Let’s talk about Environmental Consciousness.

My incredible best friend sent me a Sephora gift card for my birthday. Naturally, since I love all things Sephora, I had to place an order right away to take advantage of their annual sale.

I ordered the Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ kit, used my gift card and was told that it would be to my house in 7-9 business days.

The package ended up getting to my house a lot quicker than expected, and what I got in the package I was less than impressed with it.

The Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ is a collection of travel size, and smaller than travel size, skincare items. There are five in total. As one could imagine, the products are small and don’t take up a lot of space.

The packaging, on the other hand, was over-the-top, and absolutely unnecessary.

The packaging the Drunk Elephant products came in.
The actual (tiny little) collection of products that were in the package.

I consider myself a very environmentally conscious person. I don’t speak about it always, but I do try to make my friends and family members more aware of the choices they’re making. I don’t use plastic bags, plastic straws, I try to limit my waste, try to recycle as much as possible. I want to be good to the planet. As good as I can be.

I’m a firm believer that small changes every day can make the difference. I also believe that if everyone made small changes every day we could collectively make one hell of an impact on the earth.

I don’t believe that it’s just individuals responsible for making these changes. Companies should be doing it to.

While I don’t use plastic bags, only use stainless steel straws, try to limit the amount of trash I am creating and overall just try to be good to the planet, it really disheartens me to see companies like Sephora and Drunk Elephant putting so damn much packaging on such small products.

The trial sized Drunk Elephant products came in plastic molding that was inside of a box, that was inside of a plastic/cardboard mixed wrapping that had branding on it, that was inside of the white box, that was inside of the Sephora box that was filled with brown paper because the Sephora box was so damn big it was easily 5-6 times the size of the Drunk Elephant packaging.

I’m not impressed.

Firstly – if my order alone had this much packaging to it, think of how much truly unnecessary packaging is shipped out of Sephora’s facilities each and every day to fill the thousands of orders they get. Are all of those thousands of people going to recycle or reuse the packaging? How much of that excess packaging is going to wind up in a landfill?

Secondly – With respect to Drunk Elephant, there is absolutely zero need to have products in plastic, in a box, in a plastic/cardboard wrapper, in another box. If Drunk Elephant has this much packaging on one kit, I can’t imagine how much packaging the rest of their skincare line has.

As a planet, we’re quite literally in the middle of an environmental crisis and WE ALL need to do our parts. Even companies. We all need to limit packaging, cut down our waste and make a difference. The onus cannot be put solely on consumers because we’ll be fighting a losing battle if we try to make changes and companies are still pulling this shit.

This is not sustainable.

This is not environmentally conscious.

This is not right.

Companies need to do their parts as well.

The troubles with Sunday Riley

Let this serve as an important reminder that we cannot always trust the reviews we read for products online. Take everything, and anything, said with a grain of salt and make the decision that’s best for you with respect to spending your money online.

Skincare brand ‘Sunday Riley’ has reached a settlement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of which the amount is not being publicly shared, for two violations made. Employees noted that they were instructed, for more than two years, to write fake positive reviews on Sunday Riley products and to dislike the negative reviews.

Why this is a big issue?

Sephora is a premier skincare and makeup retailer in North America and one of the biggest, if not the biggest seller of Sunday Riley on this continent. The Sephora website allows for people to search for products by ‘Highest Rated’ and ‘Relevancy’, relevancy of which being determined by how many times that product has been searched for.

If Sunday Riley has been driving up the relevancy and the ratings of their products on the Sephora website, to ensure their products stay at the top of lists for people searching, they are, in effect, falsely marketing their products to consumers and also, lying about the effectiveness of their products.

Employees noted being instructed by the CEO to not just leave a review talking about how great the product is, but to leave specific comments such as “This product completely cleared up my acne!” A completely unsubstantiated claim that misleads customers to a product’s effectiveness and also, undermines the entire product review section as a whole.

Product reviews are used for online shopping on a global scale. Why? Because if we’re not going to be able to see, feel and test a product prior to purchasing, the review section can allow us to get some sort of an idea that we’re purchasing quality. Reviews contribute greatly to how people spend their money online. Sunday Riley knew this and that is why they falsely propagated myths about their brand as a means to stay one of the ‘hot commodities’ on Sephora’s online ‘shelf’.

Reviews, are in a sense, marketing. They can either help or hinder the sale of a product or brand online. Sunday Riley’s actions really hurt all beauty/skincare brands in the process, and potentially a lot other industries as well. Their ‘slap on the wrist’ undisclosed fine from the FTC and being ‘told to not write any more reviews’ will cause a lot of people to seriously reconsider how they shop on Sephora’s website and elsewhere, if they’re a frequent Sephora shopper or not.

Note: I have purchased Sunday Riley products in the past. I just never really found them to be that effective. Sunday Riley products can cost anywhere from $30 Canadian (for a travel size) to more than $200 per bottle for one single treatment.

P.P.S. – I’d bet good money that ‘Influencer Marketing’ for this brand goes WAAAAAAAAAAAAY up in the coming months as they try to bounce back from this negative press. Every ‘Influencer’ is going to be talking this brand up the whazoo, and they’ll probably be paid thousands of dollars each to do so…

Sources:

Fast Company >

Global News >