Lush under fire over riot-inspired incense but insists no offence meant

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lush under fire over riot-inspired incense but insists no offence meant

Related tags: Essential oil, Lush

UK cosmetics company Lush has seen its Lavender Hill Mob incense come under fire with a backlash on social media after some accused it of cashing in on the London riots, although Lush has said that while inspired by the events of 2011, it was a ‘celebration’ of the public response to them.

The packaging for the incense shows a burning building, while the name ‘Lavender Hill’ relates to the area in Clapham, London, where some of the violence took place.

Critics took to social media to voice their concern at the cosmetics maker for cashing in on the riots with the product, with campaign group, Love Battersea, tweeting “Dear Lush - if you'd seen the fire & destruction on Lavender Hill you'd be ashamed”​, branding the product as ‘bad taste’.

The MP for Battersea, Jane Ellison, followed this up tweeting: “Agree with @lovebattersea1 - and by the way it was 2011. Has taken some businesses the 4 years since then to recover.”


Lush has responded to the outcry by stating that it did not mean to offend and that it was rather a show of solidarity.

“At Lush we have a history of expressing ourselves through our products. To us, our product is not just how we earn a living, it is our art, our form of expression; the tool we have with which to reach out to the world and have conversations and relationships,”​ it said in a statement.

“We find that whatever affects us and our lives usually works its way into our products. The London riots impacted Lush in many ways.”

The product, which is made up of Sandalwood and Lavender oil, is described as 'calming and meditative… to aid quiet contemplation amidst the violence of the world,’ and Lush says this is to celebrate the public resistance rather than focus on the violence.

“It is inevitable at Lush that at some point a product will pop out of these internal debates, because our work springs from our lives,”​ continues the statement.

“In the case of the riots, it was an incense that one of us came up with, to bring these feelings and this conversation into being. We have never stopped talking about the riots within Lush.”

On the company website it says the product was inspired to create a calming incense to still the mind and remind people of the importance of community.

Related topics: Brand Innovation

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