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Shark Attack at Lush

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By: burgundy bug

‘Shark Attack’ display at Lush in the King of Prussia mall

Source: Shark Attack at Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

The handmade cosmetics company, Lush, known for their vibrant, fragrant, delicatible soaps and bath bombs, is holding the ‘Shark Attack‘ campaign to support the Sharkwater Foundation from June 8 through the end of the month.

Last week, we visited Lush at the King of Prussia mall to get an inside scoop on their campaign. We also learned a bit more about their company as well as their products.

The ‘Shark Attack’ Campaign

‘Fins Attached’ charity pot at Lush

Source: Shark Attack at Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Until July 1, Lush is selling the ‘Shark Fin Soap Bar,’ which is their ‘Sea Vegetable‘ bar soap flipped upside down and adorned with a faux shark fin. Each purchase online comes with a pack of promotional stickers, and the proceeds from all sales (online and in-store) go towards the ‘Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation,’ as displayed on their website.

Lush is also celebrating the campaign with other ocean-themed products, such as their popular ‘Ocean Salt‘ face and body scrub, ‘Seanik‘ shampoo bar, as well as their ‘Big Blue‘ and ‘Turtle‘ bath bombs.

Ocean-themed products at Lush

Source: Shark Attack at Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

“We actually sold out of the ‘Shark Fin Soap Bar,'” said Amber “Ber” Mancini, the floor leader at Lush’s King of Prussia location.

“We went through about 250 pieces in about five days. 100 percent of the sales price, which is $5.95, goes into the fund – and that’s just in our shop.

If you multiply that by our 260-some locations in the US, it really adds up. This isn’t just a couple dollars. It’s a couple million dollars.”

Amber Mancini

Their movement, inspired by English actor, game show host, and reporter, Robin Stewart’s 2006 documentary ‘Sharkwater,’ seeks to shed light on the cruelty and devastation reaped by sharkfinning, Mancini detailed.

“During the ‘Shark Attack’ campaign, we identify that sharks are a huge part of our ocean biome,” she said. “It started with anti-finning campaigns.”

When sharks are harvested, it’s common practice to just take the fin and not the whole animal, she explained.

“This means it can’t swim afterwards, but they’re still thrown back into the ocean,” Mancini continued. “It’s very cruel.”

She then explained how the campaign is designed to raise awareness about shark finning and work towards putting an end to it.

“When you see ‘SHARK ATTACK,’ we want you to stop and see that this is our attack on [finning].”

Amber Mancini

“We’re trying to bring attention to specific ingredients,” Mancini continued. “For example, Squalene. If it’s not labeled as plant-based, nine times out of 10 it’s coming from a shark.”

With ‘Shark Attack,’ Lush aims to teach consumers how to read labels and understand what they’re using in order to avoid products that are endangering a species as well as our planet, according to Mancini.

“More often than not, when people realize where these ingredients are coming from they’re like, ‘Oh my god! I don’t want to contribute to this,'” she said.

“We’re not here to shame those people. We’re here to educate them.”

Amber Mancini

Mancini then elaborated on the partnership between Lush and Stewart, who created ‘Sharkwater.’

Sharkwater documentary by Robin Stewart trailer

Source: Sharkwater Trailer – HD | Tribute Movies

“Stewart created this documentary exposing the shark finning issue, and then made it his life’s work to bring awareness to how we were fishing the ocean,” Mancini explained. “Unfortunately, he died two years ago doing what he loved in a scuba diving incident – it wasn’t a shark attack, it was a tank malfunction. Now we have a huge fund set up so the proceeds [from this campaign] go into to continuing his life’s work and making these educational films.”

In the UK, performance artist and Lush employee, Alice Newstead, suspended herself in the store window dressed as a shark, which drew a lot of attention to one of their first shark campaigns, Mancini continued.

Suspension artist Alice Newstead in the window of Lush as a shark

Source: Lush & Sea Shepherd’s Anti Shark Finning Campaign | LUSH

Until July first, she said you can text ‘SHARK ATTACK’ to 40649 to put your name on a petition to end shark finning.

However, sharks aren’t the only life on earth Lush is concerned about, she added.

“This is just one of many animal rights we show off,” Mancini said. “We also do humanity and environmental campaigns.”

Although the ‘Shark Fin Soap Bar’ has sold out at King of Prussia and online, you can still get involved in helping other charitable causes through their products like ‘Charity Pot,’ which is available year round.

“100 percent of the ‘Charity Pot’ sales price goes back to charity,” Mancini said. “You’re not picking a charity, rather, you are being reminded the charity on the pot has already reached their funding. It’s a really nifty program and you’re not leaving anyone behind.”

Their next campaign will identify the importance of package-free products, like their ‘Naked‘ product line, she shared.

“‘Naked’ are products that are package free – no pots, no wraps, no nothing,” Mancini continued. “We make that in every single section of our store, so we’ll be focusing on a lot of our solid soaps and body scrubs this time around. If you’re going camping or on a trip this summer, this campaign will show you all the little things you could take that don’t need any TSA approval and won’t leak in your bag.”

‘Let the Good Times Roll’ face and body cleanser at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

A Bit More About Lush

Lush ‘FRESH HANDMADE COSMETICS’ sign at King of Prussia

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

“Our motto here is, ‘Come often, buy fresh.'”

Amber Mancini

Quality and freshness go hand in hand as one of Lush’s top priorities and the average shelf life of their dry products is 14 months, according to Mancini.

Bath bombs at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

“Lush as a company started in the UK around 1970,” she said. “At that point in time, it was a husband and wife team – who were both in the cosmetic industry – working together.”

One of the founders, Mark Constantine, was a trichologist, according to Mancini.

