I almost fell victim to marketing twice in one day the other day.
Have you been there?
Some of you reading this might already be nodding your heads, and some of you are about to have your minds blown.
Have you heard of ‘greenwashing‘?
Greenwashing is essentially a wolf in sheep’s clothing- products being marketed to make customers believe that they’re friendlier to the planet and people that use them than they actually are. A great example might be when a company changes its packaging to be white and tan and green and they haven’t removed any chemicals. As consumers, we almost assume that they’re doing a better job, and we feel inclined to ‘give it a shot’. After all it’s ‘only $_____.’
Something beloved and used by many- can be hiding some major chemical secrets.
What I’m hoping to do in this short piece is to show you how easily influenced we are and how essentially we waste our money when we fall for the marketing tactics. Now- I’ve never really delved this deep before, and especially not in written words. This is stuff that you need to know, though. So, here it is.
I’ll start by telling you how I almost fell victim to two marketing ploys recently. One wasn’t even in the skin care/makeup world, and yet- it totally matters.
1.) I saw a big ‘Going out of Business’ sign, for a well known accessory brand. I’ve never actually purchased anything from this company, and seeing that everything was 20 to 50% off made me kind of giddy inside.
When I went in everything was laid out beautifully, the tones and patterns on the clothes and accessories were very on trend, and I could see myself wearing a lot of the items. I gave myself about 10 minutes to shop, I was on a time-crunch. I grabbed 5 clothing items that spoke to me, Summer clothes I can wear now, and some clothes that I thought would work great for the Fall.
I proceeded to try them on and of course I had to look at the tags.
Made in China, fabric blends, things that aren’t meant to last a long time.
I tried them on anyway, if something was truly a perfect fit and an amazing deal- I might as well give it a go because I’m already here, right?
I asked myself again.
Well, let’s think about it.
Who made these clothes?
Were they paid fairly?
Are the fabrics going to last?
Am I going to miss that $10, $20 or $30 depending on how on sale these items are?
Is it going to make me joyful in the long run or just joyful in this moment?
I went on to think about why this company was going out of business.
None of the products mean anything to the people that have created them other than a paycheck. They research what’s trendy + current, and they make it. If it doesn’t sell, they can mark it down 75% and still make a profit. What does that tell us about the ingredient of the product or the pay of the people that make it?
Speaking of the people that make it- they are doing whatever they can to provide for their families, and are most likely unhappy with miserable work conditions.
The middle-man purchasers are not considering the ingredient or the material, or if it’s long-lasting.
The people selling them in the store do not have smiles on their faces, no one is interacting with the clients in the store, and you can tell they don’t want to be there.
I got out of my head. Back to reality.
All of the items fit. They looked cute. This is actually sometimes really hard for me.
I put them all down anyway.
I noted the one that I liked best, and set an intention to talk to a local business: Bizzy Bee Playwear to see if she can custom make this style for me (I know she can, she’s SO talented!)
I. Walked. Out. Head held high. So glad that I chose to vote with my dollar.
2.)After the Going-out-of-business sale, I ran to a grocery store, it is a super cute store, and almost gives the feel of a homey co-op. It was on the way, and the co-op was not. I knew I needed a tomato and yogurt for my lunch and I intended to get some spicy cashews, because I love them. In line, I saw “botanical sunscreen”.
I have plenty of sunscreen, I sell beautiful sunscreen- but curious kitty that I am, I had to peek and look at the label to see what they’re selling as ‘clean sunscreen.’
I saw what I expected to see- a pretty package with scary ingredients. PEG’s, fragrance, dimethicone, octinoxate.
The FDA has even said “Hey, the chemicals in your sunscreens are absorbed through your skin in to your blood and it hangs out there for at least a week. This is the one thing that the FDA has done since 1938 that actually keeps our safety in mind- FYI, they just gave us the education, they haven’t banned ingredients since then.
Why am I saying all of this? Why does it matter?
Well, I want to show you a glimpse of what happens in my mind when I go shopping. My buying patterns have shifted so deeply since I started to flip labels and vote with my dollar. They’ve shifted because I’m not letting marketing professionals do my shopping for me. I do my shopping for me.
My buying patterns have been even more conscious during July because of Plastic Free July. If you didn’t participate, or weren’t perfect, you have a lifetime to jump on to this extremely important initiative.
What I will suggest to you is that you analyze your buying patterns- are you shopping when you need something or are you shopping because you didn’t plan ahead.
Are you loving the things you’re buying or are you buying the things that are convenient?
To be perfectly frank, I will come clean by telling you that I had a true shopping addiction for years. Enough was never enough, and I never truly loved what I owned, because I was buying cheap- trendy, and convenient items.
Cheap. Trendy. Convenient. These are not what you want. They’re not what I wanted.
Precious. Long-standing. Thought out products. This is what you want.
Now I know what I need. I know the difference between splurging all the time, or splurging on special occasions.
I don’t want to delve deeper than this, I think if you made it to here it was a quick enough read, and you hopefully learned something.
Cheers to shopping differently, to voting with our dollars, and being happy with our purchases.