Launched this week to coincide with Valentine’s Day, world renowned beauty retailer LUSH has teamed up with GALOP, the UK’s LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity, to call on the UK Government to pass legislation that bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’. As a duo, their aim is to ensure legislation is passed that would fully protect all victims of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK – with no loopholes. 

Lush stores across the UK feature windows bringing urgent attention to the issue of ‘conversion therapy’, prompting customers and passers-by to scan a QR code which will send a ‘Valentine’s E-Card’ to their MP to ‘Have a Heart’ and ban ‘conversion therapy’. 

On the 14 February, hundreds of signatures were also added to large Valentine’s Day Cards in store which will be sent to MPs after the campaign. 

Despite its Valentine’s launch, the campaign will continue for the foreseeable future.

This comes after the current Conservative Government announced last year, under Boris Johnson, that the proposed plans for the change in legislation didn’t include an outright ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for trans and non-binary people. This led to widespread protest and a petition, signed by 150,000 people, being debated in Parliament.

The Government’s initial promise for a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ was back in 2018, when Theresa May was Prime Minister. Despite the announcement of a draft bill earlier this year by the Government, Lush and GALOP are calling on the public to help them end this abusive practice once and for all by contacting their local MPs.

Jonnie Hatfield, PR & LGBTQIA+ Community Network Member from LUSH, who helped spearhead the campaign, explains why they’re supporting this message.

“Working with the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop gave us the perfect opportunity to bring this issue to the public’s attention and call on the government to have a heart and enact vital legislation to protect LGBT+ people across the UK from abuse,” Jonnie said.

As a brand, Lush are known for continually supporting social causes. In 2018, their controversial Spy Cops campaign spotlighted the harm that can be caused by undercover policing. Their continual support of charities and organisations around the world is something that is sewn into the fabric of the company. This campaign is no different.

“This campaign truly comes from the heart of Lush. With many of our staff identifying as LGBTQ+, bringing an end to so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is a cause we are passionate about,” they add.

Galop has been working with victims and survivors of conversion practices for many years. Between April 2021 and December 2022, Galop’s LGBT+ Young People Advocacy Service recorded that 24% of current service users were currently experiencing, or had previously experienced, conversion practices.

“We’re so incredibly grateful to Lush and to everyone supporting this campaign to finally get so-called ‘conversion therapy’ banned in this country,” shares Leni Morris, CEO of Galop.

“With each day that passes, more of our community are being left at risk. We know that 1 in 5 LGBT+ people in the UK experience someone trying to change, ‘cure’, or suppress their identity, so we need the whole community to be protected from this abuse.”

The charity also specialises in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime and other forms of abuse including honour-based abuse and forced marriage, making it a life saving service for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

Lush are also releasing a limited edition heart-shaped ‘washcard’. All of the money from the sales of the product (minus VAT) will be donated to Galop to contribute to their support services for LGBTQ+ people, supporting those who have experienced so-called ‘conversion therapy’ and other forms of abuse.

You can learn more about the campaign, as well as send an E-Card to your local MP here.