ONCA window at LUSH 3


by Olive Elston

Lush Brighton, Charity Pot Party!

I’m currently studying Anthropology at Sussex University. This summer, through their First-Generation Scholars summer internship programme I was given the opportunity to work at ONCA as a gallery and research assistant. I was drawn to ONCA, primarily because it combined my love of art with my interest in environmental and social issues. I really loved the idea of using creativity as a way to facilitate important conversations and wanted the opportunity to learn and understand how you combine both within a single space. 

As part of my internship I was invited to help Lu-Lu and Ellie at a fundraising event in the Brighton Lush store across the final weekend of June. This partnership involved selling the Lush Charity Pot, in which 100% of the proceeds made go towards a small grassroots organisation. Lush were kind enough to choose ONCA as their charity of choice for this weekend. The Charity Pot itself, is a lovely hand and body moisturiser, containing Aloe Vera that helps to relieve sunburn as well as shea butter that nourishes and hydrates the skin. Through sales of the Charity Pot, Lush supports organisations that align with their ethics in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

Lush charity pot

The charity takeover was a great chance to raise money and awareness for ONCA and also gave me the opportunity to meet and talk to a variety of people living in Brighton.

Prior to the weekend, myself, Lu-Lu and Ellie came up with ideas for ONCA’s Lush window display. We wanted to do something interactive, where passers by and customers could engage with ONCA and the project aims. We decided to ask people to respond to the question ‘my hopes for my planet are…’.

ONCA window at LUSH

Using Posca pens, we invited the public to contribute to the question, whether that be through drawing or writing. With the additional benefit of the warm weather, this proved to be a super successful and fun way of attracting by passers to the store. By the end of the weekend the window was covered head to toe in vibrant drawings with both funny and important messages, ranging from peoples desires for ‘lots of llamas’ to a ‘carbon neutral planet’ with ‘less plastic in the ocean’s’. 

Lush 1

Having never worked in a retail store before, selling products was a new and exciting experience for me. I was amazed at the extent of knowledge and confidence all the Lush staff had, as well as the constant approachable, energetic and friendly attitude that they maintained in the baking heat and busy atmosphere. With their helpful advice, and my fabulous team support from Lu-Lu and Ellie, I quickly got to grips with the art of fundraising. Our focus was on raising awareness about the art projects that ONCA runs in underfunded areas in East Brighton. The money raised from this weekend in particular will be allocated towards ONCA’s Barge venue and the programme of activities and workshops that are focussed on engaging young people with environmental issues including marine conservation, plastic pollution and what it means to be part of the local Biosphere.

The opportunity to make a free bath bomb with a Charity Pot purchase was my key selling point, particularly when talking to families, an activity that I, Lu-Lu and Ellie all jumped at the opportunity to try. While working in Lush I discovered an array of new amazing products, my particular favourite being the sleepy body lotion, as the lavender ingredient is incredibly relaxing.

My experience at the Lush charity takeover was really enjoyable. I can proudly say I helped ONCA raise over £550 that weekend which will go towards some great projects in East Brighton. Overall, it was a fun weekend, full of laughter, interesting conversation and the additional benefit of smelling wonderful at the end of each day.

LUSH team photo

As a charity we rely on the support from individuals and businesses like Lush, if you would like to set up a monthly donation or give us a one off gift you can do so here. If you’re a business and would like to find out more about how to work with us please contact .