Skip to content

Free from: Is all or nothing all there is left?

December 29, 2018

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook yesterday that got me thinking. It was a comment on those people who were outraged about Japan resuming whaling yet whom were still making choices that weren’t best for the environment themselves.  A calling out of double standards maybe?  A cry from the heart to friends who seem blind by their own digressions?   I don’t know, I didn’t ask, it wasn’t my conversation to be part of nor my time to seek clarification because for me, I’d taken this comment and placed it into the context of the cosmetic industry.

Every so often, in the twenty plus years of me being here, in this industry, another thing creeps on the ‘free from’ list. First it was SLS until someone also reminded someone who there is also SLES although almost no-one really knew the difference.  All that was needed to be known came through the fax machines and into the offices of the 90’s in black and white, like a message from the invisible typing gods on high who had a premonition that a future of death and destruction would surely be the fate of anyone daring to ignore this grave warning.  I don’t need to highlight the warnings that followed, we all know them by now but by now we’ve gone past mere ingredient shaming and have now gone the full monte,  pitching whole brands, their philosophy, their owners ethics and their life-cycle analysis against a moral tuning fork in order to judge whether it hits the right note or if it is all wrong. There is no in-between…

Or is there?

I get it, I understand the neat and tidy ‘this or that’ of it all.  The desire to make up our minds and be done with it,  to not dwell or get tied up in the minutia of detail, to just choose and be done.  We are time poor, maybe more so than ever before but it is not just time we are poor of, its mental capacity, head-space,  mental clarity.  In a world where everything we thought we knew was wrong, we just want something to cling to. Why can’t our cosmetics come with a simple good or bad tick?  Why should we have to care?  Since when did washing our face become an activity that can leave us feeling like we are sanctioning the murder the world?

I think we are in danger of losing the plot.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Time is running out.

Run-away climate change

45% (or is it more?) of the world’s biodiversity lost in MY LIFETIME!!!


If that isn’t the shit hitting the fan then I don’t know what is…

But I am still not sure that we should, in our only-human mortal individualistic, lonesome selves, take on the burden of fixing everything for fear that anything less is doing nothing.

Oh and I certainly can’t back the shaming of others who are not quite pounding the moral high ground in the way that we expect them too.

So what should we do?

Far be it from me to dictate anything to you, dear reader/ brand owner/ business entrepreneur or home-made enthusiast so instead of issuing you a directive I’ll offer you an opinion.  My opinion is that it would be good if we all just woke up a little more and stretched out our hands to re-connect to each other, to see ourselves once again as small pieces in a great big puzzle, a puzzle that nobody really has the full picture of but that we are all just trying to make sense of by holding each other together.  My experience of parenting and nurturing (and helping to grow)  small brands into big ones is that nobody feels motivated or good about being shamed and a goal is not a goal but is a torment if it is too lofty and far removed or plainly un-realistic to even attempt to work towards.

The truth of the matter as I see it is that there isn’t a cosmetic brand on earth that can save the world from all that we are doing for it but we can all use our energy, passion, creativity and vision to do the best that we can in the sphere in which we resonate.  Using our energy and passion to attack or focus on what others are doing and then judge them is absolutely not helping unless, of course, they are breaking the law then do the right thing, tell the authorities and move on with being the best you you can be.

I truly do believe that there is still room for everyone and everything that is creative, that creates value and that celebrates the value of our resources, natural or otherwise.   In time we all naturally evolve to have more empathy, think bigger,  be more all-encompassing and powerful than we once were as long as we feel safe and supported.  In the meantime if everyone could just be part of the movement to politely and happily encourage that in whatever form it takes it would probably not be a bad thing.

Thanks for reading my blog this year. I may get another post in before 2019 but then again I may not. I’m off into the forest to plan my next adventure and I hope you are too 🙂




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: