Dove’s Real Beauty campaign was hailed as a game changer in the beauty industry for revolutionizing skincare marketing but is now under scrutiny. Dove has been celebrated for representing women of all shapes and sizes, and age, skin tones irrespective of race in various ad campaigns. The brand’s vision sold to the masses a vision of empowerment that confronted the world’s toxic beauty trends.
However, Greenpeace says Dove is not the champion of women and young girls. It claims the brand has been fueling a human and environmental crisis by pumping huge volumes of toxic single-use plastic into the world. Greenpeace said over 200 million of the world’s poorest people are at risk from more severe and frequent flooding caused by the waste of brands like Dove.
“Dove is fully aware of the alternatives to single-use plastic. Yet, the harmful production continues. Every year, they’re pumping out 6.4 billion of the worst offenders, sachets – small, single-use plastic packaging – onto communities in the global south. That’s 12,000 every minute! These tiny plastic sachets are nearly impossible to collect and even harder to recycle.”
Greenpeace, in a blog post, highlighted that Dove’s plastic waste is choking rivers and oceans. “When burnt, it is leaching toxic chemicals into the air. Greenpeace activists in the Philippines have seen with their own eyes the devastating damage of Dove’s toxic plastic waste. They’ve seen plastic packaging from Dove, and their owners Unilever, jamming local waste systems, polluting neighborhoods and waterways.”
To make its voice heard, Greenpeace installed a 10 ft Dove bottle with the iconic ‘Real Beauty’ strapline reading ‘Real Harm’. The installation also included images and hard-hitting quotes from women from communities impacted by Dove’s plastic waste. The organization called for an end to the company’s devastating plastic pollution.
Dove states on its web portal that it is committed to a landmark new initiative as part of its 2025 commitment to reduce plastic waste. Dove believes its extensive and exciting strategy will generate a massive impact, and significantly reduce its use of virgin plastic.
Marcela Melero, Dove Global Skin Cleansing Vice President, said they believe in care that goes further for their consumers and the planet. “We are passionately committed to being one of the brands making the biggest impact against plastic waste. We know we’re not perfect, but we can’t afford to wait. We’re working to have the biggest positive impact we can as quickly as we can, and empowering others to do the same.”