Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


How important is it that a beauty brand is ethical? Share your thoughts!

Temptalia's AnswerIdeally, I’d like corporations to be responsible for their actions, committed to excellent customer service, treat their employees fairly, not to willfully destroy the environment, and to stay above board re: laws and the like. I don’t expect corporations to be altruistic, but they should be held accountable to and by their customers.

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34 thoughts on “How important is it that a beauty brand is ethical?

  1. I agree with your statements. Additionally, I want my products to be cruelty-free.

  2. I agree with your statements. I actually really like the B Corp model for companies because of the transparency. ( http://www.bcorporation.net/ )

    •  @Phyrra Transparency is a must this day and age because how fast information spreads. It can ruin a repatriation for any brand unlike a decade ago when dissatisfaction was only help ina a small group of people if one person has bad experience. This is in fact applicable to ALL brands regardless of the industry. (I’m in advertising myself as a designer and the amount of turn around we do for clients in terms of responses is withing 24 hours.)

  3. blueraccoon

    I don’t need to love my cosmetics company or beauty brand, but it’s important to me that they’re not just out to make the most money they can. I will pay more to shop from companies where I believe the quality of the product is good *and* their customer service is good; likewise, I’ll avoid companies or counters where I’ve been treated poorly. I worked for a company once that treated its customers like gold but its employees like crap, and it really put me off buying from that brand for a long time. I mean, all companies exist to make a profit, but if making a profit is *all* they want to do, it turns me off, because that usually means they won’t be spending the extra money to make sure their employees are happy, that their customers are happy, and so on.

  4. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  5. Avatar of Anisa LOLARIS

    What do you think of Jack Black being sneaky concerning the ingredients of the lip balm product?

    At first, they only shrinkwrapped the tubes, and the ingredients list were all natural.
    Then, they put it in a box that has ingredients list that is completely different than what the consumers had learned earlier. And it’s nowhere near completely natural. The lip balm has 40% mineral oil and some % of lanolin, which of course, had some consumers known this earlier, they would avoid the product/brand.

    When the consumers confronted them, they replied that they initially did not have enough space to list all the ingredients on the tube. But the way the put it on the tube made it seems like those are THE ingredients of the product. At least to me.
    That’s a lousy excuse to a deceitful manner.

    While I love the lip balm, as it truly works and is the only balm my boyf would ever use (it took me more than 3-years to convince him to use one), I’m still pretty much disappointed by their behavior. :(

    •  @LOLARIS I haven’t heard about this, so I’ll have to look into it!  Is it different than the ingredients’ list been listed online though? Like previously?  I definitely don’t have the knowledge to know what is/isn’t natural, but I will definitely look into this!

    •  @LOLARIS When did they start doing boxes? I can’t remember when I last purchased, but it wasn’t too long ago and mine were still shrink-wrapped.

      • Avatar of Anisa LOLARIS

        @Christine (Temptalia)

        The ones I bought for me and boyf last March were already in boxes. Since I couldn’t find the ingredient list online at that time, I never thought they “posed” the lip balm as having natural ingredients.

        Below is the ingredient list as printed on the box.

        Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Avobenzone 3.0%. Lanolin 13.5% Petrolatum 40.2%

        cocoa seed butter, beeswax, ozokerite polygycryl-3 beeswax, flavor, shea butter, avocado oil, alkyl hydroxystearoyl stearate, tocopheryl acetate, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben, cyclopentasilixane, microcrystalline wax, camellia sinenis leaf extract, cyclohexasiloxane

      • Avatar of Anisa LOLARIS

        @Christine (Temptalia) I forgot to mention that I got them from feelunique.com

    •  @LOLARIS Thank you! I’ve written a post about this!

  6. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    I’m just going to go with the short answer, and say it’s not that important. Ethics are personal, and they vary from person to person. Also, what may seem unethical to someone from a first world country may be the norm of those from a third world country. I find it a bit condescending, personally, to say how one company may treat it’s employees is “unethical”, just because it’s different, when the employees may actually be happy.

  7. Avatar of Catherine CatherineM

    It is not so important to me that I actively research the beauty brands and their policies, but whenever I read or hear something that goes against the things you mentioned I rethink buying from the brand and search for alternative products. 

  8. RickCharles

    I think brand is really important for any product. I am a high school student & want to make career in beauty industry so that’s I am searching for a good school. I heard about Beauty school of America. They are highly expert <a href=”http://www.beautyschoolsofamerica.biz/content/beauty-schools-america-complaints”> Beauty Schools of America Complaints </a> are extremely rare. Do you have any thoughts on them?      
     

