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Not That Ordinary

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The other day some colleagues and I were discussing the challenge of green washing and the difficulties consumers face when they are trying to determine if a brand is genuine in their sustainability efforts or not. As we discussed the different schemes and pledges that businesses can affiliate with to demonstrate their sustainability the one brand that came to my mind as an example of good practice was The Ordinary.

For those that don’t know The Ordinary has been taking up residency in medicine cabinets and bathroom counters across the Western world. They are well known for their competitively priced skincare products such as Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Glycolic Acid to name a few.

The reason their name popped up in the middle of my meeting had nothing to do with their formulas, but everything to do with the way that they engage with the customers. For the last two years (that’s how long I’ve been on their mailing list) I’ve received an email from them at the start of November outlining how they would discount their prices for the month of November and close on Black Friday so as to not trigger impulse spending on the biggest shopping day of the year.

Slowvember announcement from The Ordinary 1 Nov 22
‘DECIEM has always believed in education and transparency. This year is no different. We’re closing and going transaction free on Black Friday, because we believe purchases should be considered, and based on what is right for you.

This month we’ll be slowing down and showing you who we are. We’ll be sharing content around the theme of Clear Beauty to educate, inform and surprise you. We hope this will help you to buy thoughtfully and discover what products are right for you’.

There are no references to sustainability standards or schemes in this annual campaign, yet this approach resonates with me and makes me feel more enthusiastic about purchasing from them. The brand doesn’t claim to be the beacon of sustainable skincare and acknowledge that there is scope for improvement in their offering and operations. However, in a day and age of greenwashing, their commitment to transparency makes it easier for me to make an informed decision.

You can find out about their sustainability approach here:

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