only enjoy the luxurious, vintage design and weight of the box, but also the reveal of all the beautiful bath products inside.” 

What’s more, the matchbox style makes it perfect for storing Christmas decorations. 

“With locking tabs on both sides, there’s no need for sticky tape. And the box is completely recyclable,” Emma says.

“The main thing that goes into creating a collection is how we can reduce, reuse or recycle afterwards. Of course, we want all of our boxes to be kept and treasured, but if the customer doesn’t want to do that, at least they have the option to recycle.” 

Packaging with principles

“So much of the wrapping people buy at Christmas is made from plastic, especially the really shiny ones,” says Suzie. 

If you tend to be left flummoxed by what to do with all that wrapping paper after all the presents have been unveiled, she and the team suggest the scrunch test: “If you can scrunch it and it stays scrunched, it means you can recycle it. If it springs back open, it’s non-recyclable.”

But fear not, all of Lush’s paper is recyclable and reusable. Not only that, you’ll find some gift wrap made from unexpected materials that would otherwise go to waste - such as banana fibre, made in Zambia, and Lokta paper made from T-shirt off-cuts in India.

Want to minimise the packaging even further? Luckily enough, we’ve thought of that too. This year we present you with a gift wrap like never before, such as the Naughty and Nice bath bomb holder, expertly crafted to fit your chosen bath bombs perfectly, and then ready for you to get crafty with and either reuse afterwards. 

Not just for Christmas

Perhaps what you really want is for the wrapping on the gift you present to be kept forever or regifted in the future? With Knot Wraps, you’re covered. Originally a tradition in Japan, this fabric wrapping is reusable and eliminates the need for throw-away packaging. At Lush, you’ll find Knot Wraps made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, and vintage materials. There are endless reasons to Knot Wrap, and, celebrating 10 years of Knot Wrapping at Lush, we’ve been able to see the positive impact it has on the environment. Since 2009, 47,000 kilograms of vintage scarves have been upcycled.

With Christmas 2019 fast approaching, incredibly it will soon be time to start thinking about next year’s festive selection boxes. Is it possible to be Christmassed out? According to Suzie, no. 

She explains: “It never gets boring. We only have about four months off Christmas every year, but once you see the range in the shop again in September it’s exciting - you wonder what people are going to like. And then you have more learnings for next time.”

The dedication the gifts team puts into every gift means that all you have to do is choose the one you think your loved one will appreciate the most. Thanks to the time, passion and precision that goes into every range, you can be safe in the knowledge that whichever gift you choose will be ethically sound, and gratefully received. 

Take your pick of this year's limited edition gifts here

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