Almost-nude protest -- in oil barrels -- planned for Pearl Street Mall

Lush Cosmetics is known for using skin as a way to draw attention to assorted causes -- like a 2008 event in which employees wearing only aprons advocated for less beauty-product packaging.

Lush's latest cause is our over-dependence on fossil fuels, focusing on Canadian tar-sands oil. Tomorrow, select Lush employees at stores in the U.S. and Canada will show up wearing little more than an oil barrel -- and the Boulder branch, at 1312 Pearl Street, will be participating.

According to Boulder Lush manager Sonya Fajardo, the local event will take place at noon on the Pearl Street Mall.

"There's going to be three of us," she says. "I'll be the one speaking, and we'll have two other employees who'll be wearing the oil barrel." She adds that the two women volunteered for the duty: "They're super passionate about this, and really wanted to do it."

The opportunity to take such stands is "one of the biggest reasons I'm part of this company, Fajardo continues. "Our goal is to educate people on what tar-sand oil is, and the effects it has on people, animals and the environment."

Passersby will be encouraged to send postcards to the White House encouraging President Barack Obama to stop supporting Canadian tar-sand oil with our nation's tax dollars.

Unfortunately, there's bad news for voyeurs: The Lush twosome won't be completely naked under their respective barrels. "They will be wearing things underneath," Fajardo confirms. "Something small to cover top and bottom."

As a result, Boulder Police won't get the opportunity to test the community's controversial nudity ordinance, enacted in April.

Someone like topless gardener Catharine Pierce will have to take on that particular challenge -- because Lush has another cause.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts