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Mark Constantine - Why Packaging Is Rubbish

At Lush we believe you should get what you pay for. 

We price our products carefully to reflect the cost of the ingredients inside. We don’t hike the price of our products year round to cover the cost of holding regular discount sales. We don’t have special offers, two-for-one tempters or free gifts. The only time we discount our products is our clearance sale of seasonal Christmas specials. We sincerely believe proper product advice and a personalised service can bring greater savings to a customer than gimmicky offers.

Most bathrooms are full of unwanted product bought in error because the packaging was eye-catching or there was a tempting offer at the shop. All of them bought from endless aisles carrying a bewildering array of products. With nothing to guide you but generic packaging descriptions, you get home and find it’s not what you had hoped or that it doesn’t suit your skin, hair or lifestyle. You end up with bathroom cabinets, window sills and shelves full of unwanted stuff, taking a pit-stop in your bathroom on its way to landfill.

Providing personal service is the best environmental practice. If we can get you connected to the appropriate product for your needs, you get really good value for money, we get a regular customer, the consumption of unneeded product falls and money is no longer wasted.

It’s an old fashioned idea of service that we have always practised at Lush. We listen to your needs to find out how you like your skin and hair to feel, to learn how and when you like to bathe or shower, and then recommend the products that are best for you. This style of service fell out of use with the rise of self-service and supermarkets. Personalised shopping gave way to aisles of products that customers have to browse and choose from, with only as many words as can be crammed onto the packaging as the guide to which product would best suit them.

We went back to basics at the start of Lush - we stripped away the packaging and we put larger numbers of highly knowledgeable staff on the shop floor, to bring back the art of conversation and specialised service.

Some time ago a TV company asked us to cost a typical shower gel for a consumer programme. In doing this it became obvious that the packaging was a larger part of the manufacturing cost than the contents, and that the bottle label and lid cost more than twice the shower gel itself.

With very little packaging, solid products like bubble bars, soap, bath bombs and massage bars need very little to protect or contain them. This is what makes Lush different:

Bottled products contain a lot of water, which is cheap to buy.

Naked products contain effective ingredients that cost more.

Not using expensive packaging gives us a big saving.

So we can invest that into extra staff and training.

No water helps make the product self-preserving…

Neither you or the earth want a lot of worrying preservatives.

We use Fair Trade, natural and organic ingredients.

This puts the cost up.

We spend the savings making high quality fragrances.

This means using essential oils, absolutes and concretes.

We went back to basics at the start of Lush - we stripped away the packaging and we put larger numbers of highly knowledgeable staff on the shop floor, to bring back the art of conversation and specialised service.

Comments (10)


about 10 months ago

Have you thought about having 'refillable' products... those in plastic black tubs and bottles. You have enough staff to operate an old fashioned weigh out system that uses dispensers or 'scoop' systems to refill containers the customer brings back. Like this local shop to me http://www.preservefoods.co.uk/, although the website doesn't show the pictures of the dispensers unfortunately. I'm guessing your tubs are made from recycled plastic... but our city does not accept black plastic for recycling. Or are they biodegradeable?


about 1 year ago

nice one aliiii


about 2 years ago

(carrying on from my comment oops) Not only is this cutdown of packaging incredibly important to our environment but also makes us trust the brand more as lush's number one priority is the customers, not the profit! I love it.


about 2 years ago

I could not agree any more! One of the sole reasons why I would so love to work for lush. At lush you do not buy the brand, when you go into the shop you are buying the product! I am the queen of falling for gimmicky deals oo great 3 for two, but I only need one why am I buying 3?? I am constantly being ripped off (to my own fault yes) but when I go to lush I know I am paying for the product I NEED and the product alone not paying 3/4 of the price on some fancy bottle or tube that contains about a couple ml of product!


about 2 years ago

i received two items from lush as a present from Christmas, which were delivered to me, unopened. when i opened the box i was shocked to find that around 80%-90% of the box was non-biodegradable packing peanuts. The items were items that should not need as much packaging, as i has a shower jelly and a fun bar.

Lush Customer Care

about 2 years ago


Hello there, the 'non-biodegradable packing peanuts' you are talking about are something actually called EcoFlo which are made from 100% corn starch. So is 100% biodegradable and you can put it in your food waste bin or compost. for more information you can look at this article on our website:
https://uk.lush.com/article/go-flo - Alice


about 2 years ago

Are the sticky labels that you use on your packaging free of plastic?


about 3 years ago

THIS is the exact reason I should work for you lovely people!! I share your passion in delivering great customer service and believe whole heartedly in your products. Unfortunately even though you pay more than what I'm on now, my nearest store is too far for a daily commute, sadly. If you open a store in Rustington/Littlehampton anytime though... lol!

Lush Customer Care

about 3 years ago


Hi there! Lovely to speak to someone who shares our ethos! :) I'll pop in a new shop request for you! Stephen.

about 4 years ago

Sir , having been buying yr most excellent products since the old CTG days , I could not agree more
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