Why Lush Cosmetics Deleted its Social Media Accounts: Feature Interview

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In November 2021 Lush decided to remove most of its social media accounts across 48 countries because of ignored harms to users. Now months later, we have an in-depth interview about the decision, how Lush is doing now, and inspirations that came from withdrawing from social media. 

Brandi Halls

“It was not an easy decision, but it was the only decision,” says Brandi Halls, Chief Ethics Officer, Lush in North America. “There is mounting evidence that social media has some serious harms associated with it and it could no longer be ignored.”

The accounts Lush deleted included Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat. Lush accounts remaining include YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

A Tough Decision 

Lush at CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“We decided these platforms are currently just too dangerous for the well-being of young people and until they take action to provide a safer environment for their users, we were not comfortable being present there,” says Halls. “As a brand that puts the well-being of our staff and customers at the core of what we do, engaging on these platforms is no longer aligned with who we are and where we should be.” 

As Lush had to take action to protect millions of its followers from the harm, it was an easy decision – just remove the accounts. However, Lush also lost its connections which made it challenging to promote its products and to connect with customers. 

“Of course, there are many challenges that come with stepping away from key channels of communication with our loyal fans,” says Halls. “For us, the biggest challenge has been and continues to be getting our brand in front of the millions of eyes that we had on those channels.”

Even though Lush has deleted these accounts, Halls say they have other ways of connecting with their customers such as on their website, storefronts, emails, events, and on other social media accounts such as Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. 

Lush has also created new ways of connecting with customers as the time away from these accounts have inspired new ways to excite fans. 

“A bonus is we have been forced to re-image how we excite fans, how we grow the brand, and how we continue to bring about real change for people, animals, and the planet. And while we don’t have it all figured out yet, we are innovators, testing out new ways of reaching new people in safe spaces and unconventional ways is where we thrive,” says Halls. 

Lush is always trying to find new ways of connecting with the community and right now they are using their new podcast, in-person experiences, new concept stores, and Lush has recently launched a new wellness app called Bathe. Through these channels, Lush can continue to build relationships with its customers, promote new products, and promote events. 

“There have been mixed responses from our fans,” says Halls. “Many miss seeing us on their social feeds and wish we would return, while others have voiced that this is exactly why they shop with us and will continue to do so.”

Is Social Media Harmful? The short answer is yes. 

Lush Cosmetics (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

An article from the BBC from 2018 talks about studies revealing the link between social media and harmful outcomes. Social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram have the tendency to influence stress levels, people’s mood, anxiety and depression, addiction, loneliness, causing extreme jealously and envy, bullying, and more. Social Media can also distort reality and cause unrealistic expectations which could lead people into depression or make a person’s depression worsen. These, among several other reasons, is why Lush decided to remove its accounts until it is safe to return and is hoping social media platforms will step up and find a solution. 

“We have made it clear that we were removing ourselves from these spaces until these platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users. Our hope is that this will be a short-term strategy; one where platforms would do the right thing to protect their users, where Lush could return to the spaces and re-engage our fans, and ultimately where young people are no longer exposed to harm at the hands of social media giants who know better.” 

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Article Author

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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