Lush apologises 'unreservedly' for funding groups with anti-trans views

The group was called out on social media for donations made to two women’s rights groups that have expressed anti-trans views

Inside Lush's Birmingham, UK, store

Bath bomb beauty brand Lush has issued an apology to the trans community after it admitted to donating funds to women’s rights groups that have expressed anti-trans views.

Woman’s Place UK (WPUK) announced via its website that it had received a £3,000 grant from Lush’s Charity Pots to host a conference on violence against women.

However, the bulk of WPUK’s efforts focus on anti-trans measures, with demands for more ‘women’s-only spaces’ and a review of the impact proposed by changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which allows people with gender dysphoria to legally change their gender.

In a statement on 30 November addressing donations made by the group’s Charity Pots grants, Lush said: “To make our stance clear, we do not believe that trans rights are a threat to women’s rights.

“Our belief is that a decent society should be able to structure itself to give rights and protection to all who need it.”

Lush is also said to have received backlash for an funding application made in 2017 by another activist group FiLiA, “which predated our awareness of how toxic discussion around this issue had become”, added the beauty company.

FiLiA hosts an annual conference to project women’s rights and seeks for all women to be “free from patriarchy”.

In a follow up statement on 1 December, Lush wrote: “To trans people and allies, we wish to say sorry for some past mistakes in our choices of donation recipients.

“The statement on 30 November [...] was in response to social media posts asking whether it was true that we had donated to two named groups – a question to which we wanted to give a full and clear answer.

“However, 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.”

The group went on to say that the donations made had gone towards work “we would not feel proud to support”.

Lush has since committed to improving its donations process.

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