Lush “Friendship Fund” to Aid Syrian Refugees

By Brenda Bouw,

Lush Hand of Friendship Soap, $6

Lush Hand of Friendship Soap, $6

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has launched a North American campaign to raise money and awareness to help welcome and settle Syrian refugees.

The UK-based brand, known for its human and animal rights and environmental campaigns, is looking to raise $450,000 in Canada and the U.S. through the sale of its limited-edition Hand of Friendship soap. 

From Feb. 15 to 28, all proceeds from the sale of the $5.95 soap will go into a “Friendship Fund” created by Lush Cosmetics. The money will then be distributed to groups in North America helping to settle refugees arriving from Syria.

In Canada, Lush is working with Amnesty International Canada, which includes encouraging the public to sign a petition ensuring the Canadian government stays committed to its ongoing resettlement support. The Canadian government has pledged to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this month.

“The war and violence experienced by Syrians forced to flee their homes is heartbreaking,” stated Carleen Pickard, ethical campaigner at Lush Cosmetics. “In addition to offering financial resettlement support, we will inspire our customers to welcome Syrians and petition the Canadian government to support more refugees to come to Canada.”

In an interview with Marketing, Pickard says this fundraiser is the largest ethical campaign Lush in North America has ever done. The difference with this campaign is that the money in the Friendship Fund has yet to be allocated to specific relief organizations.

“We felt that it was so important to act on the issue that we felt comfortable putting that money into a fund and figuring out where it went after the campaign,” Pickard says. “The feedback back in December was that there were so many people coming – even organizations we approached to talk about this with were still getting up to speed to handle the influx of people.”

Lush shops are also using their store-front windows to welcome refugees in Arabic with the greeting “Ahlan wa Sahlan.” The company is also encouraging Lush customers to sign welcome postcards that will be sent to newly arrived refugees and to engage on social media with the hashtag: #RefugeesWelcome. Lush has also released a video (below) helping to explain the crisis in Syria and is heavily promoting its campaign across social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.


Pickard says the campaign has been well received in the stores since it launched on Monday. 

“We are already hearing really touching stories from the stores from people who themselves were refugees, know people impacted by the crisis, and customers who are really engaged to help,” she says. “We’re happy that the shops can be converted into safe spaces for these important conversations.”

Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, says settlement can be very challenging for refugees who have lost everything. 

“For more than two years, Amnesty International has been pressing the international community to dramatically improve the measures in place for protecting Syrian refugees, including more funding and better programs for refugees in neighbouring countries and more generous commitments to resettle refugees to third countries like Canada,” Neve said in a statement. “This partnership with Lush allows us to amplify our voice in an effort to change public opinion and welcome refugees into our country.”

Lush in the U.S. is working with the International Rescue Committee, a New York–based humanitarian aid organization.

This article originally appeared at; republished with permission.


Wholehearted Beauty

The Hand of Friendship Soap isn’t the only do-gooder on the market. These three new launches also give 100 percent to a charitable cause:


M.A.C Viva Glam Ariana Grande

The product: For the latest Viva Glam celebrity collab, pop star Ariana Grande’s autograph adorns a matte dark plum lipstick and a soft pink gloss. $18–$20 each, available now through July 7, at M.A.C counters

The cause: Every cent of the proceeds is donated to the M.A.C AIDS Fund, which supports men, women and children worldwide affected by HIV/AIDS. Since the fund was established in 1994, it has raised more than $400 million through Viva Glam sales.


L’Occitane 2016 Women’s Day Solidarity Balm

The product: This rose-scented multi-purpose moisturizer, loaded with shea butter, comes packaged in a limited-edition design reminiscent of the wax-print fabrics worn by the women of Burkina Faso. $6, available now while quantities last, at L’Occitane stores

The cause: To benefit the Burkinabé women, who produce all of L’Occitane’s shea butter, 100 percent of the balm’s profits will go to NGO projects that inspire female leadership in this West African country.


Kiehl’s Limited Edition Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

The product: This hydrating eye cream gets a limited-edition revamp, featuring an original illustration of a beluga whale by Montreal-based artist Olivia Mew of Stay Home Club. $36–$57, available April 4 while quantities last, at Kiehl’s stores

The cause: All net profits will be used to support the Canadian Wildlife Foundation’s initiatives to protect our country’s marine animals, specifically through emergency response efforts.

—Arifa Rattansi