The Margin: This shaving-cream company’s cheeky campaign urges people to donate their pubic hair to save the planet

United States

Personal-care brand Eos wants its customers to understand that hair waste doesn’t have to be waste at all. Even your hair down there.

Its reuse is but one sustainable solution to limit soil erosion. 

Eos may be best known for its plastic-globe lip balms, but it sells shaving cream and other skin care products, too. The razor industry is already well aware of how much its disposable past (and present) has added to the world’s plastic problem, so it’s pushing recycling programs and a return to old-fashioned reusable safety razors. It’s only natural that shaving cream manufacturers also want to get in on the sustainability movement and the marketing lift it can provide.

Related: How to be smarter and more sustainable in 2022 — use fewer wasteful, expensive razors

The campaign launched this week is called Pubes for the Planet. It asks people to donate their pubic hair to support Matter of Trust (MOT), a renewable resource nonprofit that specializes in repurposing discarded hair. That hair on your head counts, too.

Gimmicky? Greenwashing? Maybe. But Earth-friendly promotions are attracting younger consumers and investors USSG, -0.69%. Even Ad Age took notice of Eos’s very personal marketing, which it is no stranger to.

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Eos will send consumers who sign up on the dedicated microsite a free “pube collection pouch” with a pre-labeled return envelope addressed to its “Pube Park” at MOT’s headquarters in San Francisco. A travel-sized Eos shaving cream comes with.

The Eos campaign, created in partnership with Mischief @ No Fixed Address, is also banking on “a breakout year in hair removal,” the continuation of a grooming trend that chief marketing officer Soyoung Kang has already predicted.

MOT began its environmental work by creating mats from human and pet hair, plus other biodegradable fibers, to soak up oil spills.

Read: ‘Older generations aren’t protecting us’: Anxious about climate, 4 in 10 young people may not ever have kids, major survey shows

But hair can also be used in agricultural and gardening applications. Because of its structure, hair lets water into the soil at the same time it blocks evaporation, holding in moisture. Like other mulches, hair also keeps the soil cooler.

In the U.S. alone, the cost of soil erosion is estimated at $ 44.39 billion a year. This value includes lost productivity and the impact on water reservoirs, the USDA says. Lost farm income is estimated at $ 100 million per year as a result of soil erosion in the U.S.