Pinkwashing

And still more pinkwashing (Quick Sunday edition)

Sigh. I actually like pink. Well, not pink-pink, but a ballet-blush pink.* I also love nail polish, since mine were kind of screwed up by my first chemo treatments (Cytoxan and Taxotere) that left my nails dry and ridgy (if that’s a word.) I’m currently wearing a dark aqua (Nirvana by Dior) but I usually default to a grey, red, or blush color.

I like OPI, though Butter London is my favorite. Last night I was looking at the October Lucky magazine and saw an advert for OPI’s annual Pink of Hearts edition polishes. They’ve been doing these for a while and out of habit, I looked to see where the money was going and how much.

CRAP. Apparently they have already donated $25,000 to SGK and $5000 to Rethink Breast Cancer in Canada, for a total of $30,000. The polish sets (they come in sets) retail for around $14 and are a limited edition. So let’s do a little arithmetic.

Okay, at $14.00 retail, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they only take an 100% markup, so the sets would wholesale at $7 making the cost of production $3.50. (most cosmetics companies take a 300% mark up, but I’m being nice.) So it costs OPI $3.50 to make, package and advertise the product and they earn a profit of $3.50 per unit.

Since OPI’s version of limited is usually enough for everyone who wants one, while they offer their products all over the world, we’ll assume distribution of this line to only the US and Canada. Not being a retail beauty product expert, I going to make a wildly underestimated guess and say that they produce 5 million units (US population in 2011 was 311,591,917 and Canada was 34,482,779.) Just five million units brings in a profit of $1,750,000. They donate $30,000 to charity, leaving a profit of $1,720,000.

Obviously they make more than 5 million units of this package and their profit margin in likely much higher that 100%, but you see what I’m getting at. OPI is getting praise all over the nail polish blogosphere for their generosity, but the pittance they are throwing at SGK and especially poor Rethink Breast Cancer in Canada is nothing compared to the profits they reap when people buy pretty nail polish and think they’re helping people or as they say in the as “celebrate hopeful hearts.”

This is starting to get depressing, and it’s still only just the beginning.

*Not a surprise as an adult ballet student

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3 thoughts on “And still more pinkwashing (Quick Sunday edition)

  1. Keep em coming….. The more people see this stuff..perhaps less “product” will be sold. And, make no mistake, it is about selling the product. I don’t begrudge companies that are making money if they are sending at least HALF of EVERYTHING to a worthy organization. Maybe that’s the wrong attitude but I already admitted I suck at militant. I like being reasonable. For profit companies are not in the business of altruism so those that are sharing their profit 50/50, I’m okay with that….. THIS SHIT…. No. F’ing. WAY. Love what you started… and it’s going on a FB page that I just started….. Pink Ribbon Hall of Shame.

  2. Blondeambition, Hee! I’m afraid I will be too! I just hope Diet Coke doesn’t do anything stupid.

    AnneMarie, I’m the same way! It doesn’t have to be half for me, but it has to be for EVERY PRODUCT SOLD. No limits in $ or time. No bullshit “awareness” either.

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