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Lush pours money into trans non-profit after backlash over anti-trans donations: ‘Actions speak louder than words’

Lily Wakefield December 17, 2020
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Lush display supporting trans charity My Genderation

Lush Paddington is donation Charity Pot money to My Genderation during the "busiest retail week of the year". (Instagram/ LushPaddington)

A Lush branch in London’s Paddington station has poured money into a trans non-profit following backlash over the company’s donations to an anti-trans pressure group.

Lush has shown that “actions speak louder than words” by donating money to the My Genderation, a non-profit film project that “celebrates trans lives and trans experiences”.

At the end of November, anti-trans pressure group Women’s Place UK published a financial statement on its website which showed it had received £3,000 from the chain’s “charity pot” scheme.

Though the group sometimes claims to represent wider women’s issues, the bulk of its campaigning efforts are focussed on anti-trans measures, with four of its “five demands” focussed on transgender issues – asserting that “the principle of women-only spaces” should be “upheld and where necessary extended”, including refuges, toilets, locker rooms, prisons and hospital wards.

Lush said it has a policy of not funding “campaigning work, discussion or lobbying on the specifics of the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act” but that the grant “predated our awareness of how toxic discussion around this issue had become and before we put rules in place around this subject”.

After a significant social media backlash over the donations, the brand later gave a proper apology to the trans community. Now, it has done one better.

The company’s Paddington brand posted on Instagram Wednesday (16 December): “Looking for a Christmas gift that keeps on giving?

“Well look no further… Proceeds from Charity Pot purchases in our [store] this week go to the amazing trans led organisation My Genderation.”

My Genderation co-founder Fox Fisher wrote on Twitter: “Actions speak louder than words — Great that Lush is putting their words into action, by supporting our non-profit film project My Genderation.

“If you pop by the Paddington store, you’ll see the charity pots. #TransRightsAreHumanRights”

One Twitter user responded: “That’s a step in the right direction after many in the wrong direction. Let’s hope they keep it up.”

“This is a fantastic gesture,” said another. “I hope they dip into their pockets to provide, significant and sustainable funding.” 

Lush UK told PinkNews in a statement: “The fundraising for My Genderation has been in the form of a week long Charity Pot event at Lush Paddington to raise funds for a documentary the charity directors are currently working on, with a social media takeover on Lush Paddington’s Instagram to raise awareness of My Genderation’s work.

“The shop management team wanted to support by hosting the event during their busiest retail week of the year.

“The Charity Pot event was initiated in November following the shop sharing resources on their Instagram including a book entitled Trans Teen Survival Guide written by both of the My Genderation directors.”

It added: “In regards to Lush supporting trans causes, Lush has donated over £700,000 in small grants to trans charities and groups over the past few years, in 140 donations.

“It is our intention to continue funding the many wonderful trans groups that come to us needing help to stay safe and to fight for acceptance.”

Related topics: lush, My Genderation, paddington

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