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Lush to open first plastic packaging-free store in UK

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Beauty brand Lush is set to open its first ‘Naked’ store in the UK in Manchester later this week, which will entirely void of any plastic packaging.

The retailer famed for its brightly-coloured bath bombs, will be highlighting plastic packaging-free alternatives to shoppers favourite cosmetics, from the classics, such as solid shampoo bars and soaps, to new naked skincare innovations.

The Manchester store, located on Market Street, will open its doors on January 18, and follows the success of ‘Naked’ stores in Milan and Berlin that opened last year, as the brand looks to reduce not only its own packaging but to also create a discussion with consumers regarding plastic pollution.

Lush co-founder and managing director, Mark Constantine, said in a statement: “In Lush, we work in an industry where the packaging costs the customer more than the product. 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’s ‘Naked’ plastic-free store to open in Manchester

In attempt to reduce its impact on the environment even further, Lush has also implemented a new way of labelling with its Lush Lens, a recently launched LushLabs app to replace packaging with a digital solution. The Lush Lens uses the phone's camera and Machine Learning to recognise products through the user’s smartphone camera, meaning that consumers can scan products by pointing at it, to get detailed ingredient information and ‘how to use’ demonstrations via the app.

‘Naked’ products make up almost 50 percent of Lush’s core range states the brand, and in 2018, Lush customers in the UK saved 1.8 million bottles of plastic bath products by choosing naked Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars or Bath Melts instead.

“Reducing packaging is something Lush has been working on for many, many years,” added the cosmetics retailer. “This shop aims to push the boundaries and is an exploration into what further things we can do, a discussion between us and our customers and a celebration of the fact that, after 20 years of development, we are able to fill up a whole shop with innovative naked cosmetic alternatives and offer a brand new shopping experience using technology alongside it.”

Image: courtesy of Lush - of its Milan ‘Naked’ store