I'll be the first to admit, I love make-up, especially MAC make-up with its vast array of colours, textures, compositions and many collections. It gives me that little buzz. So when I heard that beauty you-tubers and bloggers who previously adored MAC were boycotting the company I was shocked and extremely curious. What on earth had MAC done to cause such demonstration of resentment after previously being so adored? After doing much research in to the matter, I had my answer and it wasn't pretty (excuse the pun).
MAC released a collaborative collection with clothing company 'Rodarte' . The make-up collection in conjunction with the clothing was supposed to capture the "ethereal nature of the landscape" in vast areas of Texas. As many people are aware, Mexico is well known for having 'Maquiladoras' , more commonly known as sweat shops, which are factories providing cheap export goods to many parts of the world. A typical daily shift in a sweat shop is from 4AM to midnight, with the workers taking home $4.50 at the end of the week (which is actually higher than the average wage in Mexico). However, because the workers are earning more they are having to pay higher rent. This disables the workers from having any basic household amenities such as running water and electricity. Two thirds of the sweat shop jobs are taken up by women, this is because women are considered to have nimbler fingers and are apparently more obedient than males and therefore more reliable workers.
The women are made to prove that they are not pregnant each month either by tests, or appalingly, by showing a used tampon or pad. If they are pregnant then they will lose their jobs, but this isn't even the main problem. The city of Juarez, near the US-Mexico border has become a site of female destruction and murder. 400 unsolved murders and even more abductions lie at the realm of this hell site. A huge number of these victims hail from the 'Maquiladoras', and instead of protecting these women using the huge amount of wealth they have accumulated the factory owners are leaving them defenseless in the face of violence and murder.
But what on earth could my favourite cosmetics company have to do with this brutality and murder? In an act of extremely poor taste, MAC released the Rodarte collection of make-up containing an eyeshadow called 'Sleep walker' after the large groups of women making their way to the sweat shops in the early hours of the morning. This caused huge scrutiny because of the red veins running through the eyeshadow. Many were under the impression that this red veining represented blood. Not only this, but the collection contained a nail polish called 'Factory' because of the large amount of 'Maquiladoras' in the area.
MAC 'Sleepwalker' eyeshadow.
If this information doesn't put customers off MAC as a company, I dont know what would. MAC released a statement on the issue,
'We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We are listening carefully to the comments posted and are grateful to those of you who have brought your concerns to the forefront of our attention. M·A·C will give a portion of the proceeds from the M·A·C Rodarte collection to help those in need in Juarez. We are diligently investigating the best way to do this. Please be assured that we will keep you posted on the details regarding our efforts."
Rodarte also issued a statement,
"Our makeup collaboration with M·A·C developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa. The ethereal nature of this landscape influenced the creative development and desert palette of the collection. We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us. The M·A·C collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled."
Since then, MAC have cancelled the release of the collection and have donated proceeds to the countless problems in Juarez. Needless to say I can not help but be put off by MAC cosmetics as I'm sure many other women world wide are. To associate themselves with such hideous crime is to cut themselves off from countless customers. There may be some truth in Rodarte's comment that the collection was entirely based on the beauty of the landscape, but to release a product called 'Sleepwalker' ensures that they must have a least been aware of the sweat shops. As for MAC, it seems that they are JUST a pretty face.