Thursday, July 31, 2008

aircare deal-e-oh!

method luster Robert cracks me up, he says:

"Hey candle girl: all the candles are being discontinued at my target. They are on clearance. And also the cut grass aroma sticks and beach sage aroma ring refills."

DUH, I totally forgot to mention this as I ran into my local Target last night (searching for aroma spray, to no avail) and noticed the oddly clearanced items. Cut grass aroma sticks, beach sage aroma ring refills, beach sage candle, and lavender + lemongrass plug-in starter set. What an odd group?! Robert says all the candles at his store are clearanced, so I have a feeling method is getting ready for a new packaging run for their aircare (especially with (I'm guessing) the fall editions hitting in August, as well as aroma spray's return, and such!) Except what's odd is the photography for the new aroma spray bottles still retains their "x-ray" photo design (which I love! I think they should use it for everything they do! But uh, I'm just saying.) So we'll just have to keep watching and see what happens... Thanks Robert!

new method omop hsn video!

a healthy dose of greens

method's got a great deal going on right now, over on method home!

mid-summer salad kit
a healthy dose of greens in fresh flavors

detox your home for the dog days of summer with our new kit. we hand-picked a few of our best-selling cleaners in some of our favorite scents and we're offering them up at 20% off. all purpose spray, dish soap, hand wash and a soy candle, all for just 16 bucks. sweet. unfortunately, just like the long days of summer, we won't have it forever. (psst... sweeten your deal even more with 50% off shipping when you purchase $50 or more.) - $16

+

It looks like the bundle includes: ginger yuzu gel hand wash, pink grapefruit all-surface cleaner, cucumber dish soap, and a citrus cilantro candle. A great deal!

the way we live now

Let's start method's 8th year birthday celebration (happening in August) early, what do you say? How about an article from 2004 (via The New York Times!) Here you go!

"The Way We Live Now
By Rob Walker

If you have never given much thought to the aesthetic qualities of your dish soap, you are not alone. What's a little more surprising is that a person who has given a lot of thought to this subject would not be alone, either. Two people in this category are Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry. Three years ago they launched Method, a brand of home-cleaning products -- dish soap, spray cleaners, hand wash and so on -- in one shop in San Francisco. Today Method is available in thousands of stores from coast to coast, including the chains Target and Linens 'n Things. The most noticeable thing about Method products, and their chief selling point, is that they look really cool.

Who cares, right? It's dish soap, for crying out loud -- it gets stuffed under the sink between the rusty Brillo pads and the boric acid.

That defeatist attitude is exactly what Ryan and Lowry set out to change. Ryan, who is 31 and a former marketer who had done work for the Gap, Saturn and other brands, was appalled at the mundane state of home-care products in general. We obviously take a great interest in the places we live, he says, and yet, "When you walk down the aisle dedicated to products to take care of your home, it's one of the most low-interest categories in the world."

True enough, and perhaps a powerful cue to toss a Palmolive in the shopping cart and get on with your life, but Ryan saw an opportunity. What if you could do something different with home-care products? Soon he was working with his friend Lowry, 29, a chemical engineer, creating sprays and soaps that were environmentally safe, smelled good and -- crucially -- came in packaging that looked so striking it practically demanded to be left out in the open. Before making the leap to national stores, they brought in the celebrated designer Karim Rashid, who among other things had created a hit trash can sold at Target. Rashid came up with a design for a dish-soap container that squirts from the bottom through a clever nonleaking spout. Clear, filled with different, colorful soaps and shaped like an hourglass, the bottle looks like a sculpture and won a design-distinction award from the magazine I.D. It also looks disconcertingly large, underscoring its status as a proud object to be admired, not shamefully hidden away.

Form preceded function. "Design is a fast way to make these products more high interest," Ryan says, to the target audience of "progressive domestics." Environmental safety was "a goal," one that he still sounds almost surprised to have achieved. But form is what really sells some $10 million of the stuff annually. Much of the feedback from enthusiastic customers boils down to: "I kind of thought it wouldn't work, but at least I'll have this cool container left over. Then I got it home and used it, and I'm shocked at how well it actually works."

