Sure, Lush is that gourmet-beauty explosion you can identify by smell in NorthPark and the Galleria. But its hunks of hand-cut soap and fizzing bath bombs aren't the only things the bath product retailer is known for. Lush is pretty damn outspoken, too.
Back in 2008, Lush employees dissed their clothes to spotlight the company dissing extraneous packaging. The staffers donned only aprons that said "Ask me why I'm naked?" in 27 US stores in an effort to educate consumers on the environmental waste that comes from product packaging. And, they backed the bare move with recycled (the plastic ones are 100% post-consumer) and reusable containers, or no packaging at all.
This time, the protest is social and political. At 11:38 a.m. Saturday, Lush stores are hosting the Kiss and Tell. They invite same-sex and straight couples alike (essentially making the point right there, isn't it?) to have a smooch in the store window, fight the Defense of Marriage Act and urge the feds to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, allowing same-sex couples the 1138 civil rights and protections they are currently denied (hence the rather particular event time).
Many will be shocked that a soap shop is making a political stink, so to speak, in such a retail setting. But in the confines of high-end shopping malls, amongst fashion designers who make statements with their work, how different is it? It isn't so far removed at all. In line with the purpose of their products, the statement, is, frankly, refreshing.
What could be a financially risky maneuver in this historically red state makes the effort especially sincere.
"In our opinion equality has no borders including state borders," Lush campaigns manager Brandi Halls said today via email. "We are running this campaign across North America without making assumptions about how open minded we expect locations to be. In order to win the freedom to marry we need to courageously stand up for what we believe in which is what we are doing here in Dallas."
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But the protest doesn't begin or end with the one-minute window display. As of Monday, Lush stores became official Freedom to Marry campaign centers with petition posts, info kiosks and even Freedom Foamer Bubble Bars benefitting FtM.
The details of the campaign from the press release are after the jump.
Portion of Lush's June 16, 2011 press release:
For two weeks starting on June 13th, LUSH is turning its shops across North America into 'campaign centers' where people can drop in to learn about the 1,138 rights denied to same-sex couples and sign a postcard petition asking the federal government to take action and overturn DOMA. To further efforts, LUSH has created a new limited edition Freedom Foamer Bubble Bar ($5.95) with 100% of the proceeds going to Freedom to Marry's campaign to end marriage discrimination. This uplifting vegan bubble bar is scented with fresh lime and grapefruit and will be available at www.lushusa.com and at LUSH stores across North America for the duration of the campaign.
Why does marriage matter to a soap company? LUSH believes that all of its employees, customers and communities are valued and should be protected equally. LUSH wants to end the ongoing discrimination against thousands of couples and families across America. This means everyone - gay and non-gay - having the freedom to marry, with the same responsibilities, dignity, security and expression of love and equality.
Exclusion from the freedom to marry unfairly punishes committed same-sex couples and their families by depriving them of critical support, security, and obligations in virtually every area of life, including death and taxes. Under DOMA, same-sex couples are excluded from 1,138 rights tied to marriage because the federal government does not recognize their marriages. The denial of marriage is one of the harshest inequalities inflicted on lesbian and gay Americans and their families, and it's a discrimination enacted by our own government.
"Tens of thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples across the country are doing the hard work of marriage every day, sharing the ups and downs of life, but because of federal marriage discrimination, they and their families are denied basic respect for their commitment and deprived of fair treatment in taxes, immigration, access to health care, and Social Security," said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. "For same-sex couples to fully share in the freedom to marry, we must pass the Respect for Marriage Act, overturn the 'Defense of Marriage Act,' and return the federal government to its longstanding practice of honoring lawful marriages without a 'gay exception.'"
"We believe that that everyone should have the freedom to marry the person they love," says LUSH Campaigns Manager Brandi Halls. "Many of our staff, customers, friends and family are not given the same rights as everyone else and we felt, for the sake of our friends, we had to challenge this injustice."
For more information on the campaign please visit: www.lush.com/freedomtomarry