Kicking dirt in the face of Urban Decay’s recent announcement that the brand are now allowing their (previously certified cruelty-free) products to be tested on animals (if required by law) comes a new initiative from LUSH.  The British brand – who have recently caused controversy after unveiling a ‘shock’ stunt at their Regent Street store – are taking a particularly pro-active stance against animal-testing by fronting a £250,000 annual fund (in partnership with Ethical Consumer) towards finding and implementing viable alternatives to the traditional methods of safety testing cosmetics.

A panel of ten independent judges will deliver the verdicts on the movers and shakers in the industry in a high-profile awards ceremony to be held in London each year.  The initiative will be known as The LUSH Prize and will be awarded to the most effective projects and individuals working towards the goal of replacing animal use in product safety testing.  The £250,000 fund will be divided into five prizes of £50,000 each and awarded across five distinct categories:

Science Prize –  the development of replacement non-animal tests

Training Prize –  training researchers in non-animal methods

Lobbying Prize –  policy interventions to promote the use of replacements

Public Awareness Prize –  raising public-awareness of ongoing testing

Young Researcher Awards –  to five post-graduates specialising in replacements research

In any year where there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the area which holds out most hope for a ‘Eureka’ moment where animal tests can be replaced wholesale, the entire £250,000 prize fund will be awarded to the individual or team respsonsible.

You can watch Mark Constantine, the managing director and co-founder of LUSH Cosmetics explain more about the new LUSH Prize below:

I’m applauding LUSH for taking a different direction in the fight against animal-testing, and this is coming from someone who is rarely a fan of their “hard-hitting” publicity stunts and campaigns.  I don’t get morally outraged, I just like to believe that I’m not so completely desensitized to the issues that I need something so brutal to remind me (or the younger fans of LUSH) of it.  I also felt that the window campaign fetishized the issue, I like to think… accidentally, but who knows.

What say you?


5 Responses to “LUSH Cosmetics launch the LUSH Prize in the pursuit of animal-free safety testing”

  1. sophie says:

    I have to agree about the Lush window display, it did all end up a bit fetishistic, but I think this is a brilliant idea. Kudos to Lush for putting their money where their mouths are.

  2. Sydney says:

    As much as this may be a massive publicity stunt, I still fullly respect Lush for doing it.
    Hopefully their efforts will make a difference (as well as give a kick up the butt to some other companies!)

  3. Much prefer this approach from Lush – putting money behind finding credible, viable alternatives will win me over every time when compared to the shock tactics they’ve previously employed (and I have no doubt they’ll use these again, I can’t imagine this initiative will get as much publicity).

  4. mary says:

    I approve of the award programme set up by LUSH. It’s very savy of them particularly at a time when Estee Lauder and other companies are opting to manufacture in China. Re. the shock tactics of their campaigns, they have obviously taken direct inspiration from the approach of PETA. This worked in the 90’s re. the fur trade, but I think it just makes people ignore them now because we’ve tired of those kind of full on presentations over and over. It is difficult to be critical of their ‘shock’ tactics because the reality of what they are campaigning against IS deeply shocking. There is nothing more extreme than seeing for yourself the reality of how animals are used for the meat industry, leather, cotton, cosmetics and medical testing, even the pet industry. The only thing I’d say is that perhaps they re-think how people today best respond to campaigns. We are so bombarded with shock value imagery that perhaps a different approach would be welcome.

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