If you're a beauty addict like us, then chances are you're already familiar with the controversy surrounding Deciem. If you're not, then let us briefly recap it for you. It started in late January when CEO Brandon Truaxe started taking over the company's Instagram account and began uploading very personal and bizarre posts. While it's something that we should have expected from a brand that dubbed itself as "The Abnormal Beauty Company", we as consumers never anticipated internal conflicts and grievances to be publicised on social media for everyone to see.
At that point, reactions were mixed. Some found the practice refreshing and groundbreaking, however, others expressed concerns about the status of the company. For a while, everything mellowed down until things got heated again when Truaxe got accused of being racist due to replying to an Instagram user recommending they use Modulating Glucosides, a product that's supposed to bleach the skin to make it lighter. Truaxe cleared things up, saying that his comment was just misinterpreted.
On top of that, co-CEO Nicola Kilner was reportedly asked to leave the company against her will. And the drama continued as Truaxe gave his own rebuttal via Instagram, no less. This shifted customer's sentiments about the brand, ranging from confused to downright angry even to the point of burning their products. And then, there are those who just want their affordable acids. "What is going ON I just want good skin," says Instagram user macleodar.
This made us wonder if we are willing to overlook the stories behind our favourite products. Can you still love a product even if you don't agree with the practices of the company that produces it? Or is continued patronisation a form of hypocrisy? Where do you draw the line between the creator and the creation? It's a very interesting conflict that's not so easily resolved.
Deciem is not the first beloved company that came under fire for what goes on internally in their company. Fashion brands have been tackling controversies for the past years. From H&M's reportedly inhumane sweatshops and racist tones in their products to Zara's alleged stealing of designs from a young independent designer. Even CHANEL has had a share of criticism when pieces of evidence about Coco Chanel being a Nazi spy came to light. And yet, these brands continue to prosper. Products are still being bought by consumers who find the product effective.
In that case, is the practice of calling out brands a futile act? We'd like to think that it's not. We've seen brands make an effort to correct their practices and become better after receiving criticisms. You don't have to stop loving the products as long as you continue to speak up and let the companies know what you're not satisfied with. As a customer, you can demand and you have more power than you think.