Have you ever discovered a brand you loved, then ultimately left because you moved onto newer, more relevant products? But what if a brand evolves with you over time?

For me, that’s the story of Lush.

I loved Lush since I first walked into a store in Dublin, Ireland. I was 15 and remember being surrounded by delicious smells and brightly colored soaps and bath bombs. To this day, the smell of tea tree oil takes me back to balmy summer evenings in Dublin, trying on seaweed-wrapped face masks with my friend and loving the zit-zapping results.

Fast forward to early 2019. Now I can drive 20 minutes to the nearest Lush at my local American mall. But I hadn’t. Why go to a mall when my vanity is overstuffed with beauty samples from subscription services?

Why? Because those tiny tubes and packets actually make life more complicated. They create a lot of extra trash that is hard to ignore, takes organization and adds to growing guilt about my contribution to environmental distress.

I remember the shampoo bars that tamed the greasy hair days of my high school and college years. One bar wouldn’t meet all of my beauty product needs, but it provided a start. And that memory sends me off to the mall.

Walking into Lush, not much has changed about the displays, the signage, stickers or the overwhelming enthusiasm from employees. The difference now is that I can see and appreciate the unique customer experience Lush provides:

  • Excited employees. Whether they’re pointing out the tongue and cheek emoticon bath bombs for Valentine’s Day or sharing their favorite products and specific recommendations, I have the sense I am among friends. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Combine it with “right product for me” education, and my long-lost brand enthusiasm awakens.
  • Samples galore. Lush employees will give you samples if you ask, appear interested or don’t know which version of something to choose. Why is this brilliant? As a consumer, I get to try freebies in generous sizes. As a business, they can share leftover bits of unpackaged products and entice customers to try new things.
  • Guilt-free packaging. Lush is serious about cutting down on waste. The brand isn’t jumping on an environmental bandwagon. It’s central to who they are as a company. Thirty-five percent of Lush’s products are sold without any packaging at all. If you order online, you might get a product in a clear bag that looks like plastic, but it’s actually 100% biodegradable cellophane that can be composted. And that’s just the beginning of their commitment to decreasing waste.
  • Multi-functional products. As an aspiring minimalist (or rather a recovering maximalist), it’s great that many of Lush’s products have multiple uses. Many of us want to live with less, but that doesn’t mean we want our life less luxurious. Lush gets that, and I love them for it.

Lush is a brand that anticipates consumer wants and needs. They were providing minimal, natural products long before it became a trend. Their commitment to the environment has long been central to their mission rather than a trendy effort to downplay their environmental impact. And they understand new products and approaches require education and are willing to risk giving away products to gain lifelong loyalty.

Lush, I was a fool to leave you. It’s good to be back.

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