UK cosmetics chain Lush has celebrated the diversity of its staff by featuring LGBTQIA+ members in an advertising campaign celebrating the queer community in time for New Zealand’s Pride festival.
From 1 until 21 February, all nine New Zealand Lush stores will carry rainbow posters showcasing 11 staff members from Australia and New Zealand. The staff, who all identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, have shared stories about their identities which will be showcased across digital, store platforms and in printed booklets.
The campaign is fronted by Christchurch-based staff member Tim Maguire, who spoke of his happiness at having his identity accepted in his place of work: “For the first time, I comfortably told people that I was gay. For the first time, I was accepted without question. For the first time, I felt pride.”
Jemma Hayman of Lush Sylvia Park also features in the campaign, alongside nine Australian staff members. In her statement, Hayman considered the interplay between femininity and sexuality, and commented on the ongoing issue of discrimination.
“Earlier this year I was fired from a job for identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In working an environment that is supportive of all hard working humans - no matter how they chose to, or not to label themselves fills my little gay heart with joy every time I step onto the shop floor with my Lush family.”
Lush is known for its ever-changing product line-up, which often carries limited-edition products tying in with current events. The chain has created a heart-shaped ‘Love Wins’ soap for the Pride-themed campaign. All proceeds minus GST from the sparkly gold soap will be donated to local groups such as Inside Out and Rainbow Youth.
Peta Granger, director of Lush Cosmetics Australasia, says Lush has supported rainbow communities and charities for many years, and sees the campaign as a logical next step.
“We wanted to share some of the powerful stories that so many of our Lush staff have to tell in a way that resonates and connects with people. Importantly, the campaign underscores our ongoing commitment to equal rights and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community.”
As well as launching the campaign, Lush has put its money where its mouth is and signed up as the official cosmetics partner of the Auckland Pride Festival 2018. It will take part in several festival events, including holding a pop-up at the Big Gay Out in Coyle Park on 11 February, and will walk in the Pride parade on 17 February.
Denim brand Levi’s has also rolled out a Pride-themed collection of product, available exclusively through World stores. Levi’s donates all proceeds from its limited-edition Pride Collection to LGBTQI+ partner organisations the Harvey Milk Foundation and Stonewall Community Foundation.