Lush Brings Lasting and Ethical Products for College Life
The UK born company, Lush Cosmetics, brought a pop-up shop just in time for the holiday season to preview their store opening early 2020. The shop is in a shipment container outside of Cielo Vista mall with yuletide bath bombs, and products focused on fresh, handmade, and ethical ingredients.
The shop is currently running from December 18 to December 22 from 10am to 9pm. The waves of bright colors and glitter that are their products are drawing in customers in the Cielo Vista Mall parking lot. Lush is unique in their focus, always emphasizing environmentally conscious products. At the pop-up shop, you’ll see their Christmas campaign, “Gift ethically,” sprinkled from wall-to-wall.
Eva Cook, Brand PR Specialist for Lush, explained the company’s goals and that they had been speaking with Cielo Vista Mall for about a year.
Cook said, “Simply put, Lush wants to create a cosmetics revolution to save the planet. That means only sourcing fresh, ethical ingredients that are never tested on animals and that actually work; encouraging our customers to consider their impact and question whether they actually need packaging (a question we hope that will extend to their everyday lives, beyond their bathrooms); and using our platform as a force for good.”
But what stands out about the UK company’s ethical and eco-friendly vision, is their economic value for college students. “Our founder has always said that Lush is above everything else, value for money,” Cook said.
Putting skin products and cosmetics into a budget may be difficult for any college student, but as many “Lushies” or Lush shoppers have noticed, the products give value on the dollar lasting extended amounts of time.
Marco Marioni, 18, is a student at the University of Texas at El Paso who has been shopping at Lush stores across several states, explained how he evaluates Lush products at the pop-up shop in El Paso.
“The products actually work, and they’re sustainable. You can use them for months and months,” Marco said. “The prices are very fair, because it does last. As a college student, you have no time to really take care of yourself because you’re so focused on assignments, or on finals, so when it comes to yourself, you kind of forget about it. So if you have products at home that work and they last, it’s refreshing to have that.”
And Marco mirrors the excitement that many shoppers at the pop-up shop in El Paso currently have, like his friend Desiree who he took with him to do some personal and Christmas shopping.
Desiree Gomez, 23, is a student at El Paso Community College and says “I got some creams that are very moisturizing and they’re affordable… The fact that Lush is in El Paso is exciting, because I’ve never been to Lush so that it’s actually here, like you want to buy everything. The pop-up is very nice.”
Ethical and handmade products that Lush offers do have longer life expectancy, Cook said, explaining that “generally speaking, our products are a viable option for students for two main reasons: they often last a lot longer than you might think and they’re perfect for people who are watching out for the environment. Take our shampoo bars for example. They cost around $10 but you get up to 80 washes out of just one small puck, making them a very savvy alternative to bottled shampoo and they come with zero packaging which means you’re reducing your plastic use and your impact on the environment just in the way you’re washing your hair.”
The reduction of packaging also helps save some money and Lush offers several of these “nude” products, which are products that come without any packaging at all.
Marilyn Renderos, 23, is working at the Lush pop-up in El Paso, and has been working with the company for three years. Originally from Houston, her tenure with Lush began after being a Lushie because she felt Lush was “a company that talks the talk and walks the walk.”
She explained, “(Lush) gives back to amazing organizations, and make sure everything they do is ethical. Our campaign this Christmas season is gift ethically, so being able to use reusable things, or things that are already recycled.”
The pop-up shop she says is “handmade like our products,” since she and her coworkers put it all together the day before they opened.
It’s this handmade and ethical aspect that makes Lush the go-to for Renderos.“So I think as a college student, it really makes you feel luxurious even when you don’t have the money to feel luxurious.”
For the same reason, many shoppers are attracted to Lush, such as Katelynn Galvan, 20, a student at San Antonio College who came to El Paso mid-semester when her husband who is in the military was transferred.
Katelynn who shopped at Lush in San Antonio and went to the pop-up shop, said “I have very sensitive skin. I think I’m allergic to hyaluronic acid? I don’t know, I can’t use a lot of skin products and so when I discovered Lush, I really liked how gentle it was on my skin.”
Lush is in the middle of a parade of celebrations, opening its doors officially in Cielo Vista Mall in early 2020: the same year it celebrates 25 years of its foundation and after 2019 when they celebrated 30 years since Lush founder Mo Constantine invented her famous bath bombs in England.
And while Lush still won’t release any plans for the 2020 celebrations, they build off of the 30 year anniversary with the release of 30 new bath bombs. The company plans to continue their ethical product line alongside their mission of championing issues they believe in.
By Antonio Villaseñor–Baca