I have been a Lush fan for as long as I can remember. However, one thing I have never thought-of or seen blogged about is how accessible the products are. I guess this is because I have never really needed to think about that kind of accessibility. My partner and I have a number of complex mental health conditions. In the past we have spent a lot of time in various psychiatric wards. I remember that’s where I realised that Lush was something that could ground me in times of distress. My partner is also autistic, and has Tourette’s Syndrome which requires him to use a wheelchair.
I remember the first time we went shopping together, before we were in a relationship. I was really confused as to why he was never comfortable in a shop which not only sold so many wonderful products, but are also: ethical, fresh, handmade, organic, against animal testing and products which are all vegetarian or vegan. He used to hate when I asked if we could go; whereas i was like a little kid in a sweet shop.
It wasn’t until we got into a relationship and I wanted to buy some products for us to share that he told me why he struggled. We live in Manchester and are so lucky to have two great shops in the city centre all run by amazing staff. But the problem is they were both rather small. The smell of all the fresh open products together in one confined space was always really overwhelming for him. He believed that all the individual products (even when used alone) would be overpowering for his sensitive senses.
The new Arndale shop which opened in 2016 has some really cool features. It’s the only Lush store in the world to have a greenhouse. This shows many of the plants that go into the products and doubles up as a space for various skin consultations .The store is set up into different product areas. As the new store is bigger it means it is more accessible for not only getting about in a wheelchair, but can also make it easier for people who are oversensitive with smells. It benefits from high ceilings which appeared to have vents and air cooling systems. These things combined make the store feel cooler with a less intense aroma, which greatly helped my partner.
My partner now likes to be treated to Lush and has even been in and bought a variety of products for himself to use. I am really glad that he likes Lush and realises that as much or as little product can be used to make it as accessible as you personally need it to be.