This cosmetic retail company brings hope to the green business world as they practice ethical and energy efficient methods when producing their unique brand of soap.

Known for their fragrances and homemade products, Lush is a company with a green initiative that this soap business follows through on. With 830 stores in 51 countries, the business founded by trained trichologist, Mark Constantine and beauty therapist, Liz Weir, has become an international success.

Lush keeps it green as they work the clean: their value system

Since hitting the soap scene in the 70s, the founders of Lush have been conscious of how their products interacted with the environment. The company prioritizes sustainability and makes business decisions based on their environmentally friendly goals — from their headquarters to all their stores around the world, they aim for optimal energy efficiency.

With their less is more philosophy, they offer the option of ‘naked’ packaging — which basically means they just hand over their products as is. For the packaging they do offer, they use biodegradable, compostable, 100% recyclable post-consumer materials and are conscious of the carbon footprints they leave behind.

Bullfrog powered by the green-energy provider, all the Canadian Lush stores contain sustainably forested wood. They monitor their fresh water usage in their factories and value their resources — even opting for treated and reused water from the onsite’s of their linen providers.

“We employ all possible methods of energy optimization and efficiency retrofits within our manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and in our stores. 100% of our electricity consumed is replenished into the grid with renewable energy from win and low-impact hydro through Bullfrog Power,” claims

Over the years, their environmental efforts have been recognized

Being listed in Macleans Canada’s Green 30 companies for 2012, Lush has been recognized for their environmentally positive practices.

Their policy and general approach to business is green and as energy efficient as possible. They are also especially proud of their ethical front — they don’t test on animals and don’t support suppliers who do so.

Of course, while the company proves they’re socially responsible, progressive, sustainable and energy efficient — since 2006, they started getting their activism on. But even though they’ve been making headlines for some, um, interesting protests — they’ve managed to continue to receive recognition for their green efforts.

Some bonus success story facts

Lush was The Body Shop’s biggest supplier for over a decade back in the 80’s during Anita Roddick’s reign.  In fact, their soaps and scents did so well that the company bought the product formulas. This deal forbade the founders of Lush to open another soap retail shop for five years.

But once Lush opened in 1995, it took only a year for the company to make its way over to Canada. It generated quite the buzz and now there are 150 stores across North America.

The San Francisco location is currently converting its store to a more energy efficient one — switching over to LED lighting and moving in recycled furniture. When the renovation is complete, Lush is said to be the most eco-friendly store in the country.


Photo credit: Olivier Egloff