Two emails have come into southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk this week. The first one is from a staff member quoting some of the discussion on the Lush staff facebook page. I am copying the email here
Here are some comments regarding Lush’s cocoa butter from the staff facebook page. They make quite interesting reading.
I was shocked to discover at the recent body care training that the majority of the cocoa butter we use is untraceable and may have involved child labour in its production.
Didn’t know that at all XXXXX, very sad to hear
I would hope that Lush would do everything they could to change that…. I know our Shea butter is traceable and wish it was the same with cocoa butter, as we use so much
I was shocked about the untraceable cocoa butter beans at bodycare training too! Ive been a trainee manager for 3 years and that was the first i’d heard of it! I hope there’s no one still in this group who shouldn’t be, as i wouldn’t know where to start explaining ourselves i think the info at training should be sent to all shops emails so everyone’s aware. I was gutted when i noticed palm oil in our products too – after campaigning against it (before i started) it does feel hypocritical to an extent. Also propalene glycol, a petroleum derived product in our soaps when we sometimes seem to bash the likes if vaseline etc. I realise no company is perfect but we definitely need clarity on these issues to filter down to shop floor staff xx
XXXXX is right, we don’t know for sure if Palm oil is in the product. Labelling it as such would be incorrect.The vast majority of palm has been removed leaving the final push on surfactants to be dealt with. Commodity markets work on a lack of tracebility and we have very little buying power there so things like vegetable oil and cocoa are traded and no clear source can be found. Instead we have worked on examples to break this e.g Peace cocoa where we direct source the beans. For the surfactants it’s not easy, the chemistry involved needs a certain scale of technology and we have been looking for someone who would work with us (we are a relatively small company in surfactants world) to get traceability on the source material. As XXXXX says, we are making headway, but it takes time.
The difficulty with the SLS and some other materials like stearic acid is the fact that the raw materials used to produce the finished product goes through so many chemical processes and changes hands before our manufacturers use them to produce our surfactants. With regards the SLS specifically, the chemical composition means that only coconut and palm kernel oil can be used.
And, another email from someone else regarding some ridiculous PR stunt Lush have been doing this weekend about a world record for kissing, or something. More about that later, but this is the email I received
Hello there!I have finally plucked up the courage to speak out about what is going on at Lush.An email came about the world record attempt tomorrow which has some FAQ’s in.One of the questions is: Can witnesses be people we know?And the answer? As long as this is not officially stated on the witness statement then no one will know. But remember the sole purpose of the witness is to record the number of lip prints and manage the logbook. They need to witness the event in an unbiased fashion.So yet again Lush is being economical with the truth. By using people that are known to staff it is impossible to have impartial counting. Another event that is taking place with little thought or planning as to how to actually execute the event and make it work.Thank you.