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not all is equal. what choice will you make?


Alykhan August 24, 2011


Ottawa, August 24, 2011: LUSH cosmetics’ ethical hypocrisy was exposed this afternoon when two Niqab-wearing women protested the LUSH store in Ottawa, Canada. The protest, organised by, drew attention to LUSH’s decision to actively attack Canada, a liberal democracy, and its ethical oil industry while profiting from the presence of LUSH stores in Saudi Arabia, a tyrannical regime that doesn’t allow women to drive, doesn’t allow them to work or leave their homes without a male guardian’s permission, and where a woman’s testimony only counts for a half of a man’s.

“LUSH’s fancy soaps won’t wash away the company’s ethical hypocrisy. LUSH has the audacity to attack the tens of thousands of Canadians who work in Canada’s ethical oil industry, while actively profiting from a retail presence in Saudi Arabia, a country that shamelessly represses not only women but ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and gays and lesbians”, said Alykhan Velshi, executive director of, which organised the protest. “Ethical Oil from Canada’s oilsands is the Fair Trade choice in oil. People, businesses, and governments have a choice to make: Ethical Oil from Canada, its oilsands, and other liberal democracies or Conflict Oil from regimes like Saudi Arabia.” began as a blog to promote the ideas in television personality Ezra Levant’s bestselling book “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands.” will continue using street theatre and direct action to encourage people, businesses, and governments to choose Ethical Oil from Canada, its oilsands, and other liberal democracies over Conflict Oil from politically oppressive and environmentally reckless regimes.

Pictures of the demonstration can be seen herehereherehere, and here.



Comments (42)

  1. I too am a hypocrite. I load up on LUSH gift sets every Christmas and I will probably do so next year despite that it is much easier to shop elsewhere than it is to avoid gasoline.

    How about you lay off the preachy anti-Alberta sermons and I promise not to feel guilty when I drive to your store in December? Deal?

  2. Every Albertan and Canadian should BOYCOTT Lush. They are a shining example of Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  3. Just sent Lush an email to inform them I have spent my last oil sands earned dollar in their Chinook location…BOYCOTT the company.

    • I will never step foot inside there shop ever again and will go out of my way to spread the word about what they have done. My Alberta money will be spent on Alberta OIL.

  4. I agree with Info, I am sick of these companies bashing the Alberta OIL Sands while supporting the middle east China and India the polluters of the world, meanwhile they think we should buy their products. BOTCOTT all of them.

  5. this is all false information. lush is an exceptional company. just because they brought to light some effects of the oil sands – its about education. It’s the big picture problem. I dont understand why you would protest at a lush retail store – go directly to the people incharge of their ethical campaigns. Not appropriate. The girls working at the lush store are someones child and granddaughter. Did you think of that? It doesnt make sense to me.

    • I have no idea of the source of the other commenters facts but I do know about mine. They are my personal experiences as an OTR trucker all my life. I have hauled these chemicals to various manufacturers to be used to scent the products and soaps they produce. Most of those chemicals are considered dangerous or hazardous goods and need government regulated placards to transport them. Even without all this fuss about oil I do not use any of them because I do not want to use dangerous or hazardous goods to clean myself or make myself smell like a flower. If you think I am kidding just google the chemical makeup of gasoline and perfumes to see how many of the same chemicals they share in their make up.

      • Thank you for your response. However, you are clearly uneducated on lush products :) Which is fine and I respect that. But you can look on and all of their ingrediants are listed. You will notice that they do not ‘fill’ their products with what other cosmetic companies use. LUSH does not use hazardous or dangerous ingrediants. However, over a year ago I remember that LUSH discontinued using palm oil because of its effects on the environment and the people. Good luck with your research!

        • All soaps are made with sodium hydroxide (lye)…..which is a casutic ingredient. It’s right there in the ingredients. I think it is you who should be doing the research.

    • A child should not work at a Lush store. It is bad enough that Lush is attacking Canada’s ethical oil, and supporting the Saudi brutal treatment of woman. Now you claim they hire children, and are defending it.

    • I feel sorry for who ever protests outside of Lush and is forced to breath in all those cheap scents all day.

  6. Without the oil industry Lush would not be in business. The chemicals used to produce their cosmetics come from the oil refineries that make gasoline and in many instances they are the same chemicals that are in the gasoline for your car.

    • FYI: LUSH is called “LUSH Handmade Cosmetics” :) which means the products are hand made, thanks though.

      • Just because something is hand made doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain chemicals. My hand made wood coffee table was stained with oil.

    • Not to mention the mode of transport used to deliver their goods, unless they use bicycles, they are probably using Oil Sands products wether they like it or not.

  7. Lush is a company who is proud to say that their products are from far trade sources, sweat shop free and organic. They also use the money from their products to make the world a better place and to support new foundations every month. If u really want to spend ur time taking down a company maybe take a look at the body shop, or maybe bath and body words who put tones of perservatives and test on animal……..sereously do ur research and pick real battles.


    • This is a real battle – any attack on the oilsands affects our economy – Lush have proved themselves to be hypocrits and thus worthy of being boycotted.

    • Seems you are making up your facts on the run Toxic-vexy. For instance, Bath and Body Works won an award in 2007 for “Best Animal Friendly Retailer”

  8. Toxic
    I’m certain the Body Shop does not test on animals and the Body Shop doesn’t bash Canada. On the other hand, LUSH does bash my country so they should be protested against.

