I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere in understanding the palm oil situation in LUSH products. I’ve had a couple of good emails from a Deputy Department Manager in Customer Care UK, Stephen, who explained he wrote the original statement I was emailed and read. Now remember, this is my understanding, and of course all comment is open to personal interpretation!
Of the ingredients I was concerned about in the products I bought, he says only the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Stearic Acid and Sodium Stearate are ingredients they cannot fully trace the sources on. These are the ingredients they cannot guarantee are palm oil free. “These are the only three ingredients in store that could potentially contain it – none of the others you quoted.”
I take this to mean, that any product that doesn’t feature these three ingredients can be defined as palm oil free. He says “Plenty of our store is 100% palm free, and I’m happy to give you a consultation if there’s something you’re after, I can definitely point you in the right direction.”
So, I think we can be clear: LUSH is not palm oil free. But, LUSH has palm oil free products. The main issue right now? LUSH staff do not know what these are and it’s not made clear anywhere!
My last email to him said “I also really hope you can better educate your store staff and customer service agents with a clearer statement. Currently you’re challenging your customer and employee loyalty with everyone claiming complete Palm oil free products and then other statements contradicting this. Just clarifying only some products are POF, exactly which these are, and which ingredients to avoid if anyone is unsure, would be a great step forward to transparency.” Do you agree? Do you work for LUSH and are you confused yourself?
UPDATE: Clearly I missed a much more important issue with them not being completely palm oil free, and that’s of the palm oil they are potentially using in these ingredients, they have no idea where it’s from! So not only are they still using palm oil, but they are, as small risk as they like to say it is, supporting conflict and unsustainable palm oil.
I don’t work in retail, in cosmetics, in a supply chain of any sort, but surely, if one supplier won’t give you the information you need, you find another?? Is that so unreasonable?