Driving companies to produce safer consumer products
A story of one company's mission to produce safer products for babies to athletes
AUSTIN, Texas, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Environmental factors are attributed to an estimated 95% of all cancers (Christiani 2011). Consumers are mistakenly relying on governmental policies to protect them against exposure to these toxins; but frankly, current governmental regulations are not doing so. So that's the bad news. The goods news is that a recent study shows that changes to lifestyle and diet alone can reduce cancer risk by an astounding 50% (Andreas 2012). Isn't it time that the cancer conversation become proactive and preventative instead of reactionary? Consumers must be responsible for limiting their own exposure to toxins in the environment, and by doing so collectively drive the market to produce safe products without known toxins.
With interest in safe solutions becoming a mainstream topic, the power of social media continues to emerge as one of the biggest generators of change. Take for example the enormous backlash against SIGG bottles after announcing that their bottles did in fact contain a BPA based internal lining (Time Oct 2009). When US parents purchasing Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo found out it was a different formula than the EU version, their outcry and subsequent media attention prompted immediate moves by the company to alter the US version (Parents Nov 2011). Most recently, Campbell's soup also announced a shift away from cans with BPA lining to alternatives (Forbes March 2012). These moves largely came via public concern about chemical issues and are great examples of how social media plays an important role in mitigating change on consumer products.
Enter thinkbaby and thinksport. The two companies were created over 5 years ago in response to the growing concern of chemicals leaching from consumer products- specifically those found in baby bottles and feeding sets, water bottles, and sunscreens. Over the course of several years, the company has been a pivotal entity in bringing change through offering safe, sustainable and highly functional alternatives. Their leadership on chemical issues such as Bisphenol-A, phthalates, PVC, PET, and has led consumers and retailers to pay more and more attention to them.
But the process of change wasn't always easy. Even after receiving enormous initial push back from retailers and from mainstream product producers, thinkbaby and thinksport have been successful in causing large companies, and retailers to move toward safe alternatives. All too often large retailers worry about making the move to safe alternatives- fretting about revenues generated by mainstream products. The general reluctance of large chains to embrace new, safe solutions allowed for the dramatic rise of stores like Whole Foods and "natural" sections within stores of all types.
Recently, the consumer world is being made aware of the concerns surrounding the ingredients found in common sunscreens. While chemical sunscreens continue to dominate the market, media attention continues to mount on the possible carcinogenic effects of the chemicals used to absorb UVB rays from the sun.thinkbaby and thinksport point consumers and retailers to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) database called Skin Deep, which has been highlighted everywhere from CNN to The New York Times. Skin Deep provides visibility into the concern of ingredients found in everything from cosmetics to sun care products. thinkbaby and thinksport's sun care line were the first to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements and received top ratings for baby, beach and sport in EWG's Skin Deep. In addition, 10% of the proceeds from sales (a minimum of $1.5 million) will be donated to LIVESTRONG's fight against cancer.
As alternative materials and products flood into the market place, maybe it's time to take another page out of thinkbaby and thinksport's book. "When we build products, we are firm believers in the Precautionary Principle. We don't jump on a material because it is free of one harmful ingredient. There is too much potential to land on something equally harmful." explains Kevin Brodwick the founder of thinkbaby and thinksport, "Companies should be responsible for extensive research and testing of products. We also advocate transparency in materials used. This level of dedication of preserving the planet while also making sustainable products has been the constant focus of a company we greatly admire and emulate – Patagonia."
Before you make that next purchase, "think" for a moment. Your purchases do have a direct impact. You are either directly funding a company that has your best interests in mind or one that doesn't. Are the companies being proactive or just reacting to competition being sprung from smaller companies that are focused on consumer safety issues? Why make yourself a guinea pig for some big multi-national corporation that may be motivated foremost by making a profit, at times irresponsible, or blind to doing the right thing? "We believe retailers of all sizes have a responsibility to safeguard US consumers from potentially harmful chemicals, and that this should be part of their mission statement. What you consume or apply should be your decision. Why support companies and retailers of any size that don't put your health first?" Brodwick shared.
As Dr. Marvin Legator,a noted environmental toxicologist, use to say, "We're all on the road to cancer. It's what you do in your life that either accelerates or slows you down from hitting the wall." Meaning, it's the aggregation of the choices that you make on exposure, consumption and active lifestyle that largely will dictate your long term health.
About thinkbaby and thinksport
thinkbaby and thinksport were developed to address the growing concern of harmful chemicals leaching from consumer products. Through work with leading scientists and testing labs, thinkbaby and thinksport offer a comprehensive suite of products ranging from their complete line of BPA-free baby feeding products, super-insulated sports bottles, PVC-free yoga mats, and now top rated safe sunscreen solution for babies to athletes. thinkbaby and thinksport continue to expand their mission and leadership in the development of safe, effective and sustainable consumer products. http://www.thinkbaby.co and http://www.thinksport.CO/ Info@thinksport.CO / 877.446.1616
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