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When it comes to packaging, less is more

Packaging generates an enormous amount of waste, with millions of tons ending up in landfills and our oceans each year.

Over the years, sustainability in the beauty industry has become increasingly more important to consumers. They’re looking for ways to reduce waste in their routines, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve always felt that the best way to reduce packaging waste is by getting rid of packaging altogether. That’s why around 65 percent of our all-year-round products are unpackaged, or as we like to say, naked. And the rest? They’re packaged using recycled and recyclable materials.


We’re leading the way in innovative solid products, which eliminate the need for packaging. Our naked bubble bars, conditioners, henna hair dyes, and massage bars save millions of plastic bottles from being produced, transported and disposed of every year. And when you purchase our naked products, you get the highest quality ingredients and fragrances, so your money is spent on products that work best for your skin and hair, and not fancy packaging that you might simply throw away.

Our shampoo bars are a fabulous example of the far-reaching impact that a single switch from packaged to naked can make. Since 2005, we’ve sold more than 41 million shampoo bars, saving 124 million plastic bottles from ever being produced. That’s approximately 3417 tons of plastic saved, or about the weight of 30 blue whales. Imagine if everyone ditched the bottle in favor of the bar!

Lush inventors have been creating solid, naked products for decades that don’t require synthetic preservatives—which means that all our naked products are completely self-preserving. We do this by formulating product recipes that require little to no water, where bacteria loves to thrive and grow, and instead replace it with natural preservatives like honey and salt, so there’s no need for synthetic alternatives.

By providing unpackaged options for the bath, shower and body, we hope to increase awareness around the overuse of disposable packaging and challenge other retailers to get innovative and reduce their packaging too.


We never wanted to lose the excitement of ripping open a gift, but we didn’t love the waste of single-use wrapping paper. Around 2010, we stopped offering traditional cellophane gift wrapping in our shops in favor of reusable fabric knot-wraps. They’re either made from a silky material spun from recycled plastic bottles, or from organic cotton, each one with colorful designs that add personality to any wrapped gift. Rather than being thrown away, they can be reused for gift wrapping, decorating or as an accessory. And if your Lush gift came in a knot-wrap, metal tin or cardboard box, it’s always either reusable or completely recyclable.

Our packaging-free solid shampoo bars last for up to 80 washes.

A blue shampoo bar sits on top of ingredients nori seaweed and Irish moss.

Ever wonder about those packing peanuts in your Lush gift or online order? They’re 100 percent plant-based (made from potato starch), water soluble, and can be tossed right into your home compost! Plus, all the paper we use for our products and gifts is 100 percent post-consumer recycled, while online orders are always delivered in 100 percent recycled cardboard boxes along with eco-friendly packing tape.


When we can’t eliminate packaging completely (like in the case of liquid body washes or gift sets), we use only recycled, recyclable, reusable or compostable materials, like our 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and pots and biodegradable bags.

If you regularly buy products in our signature black pots, hold on to your empty ones! Return five to your local shop in exchange for a free fresh face mask. We send these pots back to our recycler, who molds them into brand new black pots in a closed-loop recycling system. For all of our other packaging, like our clear pots, body spray bottles, sample pots, and makeup tubes, you can bring those to us too, and we’ll do the recycling for you!

We’re always looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact with packaging. In 2012, we worked with our clear bottle manufacturer to make our bottles 10 percent thinner. In 2016, this saved almost 13,600 pounds of plastic.

We’ve also been experimenting with using ocean plastics in our packaging. This would provide an economic incentive to remove plastics from the sea, while providing post-consumer plastic for our packaging. Preliminary tests are looking positive, so stay tuned for updates!

Ready to strip away excess packaging? Book an online consultation with one of our experts to discover all the ways you can say goodbye to excess waste.