Give more, Useless


teef2Believe me, USELESS, I get it. I get the point you’re trying to make. Your anti-consumerism, “Use less, give more” message is not a new one. However, following it with a list of products to purchase definitely is.

I understand that you mean to be somewhat ironic. And I get how handy it is that when you combine the words “use” and “less” into one word, you end up with “useless” (somehow I suspect that’s how this whole company came about – clever name first, company second).

And sure, your cleverly designed hoodies are made of organic cotton and your cute, logoed bottles are BPA free. And I appreciate that you donate 10% of your profits to fund water and sanitation projects in the developing world. You’re better than a lot of companies out there. BUT, you’re still selling products!

So don’t tell me all about how “the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.” And then proceed to sell me a “Useless Gift Set” or a pair of recycled notebooks. It just undermines your message. Plus, what kind of for-profit company uses a dot org? That’s just wrong.

The closest you get on your site to actually being consistent is your “Useless Earth,” which one can buy and receive absolutely nothing in the mail “except the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone in need.” Good job, that is truly useless.

Audrey is a freelance copywriter. She has worked with every kind of company, helping them to communicate their message of sustainability. Careful to never greenwash, Audrey believes that transparency in marketing is just as important as branding. And that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. When she's not blogging, marketing sustainability or writing radio commercials for Chinese food, you can find Audrey rock-climbing, riding her bike around San Francisco, or looking for work (she's available for hire, call now!)