Lush Cosmetics wants happy staff and a happy planet

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LUSH is a beauty delicatessen known for its fresh, handmade and inventive cosmetics loaded with the finest natural ingredients with over 840 shops in over 51 countries worldwide. It offers unique bath and beauty products, skin and hair care, personalised customer service, little to no packaging, environmental activism and a fun and funky store atmosphere. This year, Lush has been recgonised as an ABA100 Winner for Employer of Choice and Sustainability in The Australian Business Awards 2014.

LUSH has a range of unique initiatives in place to ensure employee satisfaction, involvement and development – nothing they do is considered more important than hiring and developing the right people. LUSH actively campaigns on sometimes-controversial issues and engages staff opinions to ensure it’s an issue that staff support and are passionate about. Two of LUSH’s most recent campaigns – marriage equality and the unethical treatment of asylum seekers – were suggested by staff.

At LUSH, store managers are seen as independent business managers, not sales managers, and are fully responsible for all aspects of their stores. Employee education and training is tailored to the needs of the individual. This focus on the individual is carried through in half-yearly performance appraisals that start with a STAY interview – the complete opposite of the exit interview. It is an opportunity for the employee to give feedback about the way they are managed, their challenges and their satisfaction levels alongside discussing their future training needs and career. All staff receive a generous 50% off all products, acting as a thank you for their passion for the brand. All Lush products are handmade, which means as the company expands they employ more people, not more machines.

LUSH takes environmental responsibility very seriously and acts on its environmental commitment through several initiatives. All products are handmade locally with fresh ingredients and as little packaging as possible. Each product labelled with the exact date that it was made, along with the person who made it. LUSH never tests products or ingredients on animals. An official Green Policy acts as a company pledge to ensue current and future sustainability improvements in all areas of the business. The LUSH Prize is awarded annually to focus pressure on safety testing for consumer products and awards prizes for Science, Training, Lobbying, Public Awareness, and Young Researchers.

In 2007, LUSH created the body lotion product, Charity Pot, whereby 100% of the purchase price goes towards supporting humanitarian, environmental and animal rights causes. In the past six months, LUSH Australia has donated over $70,000 to 14 different grassroots organisations.  Ethical in-store campaigns and vegetarian catered lunches for meeting also help to define the company as true environmental ambassador in the industry.