Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Hudson Bay's Lord & Taylor Cashmere Cardigan Comes With Copious Casing

During Boxing Week sales, I ordered a Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan on sale from The Bay a.k.a. The Hudson's Bay online. The cardigan arrived about a week later in a very large plastic bubble wrap envelope.

This envelope was well over a foot long and wide.

When I opened this, I found a plastic wrapped high quality large cardboard box that says "Lord & Taylor." There was also the receipt and a packing slip from The Bay.

Why did this box inside a plastic envelope come wrapped in another layer of plastic?
I took off the plastic wrap.

So far the packaging included a large bubble wrap envelope, packing slip, receipt, plastic bag, and a large cardboard box.
I opened the box. Inside was another lid, this time made of clear plastic, proclaiming that this was a cashmere robe (it could be used as this if you were quite short, but it was marketed as a tie front cardigan) and the original manufacturer's suggested price.

Why does this box have a plastic insert?
I took this additional lid off and finally hit the cardigan, along with tissue paper.

Tissue paper inside the cardigan.
The cardigan had its tags and a very very meagre spare thread that really couldn't be used to repair much more than the tiniest of holes, so I suppose Lord & Taylor wants this cardigan to be basically disposable, so that you'll just buy another one as soon as it gets a hole in it. We are living in a disposable society after all.

Gee thanks for the cashmere thread to repair holes with. What a generous amount, Lord & Taylor.
When I stacked all of the packaging together, I was amazed that one cashmere cardigan, that could have fit in a much smaller bubble wrap envelope and could have been sent like that without any box or additional plastic or anything could have resulted in this much garbage/recycling/waste. Every business needs to start assessing how much packaging they're using to send out purchases now that so many people are buying items online instead of in stores. Yes, some items that are fragile like electronics and glass need more packaging, but a sweater does not need this much packaging.

This really is an astonishing amount of waste for one sweater.

This Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan from The Bay a.k.a. The Hudson's Bay is a prime example of overpackaging (and I bought a different style of Lord & Taylor cashmere sweater for someone this winter in store from The Bay and it came with zero packaging, so this is online shopping causing overpackaging in this particular instance).

P.S. On January 20th, 16 days after receiving my sweater in the mail, I discovered two holes along one seam of the sweater. I have contacted Hudson's Bay and am waiting for their customer service department to deal with this extremely disappointing turn of events. The Hudson's Bay Twitter contact person is very helpful and quick though and was able to collect information from me and then send it to the customer service department to start an escalation process very soon after I tweeted them. As I stated above, there is definitely not enough thread to make more than one micro repair to this sweater and really a two week period of wear before it has holes makes this sweater almost disposable. Disposable cashmere? What will our society think of next? AJEG

Two holes at the seam of the sweater have formed after only 16 days of having this sweater in my house. Shockingly bad quality.
P.P.S. January 26, 2017- I have received an email from the customer service department at Lord & Taylor/ The Hudson's Bay apologizing for the poor workmanship of the sweater and offering a full refund as there are no equivalent cardigans to replace mine with. While a hole-free cashmere sweater is preferable, at least The Hudson's Bay is standing behind their merchandise. I have accepted this proposed resolution. AJEG

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Phillips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads- Lots of Waste in a Very Expensive Package

My husband and I use a Phillips Sonicare EasyClean Electric Toothbrush (the charger is original, the toothbrush itself had to be replaced after a drop that ruined it, but we found a replacement on eBay for an okay price) and while we like the product itself (it seems to clean the teeth well and with sensitive heads lead to minimal gum irritation), buying its replacement heads is always a painful task. First of all, for a package of only three little replacement heads, it's crazily expensive ($39.99 Canadian plus tax in most places for the sensitive type that we buy, which is $45.59 including tax per pack, or $15.20 per toothbrush head! N.B. the replacement heads were not that expensive to begin with- it's one of those situations where they release a new type of toothbrush, make its replacement heads way cheaper than the ones for the older models, you buy that new model, then they raise the price of the new model's replacement heads over and over again until you contemplate whether or not it's worth upgrading to a newer model or changing companies altogether.). It's also annoying, because there are so many different types of heads for the myriad of different types of Phillips toothbrushes, so you always have to remember which is your particular model of toothbrush, and check on the package of replacement heads that they will work for your particular model (our replacement head package lists seven different types of Phillips toothbrushes that this type of replacement head apparently works with and there are several other types of heads to choose from in the Phillips Sonicare section of the toothbrush replacement head aisle).

