“The current situation in Syria, and the journey for those forced to leave their homes seeking safety from the violence, is heartbreaking,” said Lush Social Good Campaign Specialist, Carleen Pickard.
On Feb. 15, all North American Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics stores started to carry a new soap called ‘The Hand of Friendship.” They say that this is to give a warm welcome to our ‘new neighbors’, helping the Syrian Refugees.
This new soap is a delicate, floral scent that is of two hands embraced as one, creating a heart shape. This soap is limited edition, and according to Lush, is a symbol of what they call, an open welcome of Syrian Refugees into the United States and Canada. The cost is $5.95, and 100% of that sale goes towards the Friendship Fund. The Friendship Fund benefits organizations that work to help Syrian refugees and their families settle into their new lives in a new place. The current Syrian refugee crisis is the largest humanitarian crisis of our time and Lush feels that all people around the globe must do their part and respond.
“There was no question about acting on this issue, it’s the right thing to do,” said Pickard.
Lending a helping hand to those in need is not a new concept at Lush. They are known to put the environment and its people first. From choosing to only to make products directly from nature to taking part in such humanitarian causes, Lush says that they believe words like “fresh” and “organic” have an honest meaning beyond marketing. “
We wanted to ensure in a way that we could, that refugees arriving in North America are welcomed with love and friendship. We also wanted to use our platform of over 230 shops in North America to inform our customers and give them a meaningful and impactful way to take action to show their support,” said Pickard.
Lush says that they are a company that stands for human rights and is sensitive to the Syrian Refugee crisis.
“Millions of Syrian men, women and children are being forced out of their homes and country to seek safe refuge from war. For families who have lost everything, arrival and settlement will be difficult, so Lush is calling on the support of their customers and the community to welcome our new neighbors with love and friendship,” the company said in a press release in early January.
Through the sale of these soaps, Lush aims to raise $350K to go towards the Friendship Fund. But, even if the sales of these soaps do not reach their $350K goal, Lush will still donate that amount to go directly to Syrian Refugee resettlement in North America. Since the money being raised is going through the Friendship Fund, this soap was designed in the same spirit of the campaign, “showing our welcome,” Pickard said.
Two of the organizations Lush partners with are International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Amnesty International Canada. Both are not-for-profit organizations dedicated to responding to humanitarian crises worldwide. In this current Syrian refugee crisis, the IRC has been the only international relief agency working simultaneously in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Greece, and in the United States, to resettle refugees from the Middle East and from around the world. They work in over 40 countries and were founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein.
The new ‘Hand of Friendship’ display also includes a special box where customers can fill out postcards to welcome incoming refugees. Once collected, Lush places them in the hands of the arriving Syrian refugees to North America.
“The postcards are an element of the actions we’ve put in this campaign; so that folks can take meaningful and impactful action to support refugees in North America,” Pickard said.
According to Pickard, Canada has had an outpouring of public support for any incoming refugees. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau announced that they would increase the number of refugees coming into Canada to 25,000 by the end of this month. Though in the U.S., opinions are very spilt. President Obama has pledged to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States this year, though that number has been faced with opposition.
“Yet we believe that once people see and understand the violence and fear Syrian refugees have experienced, they will take action to lighten the suffering of the Syrian people,” said Pickard.
Being a store that pushes all natural, handmade, 100 percent vegetarian products, standing against animal testing, Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade and charitable initiatives ensuring each product produced makes a positive impact on the world. Online shoppers will have the option to send a warm welcome message via Lushusa.com and Lush.ca. Customers are also encouraged to show their support socially by using #RefugeesWelcome