  9. They call themselves ethical yet have have shops in the oppressive regeimes of Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka

  10. I used to haul mud from the Fraser river down South to a very well known cosmetic manufacturer, to to packed in wafer cans, and sold throughout the world as an exclusive face pack. It seems to always be the pseudo-greens that are most willing to profit on thier hypocracy, and stick to thier guns without taking in the entire picture.

  11. It is amazing how confused and naive people are. The Arab Sheiks are smiling away at Lush, while woman in Saudi Arabia are treated like slaves.

  12. Having a stance against the oil sands is not anti-Canadian. That’s like saying anyone opposed to fighting in hockey is anti-Canadian. It’s a total stretch of reason and sounds like you have no argument so you are trying to fabricate one.

    As for LUSH and their cosmetic products, they make some of the best products out there, free of toxins and wasteful packaging. Good for them for standing up against irresponsible environmental destruction.

    Lastly, saying bad things about the oil sands is not an attack on our economy. Again, that’s a stretch. It’s like saying that being negative about the asbestos industry is an attack on our economy. The oil sands make up less than one half of one percent of all Canadian jobs. 90% of the economic benefits of the oil sands remain in Alberta. The other 10% makes its way into our federal economy, which makes up only 0.2% of the total Canadian economy.

    Interestingly, the oil sands represent 5% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. That, in a nutshell, is the issue here.

    • You made some good points but Canada does more than any other country. Try getting a tour in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela…. won’t happen. According to the Obama administration Alberta’s oil produces the least carbon dioxide and people and media can tour the oil sands on a regular basis.
      I don’t mind you criticizing the oil sands but the hypocrisy comes when a large part of Lush does business in Saudi Arabia and won’t criticize them who do a lot worse to the environment. As their CEO said we can’t criticize them because they won’t allow us to criticize them. Like it or not oil is the single most useful commodity in the world and it is a choice between their oil and our ethical oil.

  13. Everytime I walk by Lush I have an allergy attack so I’ve been boycotting them for years. What are these poeple doing wearing the niqab. Do they not realize that they do not have to live with oppression in Canada?

    • Oil Sands Bashing is silly because we are doing much to destroy the environment besides that. If you’re really worried about it, Go set up shop in China. Screeching at Albertans just makes you look stupid. The San Fran oil spill probably did more damage in one incident than all our efforts in the MacMurray region since the ’60′s. Why not discuss offshore drilling or Russia’s dirty little habit of dumping nuclear waste into the oceans. Choose a region and bash away. What really disgusts me is Canadians bashing Alberta. They should be shipped to Nigeria to work on an oil rig. (or China to work on a dam) (-a Russian submarine)

  14. @wylie coyote, wearing a niqab has nothing to do with oppression. It is about religion. I myself was born and raised in Canada in a Christian family. I have chosen to convert to Islam and wear the Niqab. Please do not paint everyone with the same brush. I am not oppressed and I am not forced to wear anything I don’t want to. Thank You

  15. Pingback: Ethical Cosmetics « Crazy Jew

  16. Just because there are ethical issues around the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia does not make Canada’s oil sands suddenly ethical. This is an marketing campaign by Ethical Oil organization (note the capitals in the name). It says so right in the last paragraph of the article. We are not really talking about ethics here- this is a re-branding effort all tied up with Canadianness which stands in as defacto ethical supremacy . Canadians should be outraged by that.

  17. Environmentally reckless describes this “ethical oil” perfectly. And it destroys too much forest too.

    Besides, how much harm can a denture adhesive do?

  18. Eric Neil Wright October 28, 2011 at 07:06

    This protest is offensive, an insult to the reader’s intelligence and indicative of a highly unethical strategy of political campaign. The entire strategy of your group depends on perpetuating a massive generalization about women in the “petrocracies”. No one would deny that womens’ rights in different parts of the world are not the same as they are in Canada, but you assume that these countries are one monolithic bloc, and moreover, that there isn’t (and hasn’t been) contestation and heterogeneity within these societies as to womens’ rights. For example, Iran has always been home to a large contingent of leftist politics that focuses on womens’ rights, they’re not in power at present, but that’s not to say that these things aren’t contested and fluid “over there”. Yes, there is such thing as an Iranian feminist, like Shirin Ebadi.

    My essential problem is that your campaign, in advocating for something ethical, is actually unethical in perpetuating and creating a massive and false generalization about people “over there” in “those countries”. This unambiguous view of things leads to a black and white view of the world, to a certain othering of “those people”, rather than critical engagement with what is actually going on in those countries on the ground, in communities, in families, at the micro-level. Politically speaking, black and white views and “othering” are necessary pre-conditions to supremely unethical acts like genocide or an unjust war. While no one would contend that this campaign is advocating some sort of war or genocide, it is through the pursuit of its interest in this particular fashion that it lays an intellectual groundwork which would allow for the political possibility of supremely unethical acts.

    In supposedly trying to be “ethical”, in reality a thinly veiled term to hide a base interest (let’s be honest), this campaign has committed a highly unethical act – shame on you! But you wouldn’t publish this would you?

  19. Neil- Good job buddy! Im sure the Islamists just love to hear ignorant westerners like you stand up for them. They are high fiving and congratulating each other on winning another dupe…They treat women like SHIT!!!! THATS IT!

    Go there and check it out….Its terrible…

    Irans people and their leadership are two different things. Read the book “we are Iran”…for starters….

    I take it you haven’t ever been to that part of the world…….So sad….

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