Ex-employees who claim to have worked for natural cosmetics company Lush have posted online about what they say it’s really like behind closed doors.  

While Lush is most famous for its bath bombs, the cosmetic company has quickly gained a reputation for its controversial social initiatives, viral beauty products and asserting its firm beliefs.

In one TikTok video, a poster who said they were a US-based ex-employee who worked for Lush for three years and goes by the username @bradtripodi, can be seen replying to a question which asks: ‘What’s something that feels like a cult but isn’t?’ 

He responds: ‘This company right here — Lush. I worked for them for three years and they are literally a cult. My manager didn’t even deny it.’

Brad went on to claim that all colleagues referred to products as ‘girls’, were encouraged to protest for certain causes, expected to weigh the rubbish, and that worldwide employees were required to watch the same videos ‘from this weird lady’ at the same time.’ 

And Brad isn’t the only one to detail the ‘cult-like’ environment at the beauty brand store – with an anonymous ex-employee who worked there aged 17, also opening up about her alleged experiences. 

Ex-employees who claim to have worked for natural cosmetics company Lush have posted online about what they say it's really like behind closed doors. Pictured, stock image

Ex-employees claiming to have worked at Lush, a natural cosmetics company, have posted online about what it was like behind closed doors. Image taken from a stock photo

‘Supervisors want you to approach a customer within two minutes of them entering the store, which explains why someone will always try to talk to you,’ she said, speaking to Refinery29.  

She then spoke of the “traffic light system”, where new customers who come through the door are given a “green” label. This means they must be approached.

However, shoppers who have been approached once are referred to as ‘amber’ and can be re-approached. This is why they may feel like they are being ‘bombarded’ by staff.  

She said, “A customer can be red if it’s been approached a few time or they’ve been asked to be left alone.”

An anonymous ex-employee explained how Lush shops all appear to be a “carbon copy” of each other, while all staff are also “exactly the Same.”

She recalled a Christmas customer who was particularly memorable. He came in to the shop to buy a gift for his girlfriends. He didn’t know anything about them.

One anonymous ex-employee went on to explain how all Lush shops appear to be a 'carbon copy' of each other, while all staff members are also 'exactly the same.' Pictured, stock image

An anonymous former employee explained that all Lush shops look identical, while all staff members are ‘exactly alike’. Image taken from a stock photo

The shocked ex employee, who initially questioned whether she could hear him properly, later stated that she didn’t believe he deserved her help and added that it was difficult for her to swallow her tongue when ‘supervisors’ were watching.

She also said that she felt like she was playing a game of “tug of war” – with one supervisor telling her to chat longer with customers to build a relationship, while another told her to not talk for too much because she could be spending time with another customer.  

She also said that it was difficult not to be able to speak to customers about personal matters as she would have been speaking as a “Lush employee”.

She gave an example of a customer who was going through a divorce and told her how she found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her best friend. 

“It’s very Jeremy Kyle,” ex-employee stated. ‘… “… [I felt like I]I agreed with everything she said.

The ex-member also said that massages were one of her main dislikes about the job and that they made it ‘uncomfortable. 

“A customer would ask me about a product, and I would explain. But the supervisor would tell her that this would close the consultation too soon and that they need to get the product onto their skin.” “They would expect us to pick up their arms and start applying the product to their skin.

She related how a man inquired about the workings of a massage-bar and asked if it could be applied to his skin.

The ex-employee melted it in her hands and then explained how she rubbed the balm into her partner’s arm. He turned around and said that his sex life was not great so they were going home to massage each other. 

The ex-employee stated that she was “like Woah!” I was 17 at that time, and I wanted to be swallowed up by the ground. I tried to avoid that. [product]Area from then on. 

Lush spokesperson said that the company is focused on providing a 5-star customer experience. We are passionate about helping our customers navigate their Lush journey. We offer the best service possible, which is completely tailored and offers the most relevant products to their needs. 

60 percent of our products come unpackaged without labels. With so many innovations in our product range, customers often see new ways of bathing. Our staff are best able to share their expert knowledge with them. Every element of the customer’s journey is unique, from our multi-sensory spa experiences, to our fresh, handmade Lush Parties.