Lush launches anti-animal testing campaign

Lush launches anti-animal testing campaign
To coincide with World Day for Laboratory Animals, Lush turned their Regent Street shop window into a human testing zone to highlight the plight of the millions of animals worldwide who suffer at the hands of the beauty industry

At the bottom of Regent Street, the jaws of passers-by drop as a woman in a flesh coloured leotard writhes in a shop window. A gaggle of snappers and a few more who have stopped to sign the petition stand a little further back watching as man in a white lab coat moves in again. ‘It’s World Day for Laboratory Animals today so it seemed the ideal day to give up a shop front, and show what is happening to animals every day for cosmetics,’ Hilary Jones, Lush’s Ethics director told the Ecologist. ‘We worked hard, got the legislation passed, and we all thought animal testing was a thing of the past but quietly in the background that legislation has never been fully enacted. Quietly in the background the big cosmetic companies have lobbied for it to be delayed, and it’s been delayed and delayed. It’s 20 years later and the legislation still isn’t fully enforced.’

‘Lush has had a no animal testing policy from the moment we set up the business. As industry insiders we find it inexcusable for companies to claim they need a delay, we’ve built a successful business around the world, there is no need for animal testing and we are living proof of that.’

A ban on animal testing entered EU law in 1993 but following lobbying by cosmetics companies, the regulations have never been fully enforced. Although animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the UK, cosmetics can still go on sale if they have been tested on animals abroad. India, a performance artist and vegan, was subjected to versions of the tests animals are subjected to during cosmetics testing. She was force fed, had toxicity tests performed on her eyes and scalp, and was also injected with saline solution – all in full view of shoppers.

‘I found it quite shocking; at first I didn’t know what was going on but now I do I wanted to sign the petition,’ shopper Claudia Jerez told the Ecologist. ‘I was happy to sign the petition,’ said fellow signatory, Adrian Jones. ‘I think this was a really good way to show what animal testing actually involves and I hope it galvanises a few people who are just out and about on the street.’

Lush has teamed up with the Humane Society International and hopes, over the next fortnight, to match the 140,000 signatures the society already have on the petition. Tamsin Omond is the Campaigns Manager for Lush and says the time is right for a fresh push in the campaign to ban animal testing. ‘We do have legislation but the legislation is not forcing anyone to change their practices.  We have this opportunity now -  the 10 year delay is about to expire and cosmetic companies are asking for another 10 years - so this is a once in a 10 year opportunity to see this legislation enforced. There was an Animal Aid figure that said 98 per cent of people are against animal testing for cosmetics. It’ [the campaign] is not something that there is no public mandate for but there is also a public expectation that the problem has gone away. We want to raise the profile and draw attention to this.’

You can sign the petition in Lush stores, or online at


Add to StumbleUpon
Natural make-up: why it’s giving MAC a run for its money
Matilda Lee meets the Estée Lauder of natural make-up, Terre d’Oc’s Valerie Roubaud, to find out why natural cosmetics are ready to take on the conventional kind
Death by jasmine: why organic perfumery is under threat
Is real jasmine really worse for you than the synthetic version? It might sound crazy but that's exactly what the International Fragrance Association believe – and it’s making life tough for organic and natural perfumers. Ruth Styles reports
The Ecologist meets… Korres co-founder, Lena Korres
Greece might be in dire financial straights but for the country’s best-known natural beauty brand, things have never been better. Ruth Styles caught up with Lena Korres to find out why
Organic beauty decoded: the truth about your favourite natural products
Baffled by the growing number of claims made by organic and natural beauty companies? The Ecologist reveals the truth behind the myths
Antioxidants: the natural way to tackle ageing
If the roll call of scary ingredients has put you off conventional creams then antioxidants could be the alternative you’re looking for

More from this author