The Smell of Bullshit, part 45: enforced photography

I had contact today from a Lush employee who says

All managers are being forced to have their pictures taken and put on the website, without their consent! This is a serious privacy issue! I restrict my Facebook so no one sees where I live, work or what I look like without being someone I know! Lush is allowing anyone with an Internet connection to check out my name, my face and where I work. Doesn’t take much for a stalker to follow me home using those details, or even someone who doesn’t agree with the controversial campaigns we are forced to take part in. The pictures are due to be taken on Tuesday.


Lush wants to relaunch the website; trying to bridge the gap between customers and staff. Mark is wanting a direct link between the two to prevent customers taking to Facebook, blogs and the forum, in order to vent. So, this idea of store profiles will feature manager names, email addresses and photos.

Managers will meet tomorrow for the January meeting where we will have to single ourselves out to speak to the powers that be to complain.

As always though, we will be ignored. While mark refuses to travel to America due to his paranoia that the CIA will arrest him for funding activist groups, and Hilary (our “ethics” director) keeps any information about herself online, to a bare minimum, the UK team think it is perfectly acceptable to yet again put shop managers in the firing line, by parading our private details online. So the next time we are forced to support a rediculous campaign, the public will know what the managers look like, where they work and what their names are. My personal safety is at risk and Lush has not taken any of it into consideration. All they care about is redirecting customer complaints

And there’s an email which says

Calling all Shop Managers~

Hope you’re all well and excited for the Managers Meeting next week.

As part of our new website (which is launching very soon) we’ll be giving all manages a featured space on their shops page (which includes and [sic] image and a quote) and we need to take some lovely portrait pictures of you for this.

On Tuesday night you’ll all be attending the Galleria at the New Head office at Dolphin Quays in Poole, where we’ll be shooting.

From 7pm – 10pm we’ll need all UK shop managers to have their portraits taken by our In-house photographer. Could everyone please make sure you get your photo taken before you leave that night.
I know Some of you might be arriving at different times, so please come and see me before you go. Ideally – if you can get your photo taken as soon as you arrive – you’ll have more time to enjoy the gallery.

I’ll be making sure we don’t miss anyone on the night as we only have a short period of time to get these all done before the website launches, and the Gallery is our best opportunity.

I’ve attached a mock-up of what the portraits will look like on the new site – to give you an idea of what we need.

I can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces Tuesday night.

Any questions please free to give me a shout.

I really hope that none of the employees who are being told they must have their photographs up on the Lush website are fleeing domestic violence, or have had problems with stalkers in the past. I don’t see anything in that email saying “other than those of you we have made an exception for.” I’m sure Lush will have thought about all of that beforehand though, and will have made it very clear to all their staff that if they don’t want to have their name, photo and workplace on the company website, they can opt out. Because Lush care about their staff and would never want to force them into doing something which might put them at risk, or make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Mark's thoughts on internet privacy



(As always, anyone wishing to contact the blog should email southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk).


The Smell of Bullshit, part 44: alternatives

Since I stopped using Lush, I’ve been looking for alternatives, and I’m gradually working my way through a variety of different products. And it’s been fascinating to see that, contrary to what Lush would like us to think, there are lots of manufacturers and retailers out there offering products made with natural ingredients, no animal ingredients, no animal testing (other than where required by law), minimal preservatives, safe synthetics, etc etc etc – all the things we used to love Lush for. But Lush’s type of product isn’t unique any more, and finding acceptable alternatives has been straightforward and fun. Oh, the joy of soap which keeps its texture and scent! Oh the pleasure of moisturiser which doesn’t go runny and smell off after three weeks!

One of my new favourites is Future Primitive. The soaps are lovely – richly scented and beautifully coloured, and the scents are unusual and beautiful. I particularly liked the sugar scrubs, which were scrubby enough to be exfoliating without being scratchy, and left my skin moisturised without being oily. I haven’t tried the bubbling sugar buff yet, but I might get one in my next order, and if I do, I’ll try to remember to amend this post to include it. The body whips are moisturising and beautifully scented, but a little bit too thick for easy spreading, in my opinion. There used to be a lovely moussey whipped soap too, which was wonderfully softening and moisturising, ideal for after swimming, but they seem to have stopped doing those. The olfactory bathing grains are great too – they leave my skin soft and smelling great. My favourite scents so far are Black Honey, Shadow Show and Niu Kafa, but I’ve liked everything that I’ve tried.

A friend bought me a Balance Me gift box for Christmas, containing their Super Moisturising Hand Cream and their Rose Otto hand cream. Although their blurb says no parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, petroleum, silicones, dea, pegs, propylene glycol, artificial fragrances and colours, both of the products I have contain lanolin. I emailed them about that, and their response was helpful

I wanted to reassure you that I’ll pass your comments onto the Balance Me team as we constantly look to develop our products. I completely understand about not wanting to use animal products; one of my close friends is vegan and is a fan of the rest of the range. Just so you have a full list, the other products that contain beeswax, honey quat or lanolin aside from the hand creams are:

rose otto body balm
rose otto lip salve
stellar face balm
shiny clean conditioner

I hope you continue to enjoy the hand creams and please do get in touch if you’d like any advice on our products or skincare generally.
If you have any further queries about your enquiry, then please let me know.

With kind regards,

I like the hand creams that I have and if they can sort out the animal products issues, I’d buy them myself. I haven’t tried their other products, but the shampoo looks good.

I’ve been using Faith In Nature gingko biloba shampoo & conditioner for a little while. I bought it in a hurry and although I like the conditioner, I’m not impressed with the shampoo. It’s ok for ordinary hair washing, but it doesn’t cope well with after-swimming hair. On the other hand, my bleached hair hasn’t turned green yet, so it must be doing some good!

My skincare life after Lush is now predominantly Origins. Cleansers, toners, moisturisers, exfoliators, eye cream – I’m using all Origins now. As much as I used to like Lush skincare, I did find it gave me blackheads, and Origins doesn’t. Origins is great, the quality of their products is consistent, their staff are lovely – I’m very happy with them.

Planet Soap had a market stall outside the Commie Pool one day and I bought a couple of bars. Very nice. I haven’t tried much of their stuff yet, but I liked what I did try.

I’ve been doing some googling and bookmarking other companies I might try in the future. So far I have found

I want to find haircare that will cope with my bleached and regularly swimming hair, and I want to find a handcream that will work for me like Dream Cream does. For soaps, body lotions and bath treats, Future Primitive are great and I’m sure I’ll find other things as I work my way through the retailers listed above. I know a few people are wondering where to look now they’re not buying Lush and I hope the suggestions here will be useful for them – and that they have fun trying things out!

You know when you’re a union steward,

and you’re representing someone in a disciplinary, and it’s obvious the outcome will be a dismissal, and the person chooses to resign before the hearing, and although you know they were bound to be sacked, and there’s nothing you could have done, and the person really brought it on themself by doing something really really really stupid and wrong (repeatedly), but you still feel bad and like you should have done more?


I am totally channelling Fat Larry’s band tonight

Swam 20 x 50m lengths in 26 mins, 1s, an average of 78s per length. I would have been faster but there were many, many numpties in tonight. But anyway, it’s my fastest ever kilometre over long lengths. My fastest length was 73s (I managed 73s twice).

What made me faster? I concentrated on really exaggerating my rotation in the water.