“[Constantine] was a scalp doctor, if you will,” she continued. “That’s sort of how Lush was born. He started making hair treatments for people, which turned into ‘Cosmetics To Go.'”

‘LOVE IS IN THE HAIR’ sign at Lush in the King of Prussia mall

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Constantine and his wife, Elizabeth Weir, would make products for people, Mancini said. Customers would call up and order treatments out of their catalog.

“The problem with ‘Cosmetics To Go’ was it’s popularity,” she added. “They weren’t set up for it to be that popular, so it failed as a business.”

“The whole reason Lush exists is [the founders] felt it was their right to make a mistake business wise and try again.”

Amber Mancini

In the early 90’s, a Canadian couple joined Constantine and Weir, Mancini said. To this day, Lush remains privately owned by it’s four original founders.

Since then, Lush has made a name for itself around the globe. Unanimously, their ‘Ocean Salt‘ face and body scrub is among their most popular products, she said.

“It has things like coconut and avocado fat, lime and vodka to brighten the skin,” she continued. “That product has been around as long as we’ve been around – and truly, across every store I’ve worked in, is the product that most people ‘have to have’ after they try it once.”

Mancini said that ‘Ocean Salt’ was also the product that sparked her interest in the company prior to working there.

Afterwards, she explained how Lush is shipped across the US.

“All Lush you see on the east coast is manufactured in Toronto, Canada, and all the Lush on the west coast is made in Vancouver,” she added. “Central [US] gets more of the Vancouver products because it’s an easier shipping route. That’s why there’s a bit of sparsity when it comes to our stores in the middle of the country, so there are some states that don’t have Lush.”

The King of Prussia location has been established for about six and a half years.

Ber Mancini’s Personal Experience at Lush

Fresh face masks at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Mancini said she started with Lush in 2014 at the San Francisco location on Powell Street, which was also the first Lush to open in North America.

“I worked there for about a year and a half,” she said. “Then I moved back here to the Philadelphia area, which is where I’m originally from. I’ve been at King of Prussia since.”

She then discussed how much she’s enjoyed holding various positions with the company, from floor leader to assistant manager.

“Right now, I’m a floor leader,” Mancini explained. “We make the party happen [laughs]. We make sure the customers are assisted by sales associates and do all the stuff in the middle. I also do a lot of the visual work here, like using color wheels to set up different sections.”

“Lush is actually designed to look like a food store, so I have to recreate a marketplace, if you will. It’s pretty fun.”

Amber Mancini

Mancini then said she was drawn into the cosmetic industry by Lush, thanks to her dad.

“Believe it or not, my dad was the one in the house who was really into self care,” she said. “He’s a classical guitarist, so he takes care of his hands quite a bit.”

“Growing up, I thought it was really natural for both men and women to use lotions and creams.”

Amber Mancini

Massage bars at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

As a teen, Mancini explained that she became interested in essential oils for their scent, which further piqued her interest in Lush.

“During the early 2000s, Lush was still very much a cult following,” she explained. “There was almost this enigma like, ‘What’s this secret society that smells amazing with all of these little black pots?'”

The transparency of the company is one of the aspects Mancini said she values most about Lush, as well as their use of science to craft the most effective products.

“Lush really bases their products off of scientific fact and study.”

Amber Mancini

“We’re also non prescriptive,” Mancini said. “We don’t pigeonhole people into things. If they wanted to use a product a certain way, they can. We don’t use empty marketing terms, either.”

Mancini also said her experience with Lush products has made her more conscious of labels and ingredients in her everyday life.

Then, we began talking about terpenes, organic compounds produced by a wide variety of plants that affect the way the it interacts with your body.

You may have heard of terpenes, as they’ve recently been making headlines due to the vital role they play in the effects and benefits of medical marijuana.

Read: Strain of the Week

The Burgundy Zine

However, terpenes aren’t exclusive to cannabis.

“The terpenes are what gives off a lot of the taste or smell,” Mancini explained. “All of the terpenes and things like that are exactly what gives a rose, a violet, or lavendar it’s smell – and sometimes its taste, as well. All of the weird words at the end of our labels are basically essential oils on a molecular level.”

“Once you start realizing that sometimes the feelings you get from the scent of essential oils are very plant-based, you start to understand how our ingredients work.”

Amber Mancini

For example, she said lavender balances the mind as well as skin oil production. Again, Mancini stressed that while their ingredients do have benefits, Lush is not trying to sell their products as a cure-all.

Lavender Vida Loca soap at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

“We talk a lot about the power of the mind with some of our stuff,” she said. “We have a lotion called ‘Sleepy’ with a ton of lavender and oat milk in there. If you go into it with a relaxed mindset, you can have that effect.”

“I always giggle when I have a customer who goes, ‘THIS IS GONNA MAKE ME SLEEP, RIGHT!?’ I almost have to bite my tongue from saying, ‘Not with that attitude.'”

Amber Mancini

“We almost have to teach people how to relax [laughs].”

Naked cleansing balms and creams at Lush

Source: Lush | Penelope Peru Photography P³

In her time at Lush, Mancini said she’s noticed a difference in the customers that come in on either side of the country.

“When I first started, it was an interesting world to live in,” she began. “I started in the San Francisco Bay area where people are incredibly aware of what is in their product, what they want to purchase, how they want to introduce it in their life – as well as what they don’t want. It was interesting to be connected to that culture.”

When she came back to the east coast, she said their average customer wanted a much quicker shopping experience.

As we wrapped up our discussion, Mancini encouraged folks to come on in and checkout Lush, whether it’s the King of Prussia location or one of their other stores.

“If you missed the sharkies, don’t worry, there’s stuff all year round,” she said. “Just come down and have fun with us! We’re really hands on. My name is Amber, but call me ‘Ber’ – I’ll feel like you know me that way [laughs].”

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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