The Lush Policy

Different Testing PoliciesDifferent Testing Policies
Different Types of Cruelty Free Policies


We do not buy raw materials from any company that tests any of their materials on any animals for any purpose.

We can buy raw materials from any company that can sign a declaration saying that they test none of their raw materials on animals now and have no plans to do so in the future.

Positive Aspects vs Negative Aspects

NO money from Lush goes to companies that test on animals.

We do not just look at the one material we are buying from a company – we look at the companies testing of other materials too. Which means, if we want to buy Glycerine which is not tested, but the company tests other materials on animals, we cannot buy anything from them. If the raw materials company tests glycerine for a food product, even though we want to use it in a cosmetics product, we still cannot buy it from them.

This policy means that we can be certain that the profit that our raw material suppliers makes from us does not go back into animal testing. It means that we do not do business with companies who’s ethical stance is at odds with ours and who are doing things that we find unacceptable or that compromise our beliefs.

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 market an entire range of products without any involvement in animal testing. Which gives the lie to cosmetics companies who tell their customers that they animal test only because they need to by law.

It is a lonely road that we travel. No other company follows this policy. We also often get left off ‘cruelty free’ company lists simply because the organisations that compile the lists either:

  • Do not fully understand our policy,
  • Do not have a convenient pigeon hole for us so would have to give us our own heading/section,
  • Only list companies licensed under their own scheme,
  • Or perhaps they simply do not agree with our route to the solution?

However lots of animal protection organisations do see the strength of Lush’s policy and are happy to include us in their cruelty free lists, even though we do not fit in the same pigeon hole as the other Standards.

It is a hard Policy to stick to and means that we have a smaller pool of suppliers to choose from than most companies.

THE NEW REACH CHEMICAL LEGISLATION hits us harder than it hits other cruelty free policies – and means that whilst it was possible to be truly cruelty free and still meet all the stringent legal safety requirements, this new layer of legislation puts our suppliers at risk of being involved in third party testing.


The founders of Lush have been in the cosmetics business since the 1970s and throughout that time have been involved in the push against animal testing. They had a lot to do with introducing the 5 year rolling rule, getting animal testing talked and thought about, and were a major influence on The Body Shop policy, whilst inventing and manufacturing products for the Body Shop through the 1980s.

But as time went on they began to feel that more needed to be done. Raw Materials Suppliers were still animal testing and did not seem to find the policies enough of an incentive to make them stop. The fixed cut off date started to become the accepted policy but the team here felt uncomfortable that the system still meant that a company could profit from them whilst still testing things on animals. So they cast aside the rolling rule and the fixed cut off date and rethought what it was they were trying to achieve. They decided that the simple aims they had were:

  • For animal testing to stop completely,
  • For raw materials companies to change the way they test
  • And for no money to go to companies who continued to test on animals.

They launched this new 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. The new REACH chemical legislation will affect our policy as its implementation rolls in over the coming years. Lush intends to highlight this and work towards a day when all animals are safe from testing and properly protected by worldwide laws.