Lush is taking it all off with its newest Naked, a packaging-free store that teaches customers to use their phones to get all the information that used to come on labels.
The new store is opening in Manchester, U.K., later this month, and follows the launch of Naked stores in Milan and Berlin.
As consumers have become increasingly aware of just how ugly the beauty business can be environmentally, Lush is leveraging its pioneering status in the war against excess packaging. Some 50% of its products are already sold packaging-free, from bar shampoos to bath bombs to body butter.
But the Naked shops take the concept even further, introducing people to the #LushLabs app, which allows them to scan the product with the Lush Lens, giving them detailed ingredient information and directions digitally.
“We work in an industry where the packaging costs the customer more than the product,” says Mark Constantine, the company’s co-founder and managing director, in its announcement.
“Now, the customer needs to worry about how to recycle something they didn’t want to buy in the first place. This seems like a raw deal to us. If we can cut out all the plastic packaging, we can give our customers better value for money.”
Lush, which is based in Poole in the U.K., says its digital work is backed by the same ethical approach it brings to products like “Honey, I washed the kids” and “Cheer me up, Buttercup.” It says it is releasing work-in-progress experiments through the app, inviting the public to try and give open feedback on its development process through #LushLabs.
Other brands have also been intensifying efforts to lessen the impact of an industry that continues to crank out millions of plastic bottles, not to mention harmful microbeads and microplastics. Garnier, for example, partners with Terra Cycle, focusing on consumers’ bathroom blind spots. It says 90% of packaging in people’s kitchens makes its way into the recycling bin, while just 50% of bath-product packaging does.
Lush says last year alone, its U.K. customers generated 89.8 million plastic-free hair washes.
The company’s U.S. spokesperson tells Marketing Daily that no stores are planned here yet, but says so far, it has sold “an incredible 1.3 million shampoo bars in North America alone, resulting in more than 4 million plastic bottles saved from potentially ending up in landfill and our oceans.”
It’s also introducing Lush's global Naked Skincare campaign, using a #LushNaked hashtag, highlighting the many naked products available in Lush shops worldwide, as well as a brand-new naked skincare line, including facial oils and cleansers in bar form.