It’s Not Easy Being Green. Or Honest.

How much weight does the word “organic” hold when it comes your purchasing decisions? Do you place more value—monetary or otherwise—on organic clothing? Food? How about beauty products?

We only ask because 26 cosmetic companies making “organic” products are facing a lawsuit from the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health for using the word without the certifications. The companies (the full list can be found HERE) may be in violation of a California law requiring products carrying the organic label to be at least 70% organic ingredients. Attention, shoppers: Now that you know, would you still buy the products?

If found guilty, the companies involved will have more than just legal problems. First of all, if they’re stripped of the organic label, they’ll be unable to fulfill their female consumers’ Good Intentions. Because how convenient is it that the products you love are also organic, and therefore less damaging to the environment? Organic beauty products make it easy to be green-ish.

Also, women love empathetic companies. They love companies that understand them, that enable them to both save the planet and have a flawless complexion. But if it’s found that any or all of these companies—whose products have been tested by the Center and found wanting—aren’t living up to their claims and are in fact lying to their consumers, said consumers will feel targeted, manipulated, and disinclined to keep buying.

Honesty gains a lot of ground with female consumers, but deceit loses much more. Let’s hope, for the sake of brand loyalists everywhere, that honest trumps organic.

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April 13, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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