(Photo: Lush)

Ethical cosmetics company accused of unethical work conditions

The ethical cosmetics company Lush is well-known for its mission of providing ethically sourced products that help to raise funds and awareness for non-profit groups around the world. Lush’s reputation is tarnishing after being accused of providing poor working conditions for Australian factory workers.

Workers of the Australian Lush factory are revealing injuries and breathing difficulties resulting from poor working conditions provided by the ethical cosmetics company. The Australian factory located in Villawood, Sydney employs up to 70 employees to produce beauty products including handmade bath bombs, soaps, and shampoos.

Australian workers anonymously reported the company to the news outlet Guardian Australia to reveal they have suffered from back and wrist injuries on the job. The anonymous worker also disclosed that they are required to lift over 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) on a daily basis while working in the Lush factory.

The anonymous Australian Lush factory workers also claim that they weren’t provided with mandatory personal protective equipment. During the first phases of the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a shortage of P2 masks and employees weren’t protected against inhaling ingredient particles that caused breathing issues.

Another staff member of the Australia factory disclosed that there were reports of bullying and sexual harassment that was ignored by the company. The impacted staff of the Australia factory isn’t calling for customers to boycott but requesting Lush provides essential PPE and reform its harassment reporting policy.

The Lush factory also has high quotas for the worker to fulfill, the “Twilight” bath bombs have a minimum quota of 600 units per person per day. When workers create the products it requires a lot of heavy lifting and twisting the wrists repeatedly that causes wrist problems.

One anonymous worker details a neglected on-work accident, “One of the most concerning [injuries] was I had a pinched nerve. It kind of disabled my legs for about half an hour. I literally fell on the floor. And there was nobody in the room, so I had to crawl to the manager’s desk to get up on the chair and wait for someone to come in.” The worker further explains the pinched nerve was treated but had chronic lower back pain.

The staff requested trolleys to transport heavy ingredients but was denied. Another anonymous worker detailed an on-work accident he witnessed where a man in his 40s fell and hit his head, claiming factory management refused to call an ambulance.

Lush Australia has yet to comment on these allegations but it isn’t looking too good for the “ethical” cosmetics company.