One reaction to this is to wonder why somebody would buy a cleaning product that they were frankly skeptical about simply because of its container. Perhaps this is more evidence of the endless craving for status symbols, or of how cunning design seduces and manipulates us. But those explanations seem too easy. Virginia Postrel, an economics writer, does not address Method specifically in her recent book "The Substance of Style," but her thesis provides useful context. Praising aesthetic pleasure as a legitimate value, she observes that the more we see style, the more we recognize it and want it in our lives. Ugliness stands out, she writes, so "we demand better design." Later she asserts, "Aesthetic proliferation gives us more choices, opportunities and responsibility than ever before."

It's the responsibility bit that gives you pause. Method products raise the possibility that, stylistically speaking, your dish liquid is not measuring up. Which is, frankly, annoying: must even the most mundane household object rise up and join the tyranny of Good Design? Ryan seems puzzled by this line of questioning. "It just makes you get enjoyment out of an object that you never expected to get enjoyment from, because it makes you smile when you look at it, or it's fun to touch," he says politely. "So it's not that it just looks beautiful, but when you actually interact with it, it makes a chore a little less of a chore. Who wouldn't want that?"

gah

I know, method profiles is late! (WHAT a surprise.) It'll make it's appearance, I promise. (It's all me, punish me. I might like it. Ha ha.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

hsn yay!

It's an HSN kinda day! Check out this great pic from HSN, giving us a slightly better look at the new squeaky green laundry detergent, and the dryer cloths! (I'm not sure if that dryer cloth packaging is actually that big, as it looks smaller in the video. I think they just did it for the image visual.)

And I also just noticed something great on HSN! For only $12.99, you can order their ginger yuzu hand wash bundle! Ginger yuzu has been discontinued, so now's a great time to pick it up before it's completely gone! The bundle comes with:

+ 2 gel hand wash bottles
+ 1 foaming hand wash bottles
+ 1 34 oz. refill pouch

squeaky green gets laundry clean!

What is this? Why even MORE new method stuff! Who knew, right? Seems there's a new laundry detergent (and dryer sheets! I guess I was wrong yesterday, they did redesign them!) Check out the details, courtesy of HSN.com:

"Transform dirty and dingy into sweet and clean with the Method Squeaky Green Sweetwater Laundry Kit. With plant-derived ingredients and a nature-inspired scent, these environmentally-friendly products help you do laundry right. And with the reusable laundry bag, you have one more way to keep going green.

Method Squeaky Green Sweetwater Laundry Kit Includes:
+ 32 oz. Sweetwater laundry detergent
+ 40-count Sweetwater dryer cloths
+ Drawstring laundry bag

Product Features:
+ Detergent is biodegradable with hypo-allergenic formula, phosphate-free and dye-free
+ Concentrated formula – enough for several washes
+ Washer compatible – specially formulated for both standard and high-efficiency washers
+ Dryer cloths made from renewable ingredients – soften clothes naturally
+ Water-based technology – infuses softeners directly into fabric
+ Static-free control – eliminates static buildup
+ Wonderfully fresh sweetwater fragrance
+ Method laundry detergent has been included on the Design for the Environment (DfE) approved list
+ Never tested on animals
+ Stylish bright green laundry bag with flowers and “cleans like a mother” on it
Features Method and HSN logos
+ Made in USA"

The bag comes with the HSN purchase, and is $24.95 for the entire package. And watch the video for all the details!



I don't have the information at the moment, but I'll let you know when I find out the other scents this new product comes in!

smarty dish debut

HSN has your smarty dish! For $19.95 (comes with a tote bag!) Check out the video for more details:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

spray away!

UPDATE I've gotten some word on the rings attached to the tops of the new aroma spray bottles. They are indeed put there for two reasons: one is to remove the need for a cap (and having to remove/put it back on); and the second is so the bottles can't accidentally be sprayed, since they (duh) now have no cap. I agree with method luster Steve, it seems an odd choice of design for method, but we'll see how it goes!


Well look here! method luster Steve has sent us a pic from his Super Target, and they just got the new method aroma sprays in! So they're already hitting the stores! YES!

About the ring? Steve says:

"um, it's a ring. no purpose whatsoever. method ignores it on the back of the label. I like the lidless idea, but method's solution seems a bit odd."

I'd agree. I was somehow hoping they'd redesign the trigger spray, make it a seamless part of the bottle (Febreze bottle style, and such) but huh? I'll have to check it out in person and see. Hopefully soon! I guess you can just use the ring to carry around the bottle?

wet is (still) the new dry

method luster Capri sent me an email asking:

"Suddenly I can not find any dryer sheets in Canada. I checked 3 different Shopper's Drug Marts (where I normally get it) and none of them had any. I also checked a CDN tire with no luck. Do you know if they are being re-designed or something?