  9. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I agree with the previous statements. I would ideally like companies (cosmetic or otherwise) to behave ethically – toward their employees, with truth in advertising, with regard to environmental policies and it is even better still if they do things to help society (cosmetic companies donating to women’s shelters or to organizations that help poor women become “job ready”, etc.).  Animal testing is not a huge issue to me, so long as it is done as humanely as possible. Like CatherineM, I also don’t actively research the brands and their policies but  were I to learn that a company was arrogantly disregarding basic decency, I would in all likelihood refrain from buying that brand.

  10. When i see companies back peddling on their corporate mission this is a case of brand suicide. UD being a recet example but I’ve had this experience with other companies. *cough* Everyday Minerals *cough* Sorry I’m still not over that one, they did every WRONG!

    • Avatar of Mariella Mariella

       @Ani_BEE This is what I don’t understand.  Would people have been happier if they had gone ahead, in spite of customers making it clear that they had objections to this move into China because of the animal testing issue?  When consumers complain to companies, isn’t in hopes that the company will “back pedal” from a move that those consumers considered objectionable?  I don’t know if UD’s motivation was simply profit or if it came from higher motives or a simple figurative slap to their heads and “what were we thinking” but they DID change their plans and it seems that this would be the desired result.

      • nacacijin

         @Mariella I’m pretty sure that when Ani brought up UD “back peddling on their corporate mission,” she meant their initial decision to enter an animal testing market despite their decade long advocacy for cruelty-free cosmetics.
         
        I have seen people who are still upset with UD after all of the drama, and in some cases it is understandable. It never just came down to animal testing (although that was the fundamental reason for the outcry). But UD offended a lot of people with their condescending press releases, not just those passionate about animal testing. And I know that I personally (though I have not completely renounced UD as some others have done) was put off not only by the fact that they treated customers, both American and Chinese, as though we were stupid, but also that they prided themselves on being 100% cruelty free with their “How could anyone” idealism and then made a decision that directly offset everything that they supposedly stood for. It is good that they decided to back out of their initial decision, but there is certainly more to it than that for most people.

        • Avatar of Mariella Mariella

           @nacacijin I initially started using UD because I liked their product and, to be honest, I had no idea about their stance against animal testing.  But when the furor started, I recall thinking that the thing I’d always objected to about UD is some of their names – Asphyxia, Stalker, Pistol, etc. and their lipsticks that look like bullets.  In light of the issues of violence in Canada and the US, to say nothing of violence against women, this is something that has always bothered me about the company.  Sure, worry about the animals but glorify violence, drugs and guns to sell makeup!

        • nacacijin

           @Mariella Naming cosmetics is all about what will grab your attention, get you interested, make you look twice. When you see an eyeshadow with a name like “Asphyxia” or “Bootycall” it’s a knee jerk reaction to do a double-take because it’s got an interesting (and oftentimes taboo) name. Walking into a Sephora you see hundreds of eyeshadows in roughly the same colors–really, there’s only so much variety out there–that companies need these names to differentiate themselves and to draw you into their brand instead of another. Same with packaging. But that naming is all relative, then, isn’t it? Semantics and all.
           
          And if we get into that discussion, it’s hardly just Urban Decay that does it. Can we villify Nars for names like “Orgasm” and “Promiscuous”? Or Illamasqua for calling their lipsticks “Corrupt” and “Underworld”? What about Kat Von D’s “Lapdance,” MAC’s “Smut” and “Underage.”
           
          Sex sells. Violence sells. Anything that breaks the delicate sensibility of what is “proper” is going to sell because it’s intriguing. Why do you think “Orgasm” and “Deep Throat” are two of the most popular and best-selling blushes? It’s certainly not the color! :D
           
          ((sorry for the storybook…i love talking about things like this. but you can ignore me if you want haha))

        • Avatar of Mariella Mariella

           @nacacijin Oh, I realize that sex sells (though I don’t have either of those blushes and my favourite blush happens to be called “Natural Beauty”) but I still find it offensive when a company that makes products for women uses names that basically make light of the violence perpetrated against women.  I actually do think twice about purchasing products with ridiculously “naughty” names.  Didn’t MAC end up in the centre of some stink a few years ago with the naming of some launch…..I can’t recall what the name was and don’t recall the incident it was connected with but I think it was the name of a town or region where there’d been some massacre or something like that.

        • IsobelHumphreys

           @Mariella their Rodarte collection was based on the mexican town of Juarez that’s very poor and crime ridden and where violence against women and children occurs regularly.
           
