Funding Better Science
Putting our money where our mouth is
We have always had a policy of assuring the safety of our products and the ingredients we use through human relevant science, including in vitro test methods, using human cell-cultures and microbiology, computer modelling and clinical trials with human volunteers. You can find out more about how we test for safety without animals here.
Not only have we always had a policy against animal testing for our products, we also have a buying policy that we will not buy any ingredients from any manufacturer that tests anything they produce on any animals for any reason. This policy went way beyond what any other cosmetics companies were doing. Although we now have to account for the barriers created by the REACH regulation, you can read more about LUSH’s non animal testing policy here.
We have built Lush from day one using this policy – and we believe this shows that it is possible to invent, manufacture and bring to the market an entire range of products without any involvement in animal testing. Our founders launched this policy in June 1993, whilst still running their previous company, Cosmetics To Go. So when they started Lush in 1995, it began life using this policy and has stuck to it ever since.
Now the rest of the cosmetics industry has caught up with us and there is almost universal consensus that no animals should be used in cosmetics testing. So, if we can prove safety for cosmetics without using animals, there is no reason why other industries, such as chemicals, food and household products can’t also use non animal methods to safety test their products and ingredients.
The Lush Prize
Since 2012 we have been awarding individuals, groups and initiatives working to end the use of animals in experiments through the Lush Prize.
The idea for Lush Prize originated from the Lush founders’ frustration at the entrenched nature of animal testing. They felt it was taking too long for cruelty-free alternatives to be adopted into the mainstream. An idea emerged: a £250,000 pot of money every year which would fund a series of initiatives working to end the use of animals in experiments.
The Lush Prize launched in partnership with Ethical Consumer in 2012, becoming the largest prize fund in the non-animal testing sector. In 2018 it began awarding £330,000, and is now a biennial Prize that has awarded more than £3,000,000 to date.
As a truly global prize, it has supported scientists and activists in countries around the world including; China, Kenya, Iran, Ukraine and India, New Zealand, Brazil, USA and across Europe. Lush aims to support the most progressive work in the field, ensuring animal-free research continues with the highest level of impact possible. We do this by providing resources to projects that fall into five categories:
- The Science Prize and Young Researcher Prize are designed to advance research into alternative non-animal tests.
- The Training Prize is designed to resource projects training scientists or regulators in non-animal methods.
- The Public Awareness and Lobbying Prizes are designed to keep up the pressure to make sure regulation is appropriate and updated to reflect advances in 21st-Century Toxicology.
As well as these categories, if there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the area which holds out most hope for a ‘Eureka’ moment leading to the replacement of animal tests – a Black Box Prize can be awarded. This could be up to the full prize amount, and this was first awarded in 2015.
Learn more about The Lush Prize winners via its own website.