...I always worry about disappearing method products up here in Canada. I am actually partially planning a trip to a Target in Montana just to load up on Method items for my addiction. I even make method baskets up as presents. Those around me will love method... one way or another."

As far as I know, Capri, the wet dry sheets are still alive and kickin! I will tell you (in the case of doing a Target run for dryer sheets; though I'm sure you're going for all sorts of goodies!) the wet dry sheets have also, indeed, been missing from Target stores for quite some time now. They were clearanced near the beginning of 2008. Poo! But upon asking The Great Sarah! she did let me know that the wet dry sheets were here to stay! SO, unless something has changed, that's still the official method announcement.

I wonder often how method can continue to produce products that are clearanced from retail stores; and pretty much only available on their website. I always fear this means the downfall of that particular product. (I LUST their dryer sheets! I so wish they were more readily available.) Here's to hoping Target, and all the other retail stores, wake up!

the big one!

Ok, oh my word... Marvo, over on The Impulsive Buy, has let me know he has a review up of the Costco method hand wash refills. Nothing special there, you say? Well, these are the refills that come in method's teardrop bottles, but in MONDO BIG size! And with a cool top! Check out the pic! You don't even realize it, but it's like four times the size of method's normal teardrop hand wash bottles! I can't believe I finally have a pic, it's like the Loch Ness Monster or something! YAY!

WITH that in mind, you have got to read this review, THEN do as I say below, trust me:

"I’d like to think I’m an eco-friendly person. I recycle plastic bottles, glass, newspapers, and cardboard; I drive 40 miles per hour on the freeway and get called “grandma” by non-eco-friendly drivers to maximize my car’s gas mileage; I take lame gifts given to me, rewrap them, and give them to someone else; and I flush the toilet only if I go Number Two. I also love companies that promote eco-friendly products and ideas, so it is no surprise that I really like the Method Sea Minerals Hand Wash Refill, which consists of 96 ounces of pure Method eco-friendly goodness.

The regular 12-ounce bottle of Method Hand Wash costs about $3-$4, so it was really nice to get eight times the amount of soap for only twice the price at Costco. Whether you have to wash after shaking the hand of someone who you think is crazy or get fresh blood off of your hands, the Method Sea Mineral Hand Wash will get your hands clean in a biodegradable, triclosan-free, naturally derived, and animal testing-free way. The Sea Mineral soap itself had a pleasant, clean scent that kind of reminded me of the sea, but I’m not sure about it smelling like sea minerals. Although, I have to admit that I don’t know what sea minerals are, which is, of course, sad because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Method could’ve gone the easy route and just put something simple on the bottle to encourage us to recycle it, like “Recycle this, bitch!” Instead, printed on the bottle are their recommendations for possible uses when it’s empty, which are turning it either into a vase, water jug, or piggy bank. However, when I’m done with mine I’m probably going to either go all Matthew McConaughey on it and turn it into a musical instrument or carry it around with me and whenever I come up with a good idea I hold it above my head upside down.

With all of this eco-friendly love, I feel like hugging a tree, but I’m afraid I might hurt it, so instead I’ll have to settle for hugging this huge Method Sea Minerals Hand Wash Refill bottle, which you can see below.

Item: Method Sea Minerals Hand Wash Refill
Price: $7.89
Size: 96 ounces
Purchased at: Costco
Rating: 8 out of 10

Pros: Nice smell. Big refill. Cheap for a Method product. Biodegradable, triclosan-free, naturally derived, and animal testing-free. Convenient handle. It’s blue. Bottle encourages you to reuse the bottle.

Cons: Not sure if it smells like sea minerals. I don’t know what sea minerals are, despite living on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I think it’s only available at Costco. Having to be the person who uses the toilet after me."

+

OK, now watch this video from his site. It says right below it "(Editor’s Note: This guy loves Method products, but I’m sure the video above proves that I love them more.)" 'THIS GUY' links to method lust, and ME! Well, I still say I win! BUT this video had me CRACKING up like, well, I don't even have words for it! It's the most risque, crazy method advocate video I've seen to date! It gets a LITTLE bit WHOA at the end, but it's all in fun jest, and lust for method! Check it out! (Trust me on this one, you have to see it!) Thanks Marvo!

Monday, July 28, 2008

multiple choice

Which new method product are you most looking forward to this Fall (August)?

