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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“Packaging is rubbish and for too long we have had to suffer excessive amounts of it. Now that the true financial and environmental costs are becoming obvious, customers are challenging manufacturers and retails to cut the wrap. Companies like ours need to think outside the box and present customers with innovations that allow them to buy truly naked products.”1

- Mark Constantine, Managing Director and Co-founder, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, in 2007.

“It isn't like The Body Shop, where products are packaged like normal cosmetics. It looks very natural and it seems to link health and wellness in too. The brand is very open and appears to be saying that it has nothing to hide.”2 , 3

- Diana Dodson, Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry Watch Analyst, Euromonitor4, in 2006.

Packaging is Rubbish!

In mid-2007, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics (Lush), a UK-based producer and marketer of ethical beauty products with around 500 stores worldwide, launched a campaign against excessive packaging by the industry.

As part of the campaign in the UK and Canada, Lush employees wore nothing but an apron to highlight the adverse impact of excessive packaging and urged the consumers to 'Go Naked'by purchasing products which did not have any packaging.

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

The company had already set an example on the packaging front with almost 65 percent of its products coming without any packaging.5

The 'Get Naked'campaign, as it was called, received a lot of publicity and also sparked a debate on the over-use of packaging by the industry. Lush was established in 1995 by Mark Constantine (Constantine) together with his wife Mo Constantine (Mo) and colleague Helen Ambrosen. 

The company had a flat management structure with the directors, including Constantine himself, actively involving themselves in the operations of the firm right from new product development to personally training the employees. The company had a strong ethical stance with a long-standing commitment to eco-friendly natural products, anti-animal testing, and fair and ethical trade.

Sustainable Packaging Practices at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics - Next Page>>

1] Matt Jackson, “Here's the Latest Nudes on Global Warming...,”, July 12, 2007.

2] The Body Shop (now The Body Shop International Plc) is a British chain of cosmetics stores founded by Anita Roddick in 1976. The company's headquarters is located in Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK, and its stores are spread throughout the world. As of 2007, it was a part of French cosmetic group, L'Oréal SA.

3] Ruth Mortimer, “Lush: Purple and Simple,”, June 2006.

4] Euromonitor, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is a leading provider of global business intelligence and market analysis.

5] Ruth Mortimer, “Lush: Purple and Simple,”, June 2006.


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