June 6, 2020
We are guilty of not acting sooner. It’s time.
Systemic racism has oppressed Black people since the forcible and criminal arrival of Africans to the Americas and white people—colonizers—have privileged from the horrors of slavery for over 400 years. It has allowed a ‘business as usual’ normalization of racism to benefit companies such as ours. Negation of this history and erasure of racism and the harm it causes which includes—but is not limited to—criminalization, violence, voter suppression and economic disenfranchisement, must end.
We have always supported uplifting the voices of those demanding change. Our staff have been engaged on many issues over the years and help inform the stances we take as a business. This is true for Black Lives Matter in this moment. We stand with those on the frontlines and are committed as a North American business to play an active role. In response to one of the Lush co-founder’s posts on Facebook, Lush North America is a Licensee of Lush in the UK and as such we are not responsible for how the UK business operates. We are not in a position to make statements on behalf of the global brand; however, we are able to make commitments that we in North America stand behind.
We commit to challenging white supremacy and systemic racism and advocating for policies and legislation that advance equity for the Black community. Over the next week we will be contributing $250,000 to Black-led organizations in North America that are doing this work, and their voices and leadership will guide our continued campaign work for both the immediate and the long term.
In addition, we are dedicating $250,000 from the sale of our Charity Pot Body Lotion to support Black-led, community-based organizations across North America over the next three months. The recipients of these funds will be determined through a participatory process with our Black staff and in collaboration with partner organizations. Since 2007, proceeds from Charity Pot Body Lotion have provided 125 grants totaling $2.4 million dollars to small, grassroots organizations addressing the root causes of racial inequality. These contributions will and have been made possible thanks to the support of our customers.
We recognize that financial support is not enough to drive the immediate change this moment demands. This week, our Executive Team has joined conversations with staff to hear feedback on the business' operations. This is a first step. We currently have no Black representation at the executive level of our organization and limited representation at leadership levels throughout the business and recognize that this needs to change. We are deeply grateful for the work our staff have done to hold the business accountable to a much higher and absolutely critical standard.
As an ethical company, we should have been a leader in diversity in North America. Our eyes are wide open and we are committed to improving our internal practices as well as standing shoulder to shoulder with you on the frontlines of change against a system that we can no longer tolerate. We are grateful to our community who have shown up and held us accountable to our values—thank you for your tireless work, honesty and perseverance. Let’s get to work.