Change of comments policy

Comments now have to be approved by me before they appear. This is because Lush employees are posting abuse, and deliberate lies, despite Mark Constantine instructing them not to post here.

Such a pity they don’t choose to put their energies into improving their working conditions rather than trolling someone who is pointing out the problems.

As for you, Sarah, if I was interested in posting lies, I’d be leaving your comments up.



11 thoughts on “Change of comments policy

  1. see the trouble is lush as a company will be sending there staff to post and troll.even if in theory they have been told not to.the truth hurts and its gone viral.the poor shop staff are the front line and cant see what is really going on.the company is not doing as good as it was and the higher powers that be do not care as they refuse to see and acknowledge any problems. how mark speaks to his customers is now on the web for all to see.there false ethics and sexist and pointless pr stunt campaigns are getting worse.for every piece of written media you will get trolls or people blind sighted saying its not true but think of all the other people who have compared what is written in the company who have opened there eyes and posted or actively joining a union or looking for a better job.and also others who do not work for lush and have read your posts and thought thats what is happening in my work place too.and they have posted and taken yours and others advise.
    so i would say post away. since the very first post you have had lush staff from around the world be open about issues here and pluck up courage.that took them guts to do,can only be a good thing this the loyalists good for you happyjoyjoy,but there is a darker side rotten to the core and like always comes from the top.

    • It saddens me that there are staff so blinded by Lush’s greenwash that they can’t accept that their (so far) happy experience is not what everybody experiences. I have heard stories about how staff have been treated that have made me nearly sick. And it’s so weird that some staff are so upset by a blog that is saying “these are your legal rights” (why would anyone not want staff to know their legal rights?), “these are the experiences of a number of staff” (why should staff not be able to talk about their experiences as employees?) and “this campaign/PR stunt is bullshit” (should Lush be protected from any kind of criticism at all?)

      The majority of search terms used to find this blog are either Lush + some sort of employment rights issue, or Lush + rash, Lush + thrush, Lush + skin irritation, things like that. People are obviously looking for info they’re not getting from the company. If Lush won’t supply the information people want, there’s no reason not to use this blog as a pointer to information sources.

  2. I wonder how Mark Constantine – the man who frequently quotes Ruskin on his forum, who trumpets about a “fairer” world when it gets him column inches, can look at himself in the mirror, knowing that he encourages an “I’m all right, Jack” attitude amongst his staff?

  3. I think that what you have done here is absolutely brilliant and I can’t thank you enough.

    I have been there. I was that member of staff and when you work there you do get totally blinded to what is really going on. I would go home from work full of what had happened that day and what we were expected to do for the next campaign or next window promotion. My family would be aghast at what I was being asked to do and I would aggressively defend Lush. I just couldn’t see it.

    It began to dawn on me around 3 years ago that the whole ‘family’ persona of Lush had changed. It went from being haphazard but a really cool place to work to being haphazard but bullying, with no empathy or understanding of what their staff actually needed. The quest for profit was all they thought about.

    At a managers meeting Mark mentioned that he had a ‘list’. This list consisted of members of staff who, in Mark’s opinion, weren’t pulling their weight, were taking the piss, were not committed enough to Lush. He said that if you didn’t want to be on the list you had to go and talk to him and give him ideas and feedback about why you should stay off the list.

    That evening at dinner Mark was obviously monopolised by the loud shouty ‘popular by making themselves noticed’ managers. Us normal (just there to do a good job) managers couldn’t get a look in.

    I tried to talk to Mark. I had loads of ideas to help increase profits and help staff and to make things more efficient. I thought I would really make the effort to give him what I had painstakingly typed up for him, or chat to him, even tho he was slightly intimidating. Being the king of body language and able to read everyone’s thoughts by their body language it is never easy talking to Mark face to face, but I had to give it a try. I saw him after one of the meetings had finished and we were going into a tea break. He was walking towards me, alone, not followed by his entourage of minions. I took a deep breath, looked him in the eye, smiled and said ‘Hello Mark’. All he had to do was say hello, that’s all I wanted from him. I didn’t want to bombard him with questions, I just wanted to give him the notes I had made so that he could look through it at his leisure. What happened next was laughable. He wouldn’t actually meet my eye, he looked really shifty and ducked behind a pillar to avoid any contact and so he didn’t actually have to say hello to me. What does that say about his body language and the sort of man he is that he wouldn’t pass the time of day with someone who had worked for him for 5 years?