Further, when you get the package of replacement heads home, there are other frustrations. Our particular type of replacement head package come with three replacement heads. Who is this pack geared towards? If you have two people in a house, then you have to buy two packages to even out the number of replacement heads. If you have a family of four, then it creates an even worse numbers situation.

Then you have to get the package open. It's one of those hermetically sealed plastic creations that turns the most docile of consumer into a brutal baboon, grunting and pulling at the package to try to get inside.
A surprisingly large package for three little toothbrush heads. Guess they're trying to make it look like more value since you're paying over $15.00 per toothbrush head . . .
I had to cut open the package at least partially before my brute force released the contents of the package.
This oversized package is full garbage.
And boy is there ever a lot of stuff in that plastic package. First of all, the package is too big for just three little toothbrush heads (executives of Phillips might chime in here with the exception to packaging rule that if something is likely to be shoplifted then the package can be made unnecessarily big- but in most stores they put the electric tracking stickers in these packages so that if they are shoplifted, the store alarms go off). Secondly, there are several different components to the package including a plastic tray to hold the toothbrush heads, three toothbrush heads each with its own plastic travelling cover, a little plastic bag with three different coloured plastic bands that you can use to change the colour of the band of your toothbrush head with if you want to have a different one from whoever else you're living with, a paper coupon for the Phillips Sonicare Airfloss (coupons for more toothbrush heads would be more useful, I'm never going to buy that other contraption no matter how many coupons I see for it during the course of buying packages of toothbrush heads), two paper card inserts that go at the front and back of the plastic package, and the unnecessarily large plastic container itself that houses all this garbage.

Why are there so many unnecessary components in here? Some people will recycle them, but I'm guessing a lot of this crap will end up in the landfill never ever used and completely unnecessary to begin with.
Just look at the empty plastic package next to the only necessary items, the three toothbrush heads. How much waste could we cut down on if we had a small package with less junk crammed into it? Phillips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads are definitely an example of overpackaging.

Why is this package so big? Cut down on the packaging, Phillips, you're wasting precious resources and making the end product more expensive for your customers. We definitely don't enjoy paying over $15.00 per toothbrush head and as you keep raising the price, more and more customers will just decide that your product is not worth it.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Forever 21's Disposable Leggings

Technically, this is not overpackaging, but since it adds to the planet's garbage situation, I'm putting it in my blog. When I was shopping in Vancouver during Boxing Week, I purchased a few pairs of Forever 21 leggings. They were not on sale, but cheap ($6.90 plus tax each in Canadian dollars). I didn't expect them to be stellar, but just kind of basic, something that would last me a while. The last two pairs I had from Forever 21 weren't fantastic, but they lasted a while and for the price were not that bad.

I wore one of the new pairs of leggings the next day while I was out shopping. Not only was I disappointed that the leggings kept falling down because their waistband elastic was crappy, but towards the end of the day, I looked down and on one leg, there was a line of tiny holes all the way up the seam of the leggings! One wear and they were ruined.

I took them into Forever 21 the next day to return them, as they were clearly defective. I mean the sign in the store didn't say "disposable leggings" or "wear them once then throw them out- never do laundry again." I brought the other two pairs of leggings with me as I figured that they would be just as defective and disappointing and I was not willing to take a chance on them.

The store clerk told me point blank that they don't do returns at Forever 21, so I could have a store credit. Excuse me?! So, Forever 21 sells defective merchandise and then you're expected to buy something else shitty from them with a store credit? I don't think so. I pointed out to the clerk that since the leggings were defective and not regular merchandise, any store policies would not apply (read the Sale of Goods Act, people!). She looked surprised, as if no one had ever demanded a full refund before. She told me that sometimes the leggings get holes in them when you pull them up. So how exactly are you supposed get leggings on if you don't pull them up, telekinesis? Since I was not buying this bullshit, she went to find her manager.

My husband and I were standing there for a while, during which time, I snapped a hasty picture of the ruined single use leggings. It's not the greatest picture, but does show some of the many holes along the seam of one leg.

This is just a small sampling of the holes that went all the way down the seam of my right leg, but not my left.
She returned and said she would give me a refund in cash, since they had no way of putting the sum back onto my credit card (yeah, so I guess everyone else with this defective disposable shit just accepts the store credit?). I took the cash and refused her offer to find something else in this temple of garbage. No thank you.

So, if you ever end up with defective merchandise, take it back and make companies produce better items that won't end up in the landfill immediately. Demand your money back. Defective merchandise is not the same as regular merchandise and can never be treated the same under store policies if they have restrictive return policies. If we don't speak up as consumers, companies are just going to continue producing and selling us garbage.

Single use leggings are a waste and I refuse to let companies like Forever 21 get away with this.