Sustainable Packaging Practices at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG081
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1995-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Industry : Beauty Care / Cosmetics / Retail
Countries : Europe, USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Lush was founded by Constantine and Mo in 1995. Constantine was a trichologist by training. He developed an interest in make-up at the age of 14, but as there were limited opportunities for male make-up artists during that time, he trained in hairdressing and trichology at the Institute of Trichologists.

After a stint at an Elizabeth Arden hairdressing salon, and some free-lance assignments with some of London's premier hair salons, he established a beauty business called Constantine and Weir Plc (C&W) with his friend Elizabeth Weir (Weir) in 1976. ..

Business Ethics Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Ethics, Case Studies

Selling 'Naked' Products

Lush offered a variety of products in skin care, bath and body care, off-beat gift ideas, etc. All the products were handmade. Lush used minimal packaging for its products. For instance, it sold solid bars of shampoos and deodorants. Soaps were wrapped in greaseproof paper while products like bubble bars and ballistics had no packaging at all. The products could be carried home in paper bags. It used color-codes to distinguish between organic products and natural products. “Green” signified natural and organic, “red” was natural, and “black” signified safe synthetics. As of 2006, almost 65 percent of Lush's products came with no packaging at all. This effectively differentiated Lush from other retailers...

Popcorn Packaging

Lush, which also ran a mail order catalogue, had to ship large quantities of its products safely to its customers without compromising on its commitment to the environment. It was always trying to improve its containers and packaging materials so that they could be reused more number of times or/and would break down faster after use. Companies generally used polystyrene chips or shredded paper as loose fill while shipping their products to keep the delicate items intact. In 2007, while investigating potential packaging materials that would be more eco-friendly, Lush hit upon the idea of using popcorn...

A Campaign Against Packaging

In mid-July 2007, Lush started a nationwide campaign in the UK, billed the 'Get Naked'campaign, against excessive packaging by the industry. According to Lush, the campaign was aimed at highlighting the excessive use of packaging in the retail industry and to protect the environment. As part of the campaign, employees of various Lush stores wore just aprons to show that packaging was unimportant and urged its customers and passers-by to 'go naked'by purchasing products with no packaging...

 Excerpts Contd...>>

6] Delicatessen is a shop that sells ready-to-eat food products.

7] Word-of-mouth advocacy (or WOM marketing or buzz marketing) is a term used by marketers and advertisers to describe activities that companies undertake to generate personal recommendations as well as referrals for brand names, products, and services.


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