+ A) pomegranate + tea aircare
+ B) smarty dish cubes
+ C) aroma spray aircare (returns!)
+ D) marine naturals body wash line
+ E) marine naturals sea minerals body scrub
+ F) refresh mint gel and foaming hand wash

Which one can't YOU wait for? Tell method lust!

birthday suit

Those folks over on smartplanet.com have a review of method's go naked all-surface spray cleaner (just FYI, this is a UK review!)

"This is not one of those all-purpose surface cleaners you spray onto an infested worktop, leave for a second and "Voila!" it all sparkles. It's more one of those sprays you have to leave on the surface for a couple of seconds and scrub with a sponge to get the grime off.

We actually don't mind scrubbing, though, since it reassures us that the product isn't packed with toxic chemicals. We like that it leaves the surface degreased and feeling clean as if we had just cleaned it with water and a bit of non-foaming washing up liquid. No nasty, synthetic or chlorine-infused smells hang over us after a good clean around the house -- just a slightly sweet smell, which comes from the surfactant and which we don't mind.

The ingredients look fine -- especially considering this is a cleaning product: corn and coconut derived surfactants, soda ash, potassium hydrate and purified water. The potassium hydrate could potentially be a baddy and harm aquatic life, but it only represents 0.1 per cent of the product and reacts with the other ingredients in a harmless way (method disclosed the recipe to us, but we've promised not to publish it).

Method makes a big deal out of the 'cradle to cradle' design -- originator Michael Braungart checks every single product before they go into circulation. The company also works with its factories in the US and UK to be energy, water and material efficient and to make sure its labour standards are up to scratch.

Although there are no vegan or vegetarian labels on method's products, it does operate a no animal testing policy and it is investing in alternative, animal-friendly testing methods. This earned co-founders Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan the joint award of PETA's Person of the Year in 2006.

At £3 for 828ml (£3.63 per litre) it's marginally less than Ecover's Squirteco all purpose cleaner, which is £3.98 per litre from Ocado. But whereas Ecover's Squirteco can be refilled, to the benefit of environment and wallet, the Go Naked bottle can just be recycled (the pump cannot). However, as a major milestone, this particular method product comes in a bottle made from recycled plastic and according to Lowry, method plans on introducing recycled bottles for the whole range, which we like the sound of.

Despite the fact we really, really like method and everything the company stands for, we tested the Go Naked surface cleaner against baking powder mixed with water and the resemblance was uncanny, which is obviously not a good incentive to spend £3 on a cleaning product. But the bottle makes cleaning way more convenient than spreading baking soda all over the house, so we would still recommend it.

Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)
+ 7.1 Quality
+ 7.0 Value
+ 7.5 Ethics
+ 8.2 Green"

japanese sniffin'

Oh my word! Drool! Over on method's people against dirty blog, Nate Pence had this to say:

"We spotted this menu in a window in Japan. We were drawn to the incredible scents (bayberry, anyone?) and the colors in what looked like the window of a nail salon. Further sleuthing revealed this to be an airbar, where you can order up some fresh air, infuse with the scent of your choice and then sit back and breathe deeply.

Great way to get a fresh air fix in the middle of the city."

MAN! Would that not rock! I think I'm going to open one of these in Greensboro. Ok, it would never go over here. (Hey Steve, think Charlotte would like one of these?) This is so cool! And airbar?! Mmm, the possibilities! I mean, all I do now is sniff every method item in Target (and at home, and in the car, and while I'm sleeping, and...) (Same stuff, still sniff! I'm a sniffin' fool! Ok, maybe that doesn't sound right. Don't D.A.R.E do drugs, kids. But SNIFF away at the airbar! Yes!) I mean, lavender tangerine, peppermint wintergreen (hello!?), lavender balsam fir needles, orange peppermint, oh dear... can't think straight. So excited. They need method airbars! With method scents! Oh yes, they do.

new site debut

While method home's new site has been up for a while now; they've been adding pieces and parts to it here and there (and possibly everywhere!) but have finally made the official announcement on their own people against dirty blog!

"Ever envious of the products side of the business, which regularly enjoys packaging and design makeovers, methodhome.com has finally gotten what amounts to its own fancy, new party dress. After almost a year of planning, we’ve finally launched our new website.

Some cool things we’ve added since the old site:

+ A killer new homepage. We added a carousel mostly because we can never decide which stories we want to talk about…so, we decided to tell them all.