          I don’t think names like Corrupt or Underworld are that bad considering underworld doesn’t have to mean the crime underworld and corrupt may work as a reference to hedonism.

  11. It’s impossible to be exhaustive in these things, but I do try to direct my money towards companies that share my values- against cruelty to animals, environmental responsibility, respect for others regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, economic background, etc. and ethical policies towards employees. It’s almost impossible to guarantee all of those, and certain companies are stronger on some than in others.
     
    I do avoid spending money with companies who I know have done things that I find ethically repulsive, but, again, I don’t pretend to know everything that goes on.

  12. Avatar of Kafka Kafka

    I won’t lie and say that the very FIRST thought through my head when seeing a product (or even a swatch) is: “Oh, they abuse the environment! They treat their workers like dirt! They hurt small puppies!”  First, it’s the look of the product, second the price and then my image/perception/knowledge or what have you of the company.  It’s at that point that issues like ethics come in.  While I am not totally cruelty-free and while I have bought at companies like Walmart, I do try to do my best.  As I’ve said in the past, corporate ownership and globalisation make things very tricky nowadays, and the ethics issue is a very subjective, personal one. I do what I can and what I think is best to the extent that I can. I don’t have to worship a company to buy from it. But one thing that perhaps influences my actions more than others is cunning deceit and/or being treated like a fool. I’m Scorpio enough that I do NOT forget and I DO have a tendency to hold a grudge…..

  13. I believe in the truth and then let me make my own decisions that work for me personally based on that information and everybody else can do the same for themselves. . Looks like the truth isn’t what we are getting.  That annoys me more than anything.  Although, sanctimony from other people annoys me almost as much. 

  14. Jen Herr

    There are so many cosmetic companies that make it near impossible to find a clear ingredient list online. So frustrating!

  15. Dominique33

    Every brand should be ethical. I use both ( non ethical + ethical ), I do hope all beauty brands will go ethical. Laws are lenient, I think we should tax all brands that are not willing to go ethical. This must change, human and animal welfare are very important, most important than everything else in fact.

  16. makeupmatters3

    The number one ethical issue that is important to me personally when it comes to beauty products is animal testing. I am very passionate about animals, and I try to always and make sure a company is cruetly free. I also will not use any animal hair brushes. I only use synthetic bristles.  The quality today (real techniques, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Sephora Brand Airbrush, Hourglass, Illamasqua, etc) is really quite good and I do not think its necissary to harm animals, but that’s just my personal opinion. Business ethics are important because people make judgements on your brand based upon your actions to an extent and will vote with their wallets. granted there are those who don’t care, and everyone cares about different issues, but I think being as honest with your customers as possible is the best policy, because people will respect honesty above all. Then each individual can decide to buy or not buy based on his or her personal beliefs. I try to be the change I want to see, and try to support companies that I feel behave in an ethically responsible manner.

    • 74259

       @makeupmatters3 Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Erica2

       @makeupmatters3  I agree! I will NOT give my money to companies that test their products on animals or make brushes with animal hair. I have dogs and honestly, I wouldn’t be able to even look at them, knowing I was responsible for other dogs (and other animals) pain. It’s heartbreaking to think about it.The other aspects of ethics are important too, I believe companies have a lot of responsibility to their emploees, the environment and to their customers. Honesty and information about their policies and ingredients are very important to me. I am really glad to see that the ethical issues are being discussed more and more in the beautyworld. :)  

  17. MultiOrpington

    I feel gross (not to mention hypocritical, as I’m vegetarian) buying from a brand that tests on animals. Into other unethical things (environmental damage, bad customer/employee treatment, etc), I will avoid it if I know, but I won’t throw out a product after I find out, or if it’s gifted/won as a prize/etc. I won’t knowingly give them my money, anyway.

  18. I wish government regulations would ensure that people do not have to choose between products and food that are “good” for the environment and that which is not good.  But this will take a bit of time to achieve.  
     
    That said, I need a product that works for me. I have really tricky skin to deal with.   I will stick with products that I know work and experiment as I am able.  I am trying to replace products as I use them up with only more organic/natural/eco-friendly products.  This goes for my cleaning products, food, skin care and make-up.  I don’t want to waste money and time, so I am going slowly.  
     
    I do find Dr. Hauschka skin care products good.   I order from Saffron Rouge, which has a wide range of products to try.  I want to try some of Dr. Hauschka’s make-up next.

  19. Beautifully said, Christine. I believe a lot of the same things.