Can brands learn to be less wasteful through experiential programs and education ?

I am currently teaching a class about Sustainability and topics like PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE and CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.  We talk a lot about waste.  How to recycle ?  How to upcycle ? We are mainly focused on consumer goods.

While I teach this class I become more proud of my offering at Caravan Stylist Studio.

One of the things I keep thinking of  is – One way to have less waste is to be more efficient and more thoughtful especially when sending out samples and packages for content consideration ?  I always think through EDUCATION you can have less waste… at least in regards to Public Relations and creating Buzz about a brand especially in the realm of beauty and there are other areas this certainly works in as well food and beverage as well.

Something that has become so popular is to see an “UNBOXING” and sometimes when an influencer does an UNBOXING – there are dozens of boxes for them to open especially when they return from a trip.  My question is – did they ask for those packages ?  Did they edit what was coming to them  ? Do they want everything they receive ?  Will they use everything they receive or will they give it away or will they throw it out ?

You might say to me there are people who pay for boxes and get them every month so there is the element of surprise and a way to discover new product – I get that and I would think maybe the average person is just getting one maybe a couple of those boxes a month. I am not talking about those boxes I am talking about elaborate boxes sent out to influencers to try to sample product.

I believe there could be a lot more efficient ways in PR to protect the environment and also to be less wasteful. If a creative receives a big box of goodies, and they did not ask for all those products – what happens – do they even have enough room for these products – maybe product is given away to their friend  or maybe even thrown out where is the respect to that product ?

I am not saying sending product is a bad thing because I have this blog and I receive product and review it but I am super careful when I receive an email with a request to try a product –  I will go on that company’s website and figure out something that makes sense for me. I don’t like to get a whole box of nail polish with 200 colors when I am most likely only going to use 5 of those colors. Plus consider the packaging cost – the packaging for the gift of the box – what that looked like as well as the cost to send that package to me?

Also when I get a gift bag I always try to look inside and ideally I don’t want to take product that won’t work for me – if I don’t have curly hair why do I want product for curly hair ?

What do I urge —- a new way of PR —– think before you send – think before you create a gift basket that costs your client $200 each to send —- what about investing in education and actual use of the product?

That is where CARAVAN comes in – I run into a lot of doors closed on my little idea of Caravan especially from PR teams.  A lot of times I will get a brand manager excited about the idea of having their own beauty studio and a beauty expert on staff to provide blowouts – skincare regimens – makeup applications using product and then only sampling one or two  products that the guest really liked….. The brand manager loves the idea – when it gets to PR – I get shut down.  I am not sure if they find the idea competitive with what they are doing for their client, maybe there is not enough budget to go around but what if we were to work together more ?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could send influencers and creatives to a studio where they can have their hair done with the product that makes sense for that person, or have them try the foundation best for their skin IRL then for them to just get a box of 20 foundations and not even the right one for their skin type ?

I think corporations can gain some responsibility over their spendings and their waste and find efficient educational opportunities such as CARAVAN to showcase their product.

I recently wrote an article about waste at events from flower displays to neon lights – these are all pretty – but did the guests’ take photos of all of that or the product or more important did you have someone there showcasing the product and how you can use it ?  I recently saw a beauty brand have an event where they hired all these amazing healers and they did not get one instagram showcasing product just photos of them with them with these healers with a handle tag ?

I think on the reverse creatives & influencers can also start to ask for less and ask for brands / agencies to edit what they send them — they can take responsibility as well and say before you send me that package – ask me if I want it and let’s decide what I might really use in that package ?

Caravan is an unique concept and not everyone gets it for some reason which is frustrating as an entrepreneur –  especially that it is an efficient way to brand market a product — to get awesome people to try a product while that guest is hopefully benefiting from getting a beauty session and they can run off to their photo shoot, tv appearance or event.  It is two fold.  We showcase product on them and we will only gift them if they want something in particular.  There is very low waste. There is also no costs of shipment to the 300 guests that visit. Yes we have the cost of shipment when they send us product to distribute but that is a couple of times  a year – think of the savings in the carbon footprint too !

As influencer marketing grows and I do think it is the future.  I think influencers can do the obvious influence others on products to purchase – but lets figure out a way to be less wasteful to take more responsibility. This will just in general be a good thing and maybe it can even help the environment !

If you want more information on Caravan I would love that – let’s be more efficient with our spendings and our samplings –


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