Although the company had been planning the move prior to the Brexit result, it has confirmed that it will be speeding up the process of increasing its production at the Lush factory in Duesseldorf, western Germany, which supplies its European retailers.
"While this was always the plan - to make product for Europe in Europe (alongside our Croatian factory) - the reality of the Brexit vote has meant we have done it with a bullet," the company said in an emailed statement, reports Reuters.
"Many of our staff still have uncertainties about what the Brexit deal will mean for them and continue to wait anxiously for this to be revealed."
The Lush factory in Duesseldorf has reportedly begun supplying France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as well as Germany, with 18 UK staff said to have already relocated and more to be offered roles this week.
The company, renowned for its ethical credentials and colourful in-store offering, will be downsizing its production at its facility in Poole, south west England, where it was originally founded and which pours an estimated £4.6 million into the local economy every year.
Poole followed the majority of voters in the UK, with 58% of the town’s electorate voting in favour of Brexit. Lush’s founder, Mark Constantine, has been vocal in his dismay at the result, particularly on a local level and what it means for the company’s 1,400 UK-based staff.
“Now all those people have been told they’re not welcome and not wanted by people in Poole, because Poole voted against it,” Constantine said at the time in an article published by local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo
Prepared for change
The company has described itself as fortunate to have the option of its Duesseldorf facility to begin moving to immediately, with other larger companies in the UK having to wait to assess the fallout of the withdrawal from the EU.
Britain has yet to decide on when to trigger the process of withdrawal, and whether it will be able to secure appropriate trade deals globally remains to be seen.
Lush’s move means the company is likely to avoid the financial impact of the economic uncertainty being caused by the ongoing Brexit situation, and continue building on the 18% sales growth it enjoyed last year.