As part of its “big tech rebellion,” cosmetics brand Lush is moving away from tech giants such as Meta in favour of smaller, more agile and open-source communities. It is also cutting the investment on Google ads to interact with customers in more ethically sound digital spaces such as the metaverse.
This comes as a Lush research found that barely half (52%) of respondents believe Google and Amazon are considered trustworthy sources of ethical information. Furthermore, a significant 57% of consumers feel like big brands and corporations dominate technology and online culture, while 55% want big tech to have less control online, its survey found.
The company also said it believes in small tech energy, “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. Lush feels that we are at a parapet moment of big tech rebellion and we want to be there for the opening procession,” the statement read.
“At present, there’s a lack of collaboration and goodwill among companies,’ added Lush CEO Mark Constantine. “Many businesses are buccaneering with trademarks and IP – straight out of the pirate textbook – and this needs to change so that problems beyond the reach of a single business can be solved.”
In view of this, Lush has implemented an open-source policy, embracing the use of open-source technologies in everything that the company designs, builds and releases throughout the Lush technology estate. It will only use technologies that are released on an OSI-approved license and will give back its research and code under an OSI-approved license to the open communities. “Open-source has always been part of our business, and this will only strengthen as we move into a more tech-dominated world. We want to fast forward, accelerate away from Web2 toward Web3 as quickly as possible,” said Annabelle Baker, director of Lush.
To further ensure consumer safety under a privacy-centric world, Lush will also embrace ethical data usage by ensuring all data that is stored on its products or systems is encrypted and secure, as well as being transparent about how it uses customer and staff data. It will only use hardware that is conflict material-free where possible, and commodity hardware that has high output and a low energy consumption.
Furthermore, Lush will be actively involved in Web3 spaces as it has seen endless opportunities for Web3 and the future iterations of the internet to be the spaces the company wants them to be, according to Baker. “Web3 is going to be as good as we make it,” said Lush’s chief digital officer Jack Constantine. “Businesses can choose to be big players in this space or sit back and let it unfold. There’s a huge discrepancy between how it’s viewed in the media and how it’s viewed by those building in it, and this needs to be addressed.”
Don't miss: Lush becomes anti-social (media) again across 48 markets
This move followed the global brand's decision to turn its back on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat back in November 2021, until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users back in last November. This policy was rolled out across all the 48 countries where Lush operates.
This came after whistleblowers told the company the known harms that young people are exposed to on social platforms, "We wouldn’t ask our customers to meet us down a dark and dangerous alleyway – but some social media platforms are beginning to feel like places no one should be encouraged to go. Something has to change. We hope that platforms will introduce strong best practice guidelines, and we hope that international regulation will be passed into law. But we can’t wait. We feel forced to take our own action to shield our customers from the harm and manipulation they may experience whilst trying to connect with us on social media," said the statement.
This includes all Lush brand, retail and people accounts. However, Lush will not be entirely off-the-grid online, as it promises to find new ways to connect and build better channels of communication elsewhere - in addition to using the older tried and tested routes. Until then, Lush can still be found on Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
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