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Lush Gets Political With Its Endeavors

When you shop, you could be helping make a political statement without even knowing it. For example, the owners of Amway donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, and in a new profile of Mark Constantine, the founder of Lush, we discover that in the past year alone, Lush has donated more than $1 million to environmental groups.

But these aren't just "hey, um, it would be nice if you would recycle" do-gooders; some are more progressive groups such as Sea Shepherd, a maritime conservation organization that favors direct-action protests. (They've attacked whaling ships, earning support from the Dalai Lama in doing so.) "I hate the criminalisation of the environmental movement," Constantine says. "These people are vilified as eco-terrorists, when what they're doing is a selfless act."

To raise money, Lush has introduced a variety of products to support its causes. It's recently introduced Jungle Soap, a palm-free soap whose proceeds benefit the Rainforest Foundation; 100 percent of the retail price of its Charity Pot body lotion goes to groups that (among other things) create sustainable farming in Mali, support UNICEF's Unite for Children campaign, and send used bikes to developing countries. In general, I prefer to shop at stores that are transparent about where my money might be going; it makes me feel good to know that my purchase could support a cause I believe in. (Conversely, if I found out that a company sends profits to, I don't know, the Campaign for Kitten-Shaving, I'd stop shopping there.) Are you the same way?

Advah Advah 8 years
Thanks for the clarification, Buro. :)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
And, while I do try to shop locally, you'll find that many small business owners tend to support Republicans, so if you want to stay away from supporting conservative causes, it may be best not to shop at small businesses. This may be different for you, Bella, since you're in such a heavily liberal city.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Good points, buro. The only place where I will NEVER shop is Citgo. I won't get my gas there. (Well, I don't drive, but back when I was driving.)
kulikuli kulikuli 8 years
Hey Baila and Advah, if you check out Bella's site, Open Secrets, You'll find out the Presidents and Executives of Forever 21 donated to both democratic and republican parties. This is one argument however that can never be solved, anything to do with politics will always be controversial to someone. ~For me, i shop at Lush because i love their products. My employer, giving me my paycheck, may not agree with the charities i support, but guess what, it's my money and i can do what i want with it. I believe the same goes for Mr.Constantine or anyone else for that matter. And if you think you're taking a stand by not shopping there, anywhere else whether it be a major chain or local independent owner, someone will be using the profits from your purchases to donate to whatever they wish, even as an individual donor without you knowing, your not gonna get around that. You are supporting a cause through your purchases whether you like it or not. FYI- Chik-Fil-A is an example of a huge supporter of Focus on the Family, a huge evangelical parachurch organization. I'm not Christian, i have family who is Muslim, yet we all eat at Chik-Fil-A. Their chicken is good, whatever they support and believe in. It's all around you.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Open Secrets is a nonpartisan group that tracks political donations. Some companies are up front about what they do with their money; others aren't. Other times, a CEO might be politically active (the CEO of Borghese is the co-chair of the RNC's finance committee, but Borghese the company doesn't donate to the RNC). I definitely "vote with my dollars" as often as possible. I haven't bought anything at a certain mega-mart in 10+ years and this past weekend, I bought my bicycle from the local shop rather than the chain store — even though it cost $10 more. In general, the more you can shop locally, get to know the store owners, etc, the better off you'll be.
grlykool grlykool 8 years
I don't support terrorist eco or of any other kind. I don't shop at Amway (or Dominoes) and I won't shop at Lush. I got rid of my car, and we are going to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle next year (Ford Fiesta or something). I work hard for public transportation, again bc I do not want to support terrorist. I think most people just pay lip service to things though, if Americans were really serious about not supporting terrorist they would make certain big companies find ingredients for their products from other places. There is a product that most people buy everyday that where one of the smaller ingredients comes form a pretty iffy place. I'm not going to say the name of the ingredient or the product but I will say there are only 2 things Snopes is wrong on and they both relate to this company (the company isn't bad btw).
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I'm on the fence. I definitely agree with you two, carlie and BellaEdward. And, it doesn't matter to me if these ships are breaking the law. I mean, it matters, but it doesn't make me think that attacking them in any more right. These groups should use legal means to attack the ships and I think a lot more people would be sympathetic to their cause if they did so. And, FYI to everyone, most companies' PACs give to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, so if you refuse to patronize anyone who has given to a cause with which you disagree, you're going to find yourself with very few places to shop.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
Where can I find Lush? I'm totally on board with supporting green causes and eco-charities, among other charities too. And while I may not agree with some of the more outlandish protests of groups like Sea Shepherd, what they are trying to prevent is way more harmful than what they are doing. Bella, is there a website(s) where we can find out if items we buy/stores we shop at donate to political groups/charities and which ones they are?
Advah Advah 8 years
Baila - I didn't know about Domino's and F21, do you have any more details please?? And I absolutely agree. I think it's important we're aware of what we're doing when we do something as simple as buying a shampoo. A few years ago I took the time to look at cosmetic brands in details, and now I try my best to only buy products from brands that for instance don't test on animals or don't support conservative causes.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
I refused to eat at a restaurant for two years because they had Amway soap in the bathroom
Beauty Beauty 8 years
FWIW, the Japanese commercial whaling ships are breaking the law. So I'd rather side with the pro-animal group than people who are hunting endangered species against international law.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Absolutely. I don't buy pizza from Domino's or shop at Forever 21 because they give to right-wing causes and politicians - and conversely, I do my best to shop frequently at places like Lush that support causes to which I am sympathetic.
aSunnyGirl123 aSunnyGirl123 8 years
i do not support attacking ships, but the Jungle Soap idea sounds good, it's not a bad or harmful thing to help the rain forest
BellaEdward4ever BellaEdward4ever 8 years
"I hate the criminalisation of the environmental movement," Constantine says. "These people are vilified as eco-terrorists, when what they're doing is a selfless act." ' that seriously pisses me off. I won't even go into my environmental opinions here because I'll get ripped apart, but I'll just say that they are exactly the opposite of what he believes. holier-than-thou people make me want to shoot myself. I never shopped at Lush, but now I know that I will not.
carlierae26 carlierae26 8 years
At least they're up front about who they donate to. I guess I won't be shopping at Lush anymore. I do not condone or support anyone that promotes eco-terrorism. How more hypocritical can you be?
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Not so big on the political donations but charities I don't mind supporting
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