Lush’s Naked Revolution comes to Manchester
Our co-founder, Suzie Hall, attended the opening of the new Lush Naked on Market Street, Manchester. After chatting to the staff and one of the product inventors, we were wholeheartedly impressed with the new packaging-free store and the ethos behind it. Have a read of what we discovered.
For over two decades, Lush has been one of the leading names in innovative cosmetics. Engaged in a constant feedback loop with their customers, they continually experiment with new fusions and ideas to bring the best in beauty to the streets. Following the success of Lush Naked in Milan and Berlin: last Friday saw the opening of the UK’s first 100% packaging-free cosmetics store, in Manchester - and we absolutely love it. Not only are the new ‘naked’ products as delicious as you’d expect; but Lush have once again raised the bar for environmental awareness within the industry. So hop to it, Manchester, and join the naked revolution!
Naked to the core
We spoke to one of Lush’s product inventors, Alessandro Commisso, about the new innovations in this UK first all-naked store. “Naked is part of our DNA here at Lush. Since day one, we have wanted to create a more natural experience in an industry that spends more money on the packaging than the actual product inside. Our naked products and stores are a celebration of how far we’ve come since we started, so this is a really big day for us.”
The new store contains all of your essentials: from bath bombs and bubble bars, to solid shampoos and conditioners, body lotions and beyond. Some are old favourites revamped and redesigned into solid form; whilst others are brand new innovations like the Naked Skincare range. “For us, it is not simply trying to make a solid version of everything that is liquid,” says Ale. “If people want more essential oils in their bath, we don’t simply make solid essential oils; we create a whole new experience in bath bombs, oils or bubble bars, to name a few. Committing to going naked has opened up so many opportunities for us to get creative!”
So what’s new?
One of the most exciting developments is a world first: a completely vegan, naked skincare range. Launching across all stores, not just in Manchester, Lushies will have their pick of products from facial oils to cleansing balms and under-eye masks. They will also still honour their ‘black pots policy’: bring back five black pots and receive one facial cleanser for free. There are a few more deodorants to try, which contain no metals or antiperspirants, much to your pores’ delight. Their highlighting ‘glow sticks’ can be bought packaging-free, and the naked shampoos give you more bang for your buck. One of the most pleasing additions is the ‘Corktainer’ - a reusable container for your solid bars, as an alternative to the metal tins. Supporting regenerative projects in Portugal, the new cork tins are responsibly produced and can be safely returned to the earth once they’ve lived out their Lushious lives.
Synthetics and preservatives are constantly being taken out of Lush’s products. Shampoo bars are completely SLS-free, instead using Sodium Coco Sulphate derived from the coconut. Their soap base is also 100% palm-oil free, and soaps are now cut to size to minimise wastage.
Ocean-friendly through and through
Not a single piece of disposable packaging in sight. Not one. Reusable boxes crafted from old coffee cups and cardboard, regenerative cork containers and knot wraps spun from plastic bottles or upcycled clothing: Lush Naked is exceptionally environmentally savvy. Every product can be taken home, used, and its container brought back and refilled for more.
Even their glitter - made from synthetic mica - is designed with the planet in mind. Although natural mica is abundant and sustainably grown, child labour is often used in the production and harvesting of mica used in cosmetics. So Lush have taken to their labs and designed their own synthetic version which eventually breaks down into earth-safe byproducts; unlike its glittery microplastic counterparts. Oh, and thanks to a happy scientific accident - it’s also much shinier, too.
Sustainability is so last season
One word that kept occurring on my tour of the new store: regenerative. “We are very proud of the way we source our raw materials,” Ale explains. “Simply sustaining the cork or the cocoa plantation is not enough; you should be able to put back more than what you take out.” Lush work very closely with their suppliers to cut out the middlemen, give more money to the local communities and leave an overall positive impact in the places where they work. To name but a few, Lush’s regenerative cooperatives can be found in India, Morocco, Colombia and Damascus. So move over, sustainability, and let regeneration projects pave the way to a more wholesome cosmetic future.
There you have it - Lush Naked in a nutshell. For anyone worried that their favourite products have been replaced, there is still the store in the Arndale Centre where you can find your old reliables. There are currently no plans to open more Naked stores in the UK (or if there are, they are super top-secret); so enjoy your moment in the nude, Manchester!
Photos © Lush unless stated otherwise.