    In the last 2 years top management changed, there was a cull of staff at head office (presumably ones on the ‘list’) new staff have come in who don’t know their arse from their elbow. One of the Constantine children gets let loose in a department, goes around like a bull(y) in a china shop, breaks everything, upsets everyone and moves on to the next department and destroys that one too. When Mark asks departing staff who leave through disillusionment ‘what they have done to make the company a worse place’ he would do better to ask his child!

    I left as I suddenly realized that Lush is a crock of shit. I was like the little boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes, I suddenly saw Lush for what it was. A highly commercial soap shop that has dubious ethics, questionable morals, no empathy, fake smells, dangerous colours, below standard products, double standards, false marketing, not handmade, not as natural as they claim, it is packaged until it is sold (when it then needs to be packaged).

    It is all wrong. And the wrongness needs to come out. It needs exposing for what it is.

    And you, my dear, have done that through this blog. Look at the thousands of people who have seen these posts, whether following them or not, they have looked. And while a lot of them may be cynical members of blinkered staff who blindly defend the corporate fat cat they work for and think that anyone who opposes Lush should be boiled in almond oil, a lot are staff who are genuinely trying to make their working conditions better and improving the way they are treated. Also customers who are victims of the spin that staff have to tell them, the sales pitch, the add on sales, the ‘value for money’ spiel. It is not value for money anymore, it is vastly over priced and Lush make an obscene profit from it.

    Of course they can afford to give to charity, charitable donations are tax deductible so it pays to give to charity. And 1.3 million over 7 years is nothing to them.

    They were horrible to me. I can’t go into details as it is still far too upsetting to talk about even now but I got out. I regained my self respect. I got a job where I am valued. I like myself again. There is life after Lush and it’s a good life.

  4. ” I regained my self respect. I got a job where I am valued. I like myself again. There is life after Lush and it’s a good life.”

    Absolutely this. I left Lush 8 years ago. 8 years! And I still keep in touch with people I met there. Whether staff or customers – they were good people and I like them. But I gave my heart and soul to that bloody place yet left feeling useless, exhausted and bullied. Another manager actually asked me if I felt like I’d been pushed out when I was leaving. When I said “yes”, her reply was that “it was nothing new”

    Similarly to the commenter above, I too tried to approach Mark at a meeting. And he looked right through me! As another man (there were no other male managers at the time), I imagined it might have just been that I had similar undercarriage to the man. That makes me feel a bit sick actually…

    But I think it’s about time that the truth is out there. And that silly man and his obnoxious family get what’s coming to them. I was one of the loyal staff who would proudly fight the Lush corner at all times. Not any more. Courage people – there is indeed a life after Lush. And there are employers who will watch your back and look after you. And who have ethics! Who knew?

  5. I agree this blog’s doing an excellent, well-needed job. It’s good to get information out there – especially for those wondering if they’re alone in suddenly getting thrush and rashes from ‘natural’ and ‘ethically sourced’ products – and also to have a place where ex-employees who’ve been treated so badly (and/or seen others treated badly) can share their experiences.
    I’m sure Lush isn’t alone in its bullying, intimidating and generally unpleasant manner of running its company and ‘managing’ (controlling?) its mostly poorly-paid employees: but for me – who took a job there because of its ‘ethics’ – this isn’t really the point. Lush not only prides itself but *sells* itself on its holier-than-thou ethics, so it is asking for trouble if it persists in bullying, intimidating and otherwise mistreating so many of its employees (and in avoiding transparency about many of its ingredients – for instance the huge volume of cocoa butter that mostly seems to come from the unspecified sources of the commodities market, not from ‘fair trade’ sources). As others have pointed it, the Constantines and their ‘in group’ must be bonkers if they think that they can attract a customer base and employees to their ethics, and then be all surprsied and angry when said customer base and employees tell the world what a bunch of hypocrites they are. It’s a no brainer, surely?
    I wouldn’t want to get into the psychology of why some Lush staff are so very upset by what this blog is saying. But I guess it’s pretty complex in the current climate, where jobs are like gold dust and employers like Lush treat employees so badly. It might be self-preservation, or yes, it might be self-delusion: as I know from experience, it’s not at all nice to have it dawn on you that the ‘ethical’ company you joined is run by a selfish, bullying, money-grubbing and egotistical family and their cronies – all of whose concerns with being ‘ethical’ is selective and erratic, at best.

