Roxy White

Roxy White, IT/Technical Support Helpdesk Supervisor, Lush North America, has been a Lush customer since 1997 and Lush employee since 2008.
She started out as a seasonal Christmas hire and is now is known as Mama Rox to all her shops and co-workers, helping keep technical operations running smoothly. 20+ year veteran of opticianry, self-proclaimed tech nerd, and lover of cats, dogs, critters, cats, sharks, beautiful poultry and cats.
Retired snowboarder, skateboarder and hockey player. Was studying to be an optometrist then switched gears to fight cybercrime in 2011, now dedicates free time to rescuing shelter animals, saving the sharks from becoming shark fin soup, occasionally running a race to raise funds for the animals and fighting animal testing.

Nov 11.20

Judging the Lush Prize 2013

“Animal Experimentation is just a method.”

This is part of a statement from Nick Dukes, LUSH Prize 2013 judge, that leads into the thought that animal testing needs to be replaced by new, ethically sound alternatives to move us into the 21st century.

The LUSH Prize competition was created in partnership with LUSH Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer Research Association to move the cosmetics industry away from animal testing methodology by encouraging scientists and researchers to pursue amazing innovation and pathways to fight animal testing. This year’s prize was 250,000 British pounds, divided up between 13 recipients in 5 categories.

I was very fortunate and humbled to be involved in such an inspirational project– I was selected from a pool of international LUSH employee applicants this past September to become a judge for the 2013 LUSH Prize! My background is unique – after being a professional optician for over 20 years, I left the field of optometry to pursue a career in information technology while working for LUSH North America – first as a seasonal sales associate, then a keyholder, then as part of the LUSH IT team. My choice to remain with LUSH for all these years was tempered by the fact that I’ve been a passionate vegetarian and animal lover for over 21 years.

On September 19th in London England, 8 judges including myself gathered to study the shortlist of finalists. We pored over their CVs and work records, discussing which applicants should be selected. My judging peers included members of the medical and toxicology research community, professional lobbyists and a vegan blogger who was selected to be a LUSH Customer Judge. We also had Hilary Jones, LUSH Ethics Director and Tamsin Omond, Director of LUSH ethical campaigns supporting us, as well as Rob Harrison and Katy Brown from Ethical Consumer UK mediating.

My section of expertise was Public Awareness, where the focus was on revolutionary tactics of campaigning to raise public awareness of animal testing, and on creating opportunities for the public to get involved in the cruelty-free movement, such as adopting a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, supporting companies that actively fight animal testing, and liberating laboratory animals.

LUSH co-founder Mark Constantine prepares to present an award. 

One prize recipient that resonated with me was Katja Reinhard – a biology student specializing in retinal replacement and repair to help cure blindness. Her application included methodology for using cadaver retinas (which normally would go to waste) for medical and cosmetics testing instead of the traditional Draize test on rabbits.. I applied my experiences as an optometry professional to understand the nature of her work…and made sure I fought for her to have a part of the prize that was available to the category. That was my moment of pride and sense of contribution over everything else because I genuinely felt like if I hadn’t spoken up, Katja would have been overlooked for an award.

Dr. Carol Barker accepting an award in the training category. 

It really was such a challenge with so much brilliance and innovation placed before us, but by the end of the day, we had chosen the 2013 LUSH Prize winners! Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid, one of the UK’s biggest animal rights groups, and 2013 LUSH Prize judge said: “This year’s winners illustrate that non-animal methods of toxicity testing have moved from an aspirational phase to one of practical implementation and application.” I am extremely proud to have represented LUSH North America in such an important milestone in fighting animal testing and hope that I will be called upon in the future to do so again. The work we support as a company is so important because it directly impacts what we love and hold dear.

 

By Roxy White, LUSH North America IT/Technical Support Supervisor

Roxy White

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