Friday, January 16, 2009

Burt's Bees and Clorox: what's the link?

I was quite sad when I learned this, I wonder what took me so long to find out. All this time I didn't know that Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox. Of course that was not always that way. Clorox bought Burt's Bees in November 2007 for $913 million dollars. They saw this as an opportunity to get into the growing 'green' market. I still find it hard to buy the “Don’t judge Clorox as much by where they’ve been as much as where they intend to go” statement made by John Replogle, the chief executive of Burt’s Bees.

Unfortunately it will more likely be Clorox that changes the face of Burt's Bees rather than vice versa. You can't make bleach 'green', its bleach. Of course they sell scores of other products like Brita water filters, Glad trash bags and Hidden Valley salad dressings that have nothing to do with bleach. Hopefully the green-wash marketing used for Green Works will not migrate to Burt's Bees products also. The 380 Burt's Bees emloyees have the potential to influence Clorox, but that will be tough going against the grain of their 7,800 employees.

It would be highly unlikely you would see Burt's Bees at CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Wal-Mart if it was not bought out by Clorox. So 'green' going mainstream has its pros and cons, it is getting harder and harder to tell which products truly are sustainable and made of natural ingredients. Your best bet is sticking to companies that are not owned by huge corporations, smaller is better in this case.



  1. I was SHOCKED to see a clorox commercial last night that advocated for cleaning your baby's bottles with bleach (not to mention things like dog bowls, etc). My first thought was "Huh...isn't that, um, toxic?!!??!"

  2. I saw that commercial about a week ago too, couldn't believe my eyes and ears, the sad thing is that many parents are gullible enough to follow that advice!


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