We're opening doors in more ways than one. After months of build up, product innovation and cryptic tweets (we’re looking at you, Mark Constantine), the largest Lush Shop in the world opened its doors to you all on the 24th April 2015. Step into wonderland, no ruby slippers required.
Committed to innovation
When hopping over the threshold of Lush Oxford Street, you will be forgiven for momentarily thinking you have fallen down a rabbit hole. Staff who had a sneak peak prior to the grand opening, were treated to the delights of all three floors filled with skin care, hair care, bath bombs, bubble bars, shower rubs, scrubs and gels. With colour greeting you from every angle, co-founder Mark Constantine’s vibrant shirt had to fight valiantly for attention amidst the sea of shiny new things, while Lush co-founder and product inventor, Helen Ambrosen, confessed that she and her fellow co-founders kept ‘having a moment. ’
There are three levels to explore, and with the ground floor hosting an array of new ranges including shampoos, styling creams, face masks, showders, make up, gourmet soaps, shower gels, scrubs and tooth powders, it’s easy to waste a good hour or two simply getting stuck into the products there. Try a treatment out in the on-site Hair Lab, find your perfect lipstick and pose for a picture in the #selfie mirror and delve into the vast variety of new soaps at the fresh counter. Because we really do take bathing to another level, you head upstairs for an explosion of bath bombs, bubbles, oils and Fun. There are plenty of innovative new products (exclusive to Oxford Street for now) to create your perfect bath cocktail with, and a designated area for a little competitive Fun modelling.
To feel a little more zen, a sign on the ground floor invites you to ‘Calm Down’ the steps to the underground spa, perfume and massage section. Here you can sample the finest fragrances and wind down with rich, cocoa buttery massage bars for a little taste of what the spa might hold….
A music station allows you to block out the world for a few moments. It is here you can listen to spa soundscapes or sample a selection of artists signed to ECC100 and ECC Records. Curated by Mark Constantine and Lush music guru Simon Emmerson, this eclectic collection of artists takes in a wide range of genres and sounds. ECC Records is home to a diverse bunch of stunning folk musicians while ECC100 serves up beautiful platters of vinyl housed in bespoke artwork with companion USB cards to take home and treasure forever.
Committed to campaigning
Lush's ongoing battle for animal welfare formed an integral part of the day, with staff taking the opportunity to mark the pre-launch of the Oxford Street shop with a new campaign. Passionate staff members and campaigners from animal welfare groups, Common Decency, The League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid, united at the shop and proceeded to march through the iconic streets of London in animal masks and suffragette dress. Holding banners demanding ‘Votes For Animals,’ the campaigners wound their way towards Downing Street, while stewards handed out rosettes and asked voters in May 2015's general election to lobby MPs about their stance on animal rights.
Standing on a soapbox step outside Parliament, musician and animal rights advocate, Brian May, rallied the campaigners: ‘“I believe Britain should be built on compassion and for the last five years there has been no compassion for any species other than humans. Only once every five years do we get the chance to give animals a voice, and we will vote on May 7th for animals and common decency.” Lush Ethics Director, Hilary Jones, added her voice to the protest, saying, “What goes on in that building behind us affects every aspect of our lives. Animals’ lives are controlled by the people in that building and they live and die according to the same people. Please help them.”
A dedicated Oxford Street events space offers a platform for speakers who share the same values as our staff and customers. The first to take to the stage after the Votes For Animals March was actor and animal rights advocate, Peter Egan, who took the opportunity to question party spokesmen on their stance on animal rights in the run up to the 2015 General Election. Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Barry Gardiner, Green Party spokesman and veterinary surgeon, Caroline Allen, UKIP counsellor, Tom Bursnall, and Liberal Democrat spokesperson and House of Lords peer, Baroness Kathryn Parminter all took part in voicing their various policies and answering questions from the audience and twitter users.
Conservative party member, Lorraine Platt, who founded Blue Fox (an organisation lobbying Conservative repeal of the Hunting Act 2003), also had the opportunity to speak, in absence of another Conservative candidate (which Peter Egan had a few things to say about). The following fiery and informative debate was certainly food for thought with the audience taking no prisoners and Twitter questions coming in thick and fast.
Committed to the Lush Community
This first of our innovative new shops is about being more interactive than ever before. We want you to be able to get products in demo baths, feel them on the skin, try them in the Hair Lab and treat your senses to an experience in our Spa. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, tell us what you want to see in our Soapbox corner, what you want to see on our shelves and what you want us to do in the next decade to come. We celebrate the opening of our largest, most innovative retail space yet, not with a whimper but with a bang.
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