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Does your company have a “shit list”?

If not, you should make one!

This is a list of items, ingredients, practices, or other things that you vow never to do, use, or include in your products or business.

For example, it could be a list of toxic ingredients that other companies commonly use in their products…and which you refuse to use in yours.

The Environment Working Group (EWG) did this when they created their “Dirty Dozen” list for organic products. It was a list designed for consumers, identifying the types of produce that should always be eaten organic. Due to the nature of these produce items, they’re most likely to contain harmful pesticides when conventionally produced.

Your own company’s “shit list” can be a variation of the “Dirty Dozen.” Come up with a creative name for it, and list the things/items that you’ll never do in your business, or use in your products.

Juice Beauty, a company that sells organic skincare products, created a list of “bad skincare ingredients” that they refuse to use in any of their products.

This encourages consumers to go through their shelves, scrutinize product labels of lotions, body washes, shampoos, cosmetics, and other beauty products to see if any of them contained the bad ingredients. (Enjoy that recycle bin, motherf*ckers!)

Having a Shit List does 4 things:

  • Makes customers aware of bad ingredients lurking in products in their home, so they can trash them
  • Positions you as a trusted resource for healthier products
  • Spurs online sales, since your products DON’T contain anything on the shit list!
  • Increases customer loyalty

By creating a Shit List, you’re taking a stand for what you do and don’t believe in.

Bonus tip: Turn your shit list into a magnet and mail it to your customers as a Christmas gift! They can stick it on their fridge and use it as a daily reminder (while remembering that your company exists!).

About the Author

Michelle Lopez is a writer, editor, and copywriter with a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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