No good thing ever comes without opposition.
If you disapprove of Project: Safe Indie, I’m apologize, but I can’t make everyone happy. I can only try my best to make most people happy. I want you to know, the project was created for the people who were hurt because they used unsafe pigments on their eyes, for the people who were lied to and sold repackaged, or private label cosmetics, etc. The problem is, there is no one who is qualified by the FDA who is willing, or going to inspect these products before they’re released to the public. There is no one protecting the people who think the companies they’re purchasing from have their best interest in mind. Yes, there may be the occasional blog post, or tweet, or facebook status, but, how is that helping the people who don’t subscribe to your blog, or follow your tweets, or friend you on facebook? Those people won’t know that you might have found soap dyes in ingredients from the company they just purchased from. Personally, I have sold my products to quite a few people who have no idea what the makeup, or beauty blogger community is. Not to mention the local people that a lot of us sell to. Who’s helping to protect them?
I recently contacted a lot of bloggers, makeup companies, and people, trying to find their tips on how to shop safely in the indie community because I saw people being hurt, and I wanted to make a podcast. One podcast is not going to help much. It can only help the people it reaches. The project is set up to reach so many more people, and to tell them that their favorite companies are just as interested in their safety as they are.
No one has to participate if they don’t want to. We’re not asking for freebies. There’s a reason behind everything in the project, and the purpose of asking for one product from each type of line (ie. lipstick, eye shadow, eye liners, etc.) is to see how they’re packaged and shipped, and take extensive photographs so that customers can see the packaging for themselves, not for us. I seriously believe that this will give customers more confidence to buy from a company. A lot of people look for companies that have reviews, and this could be especially helpful for new companies, since people can see that they took the time to send in some photos & their products are safely packaged. I’ve also talked to a lot of people that are concerned about where their makeup is made. Most indie companies have a home lab. Taking lab photos and being aware of safe packing could give people a little more reassurance that the product is clean, and the person making the product at least has the knowledge to use gloves, sanitize, etc.
If sending products in is an issue, because you think the project is demanding freebies, I’d like you to please consider all the time and effort put into this project. I’ve spent countless nights coding the site and getting things ready for the project to be released and I won’t be receiving any products myself. It wouldn’t be fair if I did. No one is compensating us for our time, but that’s not what the project is about. If the others, and myself can give up our time to do all the work involved in the project, and I, as Dark Heart Designs, can send my products to one of our reviewers, just like we’re asking from others, what is so bad about sending in one or two items to show people that you believe in being safe and putting your customers first? If that is still an issue, we’d be happy to take photographs/videos, and return the product to the company, if they wouldn’t mind paying the return shipping (since most of us don’t have much personal income and it should only cost $1-2). We had also planned on doing swatches and reviews for the companies to help compensate for the products they send in. I sent a lot of free products out for Dark Heart Designs just for tips, so I see the project as a positive investment (from a company standpoint).
Another purpose of the project is to guide new companies. You can start selling makeup without having any knowledge of what you’re doing. No, we’re not professionals. I never claimed we were, but, do you know any indie company that has a degree in cosmetology? All we have is a little bit of experience and some knowledge. We’re not telling anyone how to do anything, just giving tips, and not necessarily about making products, but things like including ingredients, and shipping packages with at least a business card in it, etc. I’ve got a lot of tips myself from beauty bloggers, and sending my products to people for reviews. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I want to share it with people who are willing to listen and maybe save them some time by teaching them things I learned the hard way.
If you still don’t like the project, I understand, but I feel just as passionate about doing something to keep people safe. If you have a better idea, than please, I’m all ears, and I’d love to hear it. My only concern is not having to see anymore posts or statements from angry or hurt customers about companies that weren’t careful or truthful. I apologize if anyone misunderstood our purpose, and thought I was being condescending and/or demanding.