Naked packaging, naked employees -- is Lush the ultimate green product?

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Today is naked day at 24 Lush cosmetics stores across the U.S. today (except for, maybe, the Somerset Collection Lush store in Troy, Michigan, whose mall managers said no to the protest). Employees are being encouraged to show up to work in nothing but their aprons as a protest against unneccessary packaging. Does this make it the ultimate green product? Or is there something a little cheeky in its promotion?

Note: These photos contain partial nudity.

To see all 10 of Sarah Gilbert's top 10 best and worst naked advertising campaigns, click here.

Lushs Green Day

    Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, based in Britain, are sold in cakes with as little packaging as possible. More than half of the companies products have no plastic wrap or other containers at all, even shampoos, which are sold in blocks.

    Al Behrman, AP

    To highlight its environmental cause, Lush stages "naked" days, where employees are asked to come to work wearing just a white apron that says "Ask me why I am naked." The first U.S. version of this was set for Wednesday, August 27.

    Olaf Kraak, AFP / Getty Images

    The company has also staged naked days in Amsterdam, Canada and Berlin.

Lush, a luxury cosmetic company based in Britain, is known for its efforts to reduce packaging -- about half of its products are sold without plastic wrap and other containers. Shampoos and soaps come in bars instead. Lush says that packaging uses up 8% of the world's oil resources. But still, that leaves a giant selection of its products with some packaging attached.

The company tried a similar naked day in Canada in 2007 and in Berlin most recently and for one, the blog treehugger.com asked how environmental is was to hand out leaflets explaining the protest.

Note: The following video has some partial nudity.

Many companies these days are making an effort to reduce packaging -- have you tried a water bottle lately -- but without a major stunt campaign. It, of course, would be difficult to sell bottled water and other beverages without some kind of packaging. But there is definitely a lot more that companies could do in order to reduce waste and at the same time improve customer experiences.

Here's some packaging I'd like to see go:

  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Wrapping paper for presents, and even glossy gift bags
  • Shrink wrap for CDs and DVDs: wouldn't a simple tamper-proof sticker do just as well?


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