Friday, 24 April 2015

Shopping at Lush and Checking Your Privilege.

I love Lush. I love their ethics. I love that all the products are organic. I love that they are a cruelty free company. I love that all their products smell amazing. I love the quality of their products on delivering their promises.

As much as I love all of this, and despite one of my recent Instagram posts, I will admit to becoming a bit tired of seeing huge Lush hauls, mostly because Lush products are expensive.

I am a huge fan of the Lush shampoo and conditioner bars - my shampoo bar has lasted me from NYE till now (and I expect it will last me to the end of the month). I've gone through 6 (ish) bottles of conditioner in the same time as one shampoo bar, and I am expecting the same results from my conditioner bar. The hair mask Roots and the hair treatment R&B have been similarly long lasting as you only need a tiny bit of product to get good results. The deodorant bar I use (review here) will easily see me through till the end of June, and I'm pretty sure the lip scrub I've got will go out of date before I've got to the bottom of it, despite using it every time I wear lippy.

However, some of Lush's other products are much less economical and can be very expensive for the amount of use you get out of them.

Take for example a bath bomb.

If you are regularly buying Lush bath bombs, and regularly enjoying hour long soaks in the tub, I think you are probably someone who needs to check their privilege. (I mean this in the kindest of ways).

Lush bath bombs range in price for between £2.75 and £4 (ish). So, if you're having a bath using this bath bomb, you are having a £3.50 bath. You want bubbles in that bath? A Lush bubble bar will set you back between £3-£5. Admittedly you can get more uses from one bubble bar than they advertise (they say use a whole bubble bar per bath, but it depends on how many bubbles you like). Let's say that you can get two uses from your bubble bar. That's about £2.50 added onto the cost of your bath.

Already you've got a £6 bath. This isn't including heating/water costs.

Baths like these are not practical: you don't use them to get clean, you use them to relax. This means you've got the free time (the most expensive thing of all) to have and enjoy a bath. The process of drawing a bath can be quite long winded, and I know I've had baths where I've soaked for an hour or so.

What I'm trying to say with all of this is: There are lots of people (beauty bloggers etc) who can make it seem like having a hundred or so pounds (£) of Lush products ready to go is the norm, and it really isn't. For the vast majority of us a Lush bath is a treat.

Checking privilege isn't about backing down from an argument (although it can be), but rather about acknowledging that not all people have the same circumstances, and that yours might be from a place of 'privilege'. Racial/ethnic background, sexuality, gender identity, and economic status all play a part.

I don't think this post was quite as coherent as I wanted it to be, but I am writing this after 3 hours of sleep, 22km of cycling, and after almost fainting earlier in the day.

In short: Lush products are luxury products for many (despite their high-street status). Having and using them regularly is probably a sign that you have a disposable income, and therefore that you are probably coming from a place of privilege (no matter how hard you may have worked to get there).

Any thoughts? Tweet me @VickiMaitland or leave a comment below!

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