Walking into the store, I reach for the pink razor—the one that in fat, bold letters touts words like Silk. Gentle. Soft. It’s a razor, I think, why would it be soft?
But it’s not just the over-the-top marketing that gets me. When I flip over the box, I see that the razor costs a whopping $4 dollars more than the identical razor next to it. The one in black. The tough one. The one for men.
Women and female-identifying people have been dealing with gender price discrimination since long before the term even entered the common vernacular. We’ve become so accustomed to being overcharged, we often don’t even realize it’s happening. In fact women spend over $1,351 more per year on necessary products than men.1 But brands are finally taking notice, and many are fighting back against the increased prices of products for women that reflect nothing more than packaging color and marketing wording.
We took a look at some of the brands that are fighting the pink tax in profound ways:
In 2016, Boxed launched the #RethinkPink campaign. They looked at all the merchandise across their website and found that products branded for women tended to carry a higher price tag. They also found that women were paying 108% more for razors; 10% more for body wash; 8% more for deodorant and 5% more for shaving gel. And they said “Enough.” To combat the problem, they took an industry-leading stance, lowering the cost of items for women that were more expensive than their male equivalent and reducing the sales tax on feminine hygiene products.
The pink tax is exhausting, and homegoods and bedding brand Snowe believes it time to put it to rest. This summer, Snowe released a limited-edition pink bedding set with a reverse pink tax. That’s right, they offered a 7% discount as a nod to all the pink product prices that have been jacked up over the years.
As mentioned above, razor companies are one of the worst perpetrators of the pink tax. But not Billie. Billie’s razors are designed especially for women—but cost the same as razor subscriptions for men. They also donate 1% of all revenue to women’s causes around the world, with the aim of building a brighter future, one that’s better for all women, and pink-tax free.
The European Wax Center teamed up with Refinery29 in April 2018 to produce, Ax The Pink Tax, a campaign and panel that aimed to bring attention to the pink tax. With celebrity and activist participation from women like Danielle Brooks, Mama Cox and Elisa Kreisinger, the campaign kicked off a conversation that the European Wax Center and Refinery29 hope to continue throughout the year.
While technically fighting brand tax in their mission, Brandless offers beauty and health products without the increased packaging and marketing costs. That means offering affordable and gender-neutral products for all their shoppers.
Now, this game company is known for its satirical, political takes, and they did not disappoint when it came to the pink tax. Cards Against Humanity released a more-expensive version of the famous card game…but this one is…pink. Mocking the Pink tax, Cards Against Humanity for Her makes a statement while also donating proceeds to women’s organizations. Cheeky, we like it.
But even with all these brands taking a stand, this isn’t to say that we’ve made it. In fact, we’ve still got a very long way to go. Retailers have the opportunity to make a big difference by getting rid of the pink tax. It’s a decision that will make their customers happy and, of course, positively affect their bottom line.