Everything you buy is from a corporation

Hello People of the World (really just those who read this blog). I have recently come to the horrifying realization that everything is owned by corporate conglomerates.

Being raised by “hippies” and compared to my other hippie, hipster, and general society-bashing-atheist/mothereathgoddessbelieving-slingshot planner-using-anarchist brethren/sistren, yes I realize this is late in the game.

How did I come to this terrible realization you ask? Simple, The Environmental Working Group’s website, skindeep. I was researching the immunotoxicity of my roommate’s make up when I noticed that the brand “Origins” is owned by Estee Lauder. I was intrigued, so I clicked on the Estee Lauder icon and realized they own a boat load of other companies, Aveda, Clinique, Coach, Missoni, Michael Kors…

Which naturally led me to question what other products I used are owned by insidious corporations? Is my devotion to purchasing products made with organic, eco-friendly, no synthetic chemicals ingredients paying off or are they all owned by larger companies who don’t give a fart in the long run?

Here are the big ones:

1.) Unilever, an international British-Dutch based company. They own/produce: Ben and Jerry’s, Degree, Dove, Axe, Knorr, Hellmans, I can’t believe it’s not butter!, Lever 2000, Lipton, Pond’s, Q-Tips, Suave, Sun Silk, Slim Fast, Vaseline, and many others.

2.)Proctor and Gamble, an international American based company from Cincinnati, OH. They own/produce: Bounty, Braun, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Duracell, Gain, Gillette, Ivory, Head and Shoulders, Old Spice, Olay, Pampers, Always, Pantene, Pringles Secret, Vicks, Tide, etc.

3.) Nestle, an old enemy of my childhood (I wasn’t allowed to buy Nestle products because they encourage mothers in developing countries to use their baby formula instead of breast-feeding) and an international Swiss based company. They own/produce: Carnation, Gerber, Ice Mountain, San Pelligrino, Perrier, Panna, 100 Grand Bar, Baby Ruth, Poland Spring, Bit-O-Honey, Butterfinger, Crunch, Kit Kat, Smarties, Rolo, Toll House, Coffee Mate, Newquick, Juicy Juice, Jenny Craig, Boost, Powerbar, etc.

4.) Kraft, the largest company in America and second largest in the world after Nestle. They own/produce: A1 Steak Sauce, Grey Popoun, Miracle Whip, Vegemite, Chips Ahoy!, Fig Newton, Jell-O, Mallomars, Nutter Butter, Oreo, Planters, Ritz Crackers, Teddy Grahams, Triscuit, Wheat Thins, Milka, Toblerone, Cheez Wiz, Cool Whip, Philadelphia, Velveeta, Capri Sun, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, Maxwell House, Tang, Oscar Meyer, Shake ‘n Bake, Handi Snacks, etc.

5.) S.C. Johnson and Son, an American company based right here in Racine, WI. They own:Drano, Fantastik, Glade, Nature’s Source, Oust, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Windex, Saran Wrap, Ziploc, Edge, Skintimate, OFF!, Raid, Windex, etc. They also own “Greenlist”, which is another greenwashing marketing ploy to make consumers think the product they bought is “eco-friendly” when in reality it’s still full of volatile organic compounds, phthalates, and a host of other disconcerting ingredients.

6.) Colgate-Palmolive, an international American based company. They own/produce: Anbesol, Ajax, Colgate, Fresh Start, Handi Wipes, Irish Spring, Murphy Oil Soap, Palmolive, Softsoap, Speed Stick, Tom’s of Maine, Teen Spirit, Science Diet, Ultra Brite, etc.

7.) Johnson and Johnson, an American based international company. They primarily produce/own consumer pharmaceuticals: Acuvue, Aveeno, Band-Aid, Benadryl, Bengay, Carefree, Clean and Clear, Cortaid, Desitin, Efferdent, Imodium, Johnson’s Baby, K-Y, Lactaid, Listerine, Lubriderm, Lundens, Monistat, Motrin, Mylanta, Neosporin, Nicoderm, Neutrogena, Nicorette, O.B., Onetouch, Pediacare, Pepcid, Purell, REACH, Rembrandt, Rogaine, Rolaids, Splenda, Stayfree, Sudafed, Tucks, Tylenol, Visine, Zyrtec, etc.

8.) L’Oreal, a French based international company who primarily sells consumer cosmetic products. They own/produce: Kerastase, Redken, Matrix, Shu Uemura, L’Oreal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline New York, Lancome, Biotherm, YSL Beaute, Giorgio Armani Parfums and Cosmetics, Ralph Lauren Frangrances, Diesel Fragrances, Victor and Rolf parfums, Ombrelle, The Body Shop, and others.

In the end, I found only a few of the products I use are owned by larger companies, my Tom’s deodorant and toothpaste, and my Burt’s Bees lip balm. I don’t have a huge problem with corporations or capitalism. I do have a problem with the fact that most of these companies propagate sexism, colonialist thought/racism, and contribute to Global Warming. The sources cited for each of the wikipedia articles* for these companies have included known incidents of sexism in the workplace, racism and exploitation in the developing countries most of these companies do their business in and the carbon emissions these companies produce.

*here are the links to the wikipedia pages and you can explore the cited links from there.

Unilever, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive, Proctor and Gamble, S.C. Johnson, Kraft, Johnson and Johnson, Johnson and Johnson 2, L’Oreal, and an independent review of the claims made by Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees


4 Responses

  1. Would be interesting to see the relative incident rates of these issues between corporations and other types of companies.

  2. I’m guessing it’s quite varied.

  3. I think you’re right. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to the corporate form — perhaps it could be argued that the structural complexity (and frequently, size) makes it more difficult to drive accountability. However, I doubt sexism, racism, etc. are really unique to the corporate environment. If anything, large corporations probably have more resources to devote to combating these types of things.

    I know the large corporation where I work focuses on it quite a bit. 🙂

  4. of course, some of those corporations have been given awards for best place to work for women with children, etc. and i wouldn’t deny that small companies, business, etc also have similar issues as the corporations i cited do. i’m glad there are corporations out there that work to better the issues at hand.

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