History of the Prize
The Lush Prize, founded in 2012, is a unique collaboration between Lush Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer Research Association.
Lush is a campaigning manufacturer and retailer of fresh handmade cosmetics, with shops in 49 countries. Lush provides the resources and passion behind the Prize, which is one element of its ‘Fighting Animal Testing’ campaign.
Ethical Consumer is a research, publishing and campaigning co-operative based in Manchester, UK. It provides research and campaigning, and manages the Prize on a day-to-day basis.
The idea for Lush Prize came about when the owners of Lush became frustrated at the entrenched nature of animal testing and felt it was taking too long for it to stop.
So they came up with an idea: a £250,000 pot of money every year to fund a series of joined-up initiatives to progress the work that is taking place around the world, working to end the use of animals in experiments.
Lush founder Mark Constantine says why he set up the Prize:
It is the largest annual prize fund in the non-animal testing sector, awarding £250,000 every year, with additional funding for young scientists in Asia and the Americas. Between 2012 and 2017, Lush Prize has given £1.86 million to 93 winners in 28 countries (all continents except Antarctica!).
As a truly global prize, it has supported scientists and activists in countries as diverse as China, Kenya, Iran, Ukraine and India, as well as New Zealand, Brazil, USA and across Europe.
This large annual fund is aimed to support the most progressive work in the field and ensure it continues and has most impact.
The five categories of the Lush Prize have been designed to provide resources to projects addressing the problem in different ways:
- The Science Prize and Young Researcher Prize are designed to advance research into alternative non-animal tests.
- The Training Prize is designed to resource projects training scientists or regulators in non-animal methods.
- The Public Awareness and Lobbying Prizes are designed to keep up the pressure to make sure regulation is appropriate and updated to reflect advances in 21st-Century Toxicology.
As well as these categories, if there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the area which holds out most hope for a ‘Eureka’ moment leading to the replacement of animal tests – a Black Box Prize of up to the entire annual fund of £250,000 will be awarded to the individual or team responsible. This was first awarded in 2015.