Sammy Nickalls
March 01, 2016 3:02 pm

There are so many reasons to love Lush: Its dedication to cruelty-free cosmetic production and its high-quality products come to mind, obvs. But now, we have a whole new reason to love Lush, and it’s so, so important.

If you walk into your local Lush store, you may notice something new: The phrase “welcome to you” written in Arabic on the store’s doors. Why? Because Lush wants it to be clear that their stores can be considered a welcoming and safe space for Syrian refugees.

“The decision to write ‘Welcome to you’ in the windows across North America was three-fold: One to have Arabic speakers—even refugees—read our message of welcome, and second to draw customers’ curiosity in,” Carleen Pickard, ethical campaigns specialist at Lush Cosmetics, told Mic. “And thirdly, we want people to learn how to express this welcome themselves, so we included the phonetic spelling, Ahlan wa Sahlan.”

In fact, Lush is committed to making sure its customers are educated about the Syrian refugee crisis and has even created a video explaining the development of the conflict to go along with its #RefugeesWelcome campaign, which ran from February 15th to the 28th.

“In addition to offering financial resettlement support to IRC and other groups, we will inspire our customers to welcome Syrians and petition the American government to support more refugees to come to the United States,” Pickard told Mic. “This campaign certainly has political elements and our campaign partners do this work—we encourage people to take action on the issue by putting pressure on our governments through Amnesty International and the IRC.”

Of course, the company is also doing what it does best by selling its “Hand of Friendship” soap for $5.95; the proceeds will go towards the Friendship Fund, which aims to assist Syrian refugees settle in North America.

However, all of this hasn’t been taken well by everyone. The company has received a solid amount of backlash on social media from customers who are against accepting refugees into the country.

“Not everyone has to agree with us, and we certainly don’t expect everyone will. We don’t believe we’re taking a radical stance but rather a human stance,” Pickard told Mic.

That’s exactly why Lush refuses to cater to the backlash and is standing firm. “The current situation in Syria, and the journey for those forced to leave their homes seeking safety from the violence, is heartbreaking,” Pickard told TriplePundit. “[Lush wanted to] ensure, in a way that we could, that refugees arriving in North America are welcomed with love and friendship.”

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