Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam

I ended up NOT sending the scrub with my letter to The Body Shop. I really, really wanted to, but I decided that I might get a more positive reception if I didn't. Besides the person who opens the package is not the one who made the decision to carry the scrub, and I would imagine it would be disconcerting to open the mail and have a half used scrub in there. But here is the letter I sent both to Customer Care and the president of The Body Shop America:

June 23, 2008

Attention Customer Care:

I am a longtime customer who recently purchased a facial scrub from The Body Shop- the Vitamin C face polish. My decision to buy a product from The Body Shop stemmed mainly from my apparently mistaken belief that The Body Shop was an environmentally sensitive company.

I’ve been buying Body Shop products for about 10 years now, and I have watched the slow erosion of the ecologically-minded company I once loved. But when I found out that the face polish contains polyethylene or microplastic that is killing sea life, I was horrified.

Plastic doesn’t biodegrade. So when that face polish goes down the drain, those teeny bits of plastic eventually land up in the oceans fully intact. Once in the ocean, the plastic can be accidentally swallowed by a whole host of marine animals. Please note, that our sewage systems do NOT treat water to remove microplastic, so the plastic does not get removed during treatment. For further reading, see this article at Slate:

I know that The Body Shop holds “protecting the planet” as one of its values. So I was deeply disappointed to see that The Body Shop is actively destroying sea life with this project. I urge you to pull this product and any other products that contain polyethylene. Scrubs can be made in ecologically sensitive ways. For example, St. Ives Apricot Scrub or Burt’s Bees Deep Pore Scrub use natural
ingredients that do not harm marine life.

I hope that I can remain a Body Shop customer. I have been using your Vitamin E moisturizer for years now, and it would be a shame if I had to discontinue using your products. But I simply cannot continue to patronize The Body Shop if you continue to carry products containing polyethylene.

Thanks for your time

Let's see if I hear anything back. In other news, A Crunchy Tribute is almost coming to an end. We've reached almost $2,000 in donations. If you have been meaning to donate, but haven't gotten around to it, do it soon! I'm going to donate again, so Crunch, there will be another Lunapads kit coming your way.

Happy Wednesday!

Confidential to Equa Yona, do you still want that book? I emailed you, but haven't heard from you. Email me your address! You can reach me at arduousblog (at) gmail (dot) com.


hmd said...

Great letter! I hope they respond to you.

Anonymous said...

nicely put! here's hoping they reply, and reply well.

Green Bean said...

Good for you. It is hard, sometimes, to actually put pen to paper (or I guess keyboard to well, you get my point). Nicely written letter. Looking forward to their reply.

J said...

That is a really good letter. I'm glad you stood up for what you believe and sent the letter. So many times people have complaints about something, but rather than telling the person or company (in this case), they just complain to each other. How are things going to change if people don't know how you feel!

I hope you get a good response!

Academic2 said...

The Body Shop was sold to L'Oreal (or some other makeup company) a couple of years ago. That's when the changes started.

EcoBurban said...

Good for you, let us know what they say. I have had some pretty disappointing letters lately, namely Clorox and my congresswoman regarding the oil drilling issue, so I would be happy to live vicariously through your good response!!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Good on you!

The St. Ives Apricot Scrub is the one I use. I feel better now - your first post had me worried! I use the regular kind, but there's a sensitive skin version too.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Nice work! I'm gonna stick to my rocks and gravel face scrub. Just kidding.

Acutally, I use crushed aspirin in a little water as a face mask and it works wonders.

ruchi said...

Pia, Heather, thanks!!

GB, you are right. It can be hard. But that's where blogging comes in. I can't very well put off writing a letter if I want to blog about it!!

Jennifer, you're right. I can't count the number of times I've complained to a friend about something but then done nothing about it. That doesn't accomplish anything!!

Barb, it sucks that a company can't be sold to a larger company and still maintain its soul. It'll be interesting to see what Burt's Bees is like in a couple years.

EBM, well don't hold your breath! But I would love a good response from The Body Shop as well.

CAE, didn't mean to scare you! You are free to scrub without guilt!!

Crunch, FASCINATING! I might have to try that. I assume I can use expired aspirin? Might be a better use than just dumping them in the trash!!

lauren said...

I saw your reply to my comment on Thistle's site.

Ha ha. I should have said...Much thanks to Arduous Blog for being a one stop, site to check in on all my favorite blogs.

Thanks for all you do!

ruchi said...

Lauren, totally, totally joking around with you! ;)

Anonymous said...

way to tell them how you feel! your letter exuded politeness and concern, and i think/hope its the kind of letter they will listen to. the body shop has to realize the power they have to educate and really make a difference! Origins is a bit expensive, but I have recently switched to their products and find them incredible, and they last because a little goes a loooong way...

ruchi said...

Thanks Emily! I really hope it is the kind of letter they'll listen to as well.

Pip said...

Hurrah for having your say! It takes so much motivation to actually get around to writing, even when you feel passionately about these things, that they generally take a letter to be indicative of about 100 people concerned about an issue. At least, that's the case here in Oz. So just think, it's like you spoke on behalf of 100 people. Which really rocks.

Mad Hatter said...

Good for you! Now I'm all curious as to how they'll respond.

ruchi said...

Pip, MH, thank you!!

Meg said...

Generally speaking, I don't use face scrubs like that. You can make your own scrubs with sugar or salt, but a rough wash cloth or soft veggie brush does a great job of exfoliating and they're reusable -- which makes them both frugal and green.