  6. Very well said! I’ve commented before on what a shame it is, that things have reached such a dire state. I still applaud those staff members who are happy and committed to their job; but please don’t post remarks to those of us who have experienced the ‘dark side’ ( and worked there many years) and say its lies and rubbish! I joined a union because it was so blatant to anyone with any experience that the contract, working regulations, requirements etc were wrong and extremely flimsy! What worries me, is the increasing number of young and inexperienced staff that are hired, and I say this in a non patronising way. Many of our staff are in their first job and have approached myself and other staff members with concerns and worries. It just sickens me. The worst part about this whole thing is the smug attitudes of those higher up; I hope one day someone takes these matters to a tribunal and wins!

  7. Mark will say one thing and mean completely another…this is a man who thought it appropriate to play ‘Ding Dong the Witch is dead’ at a Managers meeting after the death of Anita Roddick. That did it for me, frankly. I was part of the whole Lush bubble until that experience, and once I had resigned I found via online and staff who had left before me that lots of people have very similar Lush stories – they were a huge fan of the company, became and employee and then years in realised what a load of tosh the whole place really was.

    • I was there too Rachel, in fact I didn’t see your post until now after I just mentioned the very same incident in part 29. I was disgusted and it just hammered home what a complete prick the man is!

      • Hi…I don’t know how to otherwise contact you – so I’m doing it here. I worked in 2 Scottish stores whilst studying at Uni. I’m long gone from my Lush days, so can tell you I worked in the Aberdeen and Edinburgh shops. The biggest problem I really had with Lush – beyond EVERYTHING that is documented in this blog – was the middle management. Due to the type of people Lush wanted in their shops, and the all-singing-all-dancing-jacked-up-on-tablets customer service they seemed to want to encourage the shop managers and deputy managers were, in my experience, attention seeking narcassists. The shop practices that went on – helping yourself to the testers; managers taking products and writing them off as waste; the ‘sampling’ of entire products and the shop floor consumption of booze in working hours – were in my opinion directly related to two things a) the type of people hired as managers b) the pressure those managers were put under to perform.

        a) the managers and assistant managers that I had at each store had failed in their opinion at their chosen discipline (being a muscian, being an actor, being anything of real consequence) and had somehow side-stepped into their role at Lush. (I am in no way suggesting the working at Lush isn’t a valid and valuable contribution to society. For the record.) As a result, the people who managed me in my extensive time at Lush, were somewhat in need of praise and love from the people around them. So they’d set competitions and targets based around their strong points so that they were always the one getting a free product or leaving early. Beyond this, they would absolutely go out of their way to get praise from others around them and generally would bully those who didn’t fall in with the party line. Especially in the Edinburgh Lush store, I would often find as an MSc student, my time was pretty precious – so staying late/well beyond my alloted rota time just wasn’t possible. On more than one occassion, this cost me my shifts the following week. I too, was on a 0 hours contract.

        b) I would often find when spending time with the managers of Lush stores outside of work that they would infact be under tremendous pressure for very little monetary incentive. One assistant manager that I worked with quite clearly found meeting targets very difficult and would often buy things she didn’t need in order to meet a target on a particular day – rather than be bollocked at by senior staff for not performing. The bullying didn’t only exist on the shop floor (which it DID!) but between shops their was an unhealthy amount of competition. The Glasgow store was at the time (it may still be) hailed as the ultimate of Lush stores due to it’s Christmas turnover – the manager of Edinburgh once entitled an instore incentive as ‘Let’s kill the weegie buggers’ to try an beat the Glasgow store sales over Christmas. Peace and Joy, right enough!

        c) on a final note – boozing in the shop. On a Saturday, one of the two stores I mentioned would encourage instore drinking to encourage sales staff to be less inhibited when talking to customers. Enough said. As a non-drinker (I was 17) at the time, it was awful, really awful.

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