Lush Philanthropy

Everyone is familiar with that sickening sweet smell that follows you along the street after passing a Lush store. But the story of its founder and chief executive, Mark Constantine, is not so well-known. In the early 1990's, his then small company was the largest supplier to the Body Shop until they bought him out. Then in 2001, Lush tried to buy Body Shop, his offer was dismissed by the Roddicks as "an early April Fool's joke" and they have not spoken since. Lush's ingredients are mostly natural; it is sourcing more organic and Fairtrade ingredients, nothing is tested on animals and packaging is avoided where possible. Constantine has made a fortune and now gives around 2% of the company's profits to charity. This year he gave cheques for £1,000 ($2,004) to a range of small, grassroots community organisations. He wanted to give it to groups that would do something interesting with the cash. He said that his main reason for picking the groups was: "If you're going to give money away you might as well give it to someone who's going to do something stupid with it." Several of the recipients were anti-airport and anti-road organisations since Constantine is a passionate cyclist who hates cars. His favourites are Sardine Man ( campaigning for better train journeys) and the Guerrilla Gardeners. He has also created the Charity Pot: a hand lotion, from which all the proceeds will be going to other small community groups including the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Dorset Wildlife Trust. As for that smell: "the reason it smells so strong is that if you are going to take all the packaging off cosmetics, you can smell it." :: Guardian