An anti-trans hate group, WPUK, has revealed that it received a £3000 grant from the Lush Charity Pot to organise events. Lush, which avoids testing cosmetics on non-human animals, and uses only vegetarian ingredients, has a long record of supporting LGBT rights. Lush publishes a list of organisations receiving grants, and WPUK is not on it. However Lush has confirmed it gave a grant to the hate group, saying the grant “predated our awareness of how toxic discussion of this issue had become and before we put rules in place around this subject”.
In 2019 Lush gave a grant to TransgenderNI, a community hub for trans people in Belfast and across Ireland. They also support actually feminist organisations, such as Samosa Sisters, training migrant women on women’s legal rights. Unfortunately Lush also funded FiLiA, a group which does some feminist work but devotes increasing energy to anti-trans hate.
Lush should act to ensure its funds do not go to hate groups, however positively they state their aims. While the “Woman’s Place Manifesto” does not mention trans people once, everything it campaigns on is about excluding trans women from women’s spaces. The phrase they use to avoid mentioning trans people is “single-sex”.
When it holds the meetings Lush in part funded, the hate group preaches hate against trans people. I have not watched all their videos, as the propagandist flood of lies, half-truths and hate gets unbearable, but I watched their leader Kiri Tunks on 25 February 2019. Tunks pretended that trans rights recommended by a Parliamentary inquiry were proposed by the government, and then pretended that those rights were contrary to women’s rights. In 2018 Pilgrim Tucker incited her audience against trans women.
Lush has a long record of supporting LGBT rights. In 2016 they ran a #GayisOK campaign with AllOut. They asked customers buying their sparkly Love Soap to post a selfie with it on social media, and reached 30m people with direct campaign messages. Profits from the soap went to a Love Fund of £275,955. This is also good publicity for Lush.
Lush supports trans rights. In 2018 they gave away pronouns badges, and explained,
At Lush, we recognise that there are more than two genders, and all are welcomed and respected. It’s all too easy to make assumptions about the gender of another person based on that person’s appearance, but assumptions aren’t always correct. In fact, making assumptions based on a person’s appearance can perpetuate the idea that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate their gender identity. This can be harmful in that it has the potential to limit freedom of expression and also imposes a culture of conditional acceptance.
That is, the company in general supports trans rights alongside wider LGBT+ rights, and the grant is a mistake, or an act by an individual against the policy of the company. Here are the Charity Pot guidelines:
Charity Pot is a Lush hand and body cream where 100% of all sales (minus local taxes) are distributed as grants, to groups working in the areas of:
- Animal Protection
- Human Rights (incl. social justice, peace & equality)
WPUK works against human rights, social justice, and equality. Lush say, “groups or projects that support, incite or promote violence, aggression or oppression towards others would not be funded.” Any WPUK grant must therefore be a mistake. “Applications are NOT accepted from organisations that… deny the human rights of others… harbour…prejudice… judge others on anything other than their actions”. WPUK would merely define our human rights out of existence.
Complaints can be sent to email@example.com. Please be courteous. It may be worthwhile acknowledging Lush’s record supporting LGBT rights. Lush UK did not apologise, but Lush USA did not mince words.
2 December: here is Lush’s statement. They say FiLiA did not apply specifically for anti-trans hate, and indeed FiLiA is not as obsessed with trans as WPUK or LGB All Liars. They do occasionally consider other stuff, even if they include obsessive haters. A friend then pointed me to a ridiculous, hate-filled rant by a ridiculous, hate-filled transphobe published by FiLiA.
What Lush says about WPUK is just weird. However, this is the important bit:
for those of you that have joined this conversation from different places and have been left wondering whether Lush has deliberately funded campaigning against trans rights, we want to assure you that this would never be our intention and we are sincerely sorry that any of our funding has gone towards doing this.
They recognise that trans lives matter.