Lush takes a stand against BigTech

Beauty and cosmetics retailer Lush has announced plans to move away from BigTech giants like Meta over concerns about the impact on customers and the environment.

The retailer also said that it will swich from Google Ads to other platforms after research by the company found less than half of consumers trusted Google.

The changes are part of its “BigTech rebellion” which will see Lush distance itself from the tech giants and use open source technology, ethical hardwear and ethical data policies.

“We wish to have zero reliance on the rabbit hole that is ‘trademark buccaneering’ on Google in favour of interacting with our customers in more ethically sound digital scenarios such as across the metaverse (no, not Zuckerberg’s half-baked version),” said the retailer in a statement.

The move comes after a report published by Lush found that consumers were spending less time on social media platforms, with a further 55 per cent of those surveyed wanting BigTech to “have less control online”.

The research follows Lush’s decision to deactivate its Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat to address consumers’ mental health challenges in 2021. At the time, the brand said that its global presence across these platforms would remain deactivated until they take action to “provide a safer environment for users.”

As part of its new changes, Lush said it will only use hardware which is hosted on 100 per cent renewable energy, has a low energy consumption and uses conflict free materials.

The company also revealed that it will now only use technology products which are released on an OSI-approved licence, which allows software to be freely used, modified, and shared.

The company has also promised to be transparent about how it uses both customer and staff data, ensuring that all data stored is “encrypted and secure” as it moves to Web 3 “as quickly as possible”.

Commenting on the news Annabelle Baker, Lush global brand director, said: “We wanted to do a report to show the optimism around social. There’s been so much scepticism around Lush’s Anti-Social policy, we wanted to show that there’s a different future, beyond the one we see now, where people can engage within safe environments online. We need to be able to move the narrative from what we can’t do to what we can.”

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