+ 3 ways to browse the method collection. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for, or you’re new to method, finding exactly what product you’re looking for should be easy as pie.

+ New e-commerce experience. We call it a mini-cart. Nothing revolutionary other than a lot fewer clicks!

+ Tidbits. Basically the pop-ups you find on product pages that give you a little more info on a particular topic. The tidbits we have are a bit slim now but eventually start looking for video and audio clips embedding in them throughout our site.

Some things that are still coming along:

+ Search capabilities.

+ Breadcrumbing. Think Little Red Riding Hood…. wait, maybe that’s Hansel and Gretel. Basically, it’s a way of helping you know where you are on the site at all times. Like a trail of breadcrumbs… minus the small, furry woodland animals that eat them up.

+ More, more, more content - including interviews and in-depth content from our design and sustainability experts at method.

I’m not sure any of us figured on it taking quite so long but alas, here it is and now we can begin the real work –putting interesting stuff on the site. While the site will never actually be done, we thought we’d take this opportunity to see how you like. What do you love? What do you hate? What would you like to see added? We’d love to hear your comments. So, post away."

(Psst, tell'em they need to add a link to method lust! Ha!) Love the new site guys! Great job!

method's feelin'

method home's updated their "feeling" statement at the top left side of their site. It now says:

"method is feeling famous. Eric + Adam are heading over to HSN's television studio soon to feature new cool method stuff! Be sure not to miss out!"

OH, guys + gals! The new stuff is almost here! This is the last week of July, then it's on to dish cubes, and refresh mint hand washes, and marine naturals body washes and scrub, and aroma spray's big return, and (possibly) even the fall edition line of aircare featuring pomegranate + tea, oh oh oh, and did I mention (yes, I have!) method is eight years old in August!

I'll post the HSN videos as soon as they are available!

method lusts ants

method luster Tisa sent me this cute email:

"I too love everything method. I'm a method junkie, a meth (od) head of sorts. Just wanted to drop you this line. If there was ever a doubt about Method REALLY being non-toxic, doubt no longer.

Yesterday, I saw some ants in my kitchen, so I grabbed the first thing I saw. Since I'm completely methodized, It was the mint window cleaner. I aimed and sprayed those suckers down. It didn't phase them a bit. They were a little wet and minty, but they kept on moving. The fact that they didn't die completely overshadowed the fact that, well, they didn't die. So if anyone asks "how do you know Method is REALLY non-toxic" forward them my email. Keep up your blog. I LOVE READING IT!"

Minty ants, I lust it! Thanks Tisa!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

go flat

Have a quick look at the new steel for real, wood for good, and leather love flat pack wipes packaging! These should be showing up at your local stores very soon (if they're not already there.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

dishin'

Some reviews are coming in for method's new smarty dish cubes! Check'em:

"A Cleaner Clean For Dishes
Method's new Smarty Dish dishwasher detergent will be available in August at Target, sells for $6 for 20 one-load tablets and comes in both "pink grapefruit" and fragrance-free "go naked."

Those pre-measured dishwasher detergent tablets always seem to perform less than perfectly, leaving a bit of gritty residue behind.

But Method's new Smarty Dish dishwasher detergent "doses" completely washed away any doubts. The dishes sparkled.

Better yet, this new detergent contains no bleach or phosphates, which can spur algae growth, depriving fish and water plants of oxygen and contributing to water pollution. Smarty Dish is made from naturally derived biodegradable ingredients — and it works.
- courant.com"

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"We tried it: Smarty Dish
Leslie Crutchfield / The Detroit News

Method will soon add a new dishwasher detergent to its roster of eco-friendly products called Smarty Dish. The tablets look like an oval-shaped version of SweeTarts candy, so you must keep the dish detergent away from toddlers.

We liked how well Smarty Dish thoroughly cleaned the most stubborn stains from dishes and pots and pans. Method says the tablets are made with naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients that clean without putting phosphates and bleach down the drain, which harms the environment

Method will put Smarty Dish tablets in stores this fall.
- detnews.com"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

aroma spray redux

O' my! (Get it, O? O!) Take a good look, it's the new aircare aroma spray bottles! They'll be beaming brightly on shelves in mid-August! What do you think?

Apparently (I don't have the actual details, so this could all be wrong.) But the new bottles have been redesigned without their lids, now sporting O ring "handles" which you can use to carry the bottles. Or perhaps they're the triggers you somehow use for spraying? Thoughts? What do you think of the new design! Speak up, or forever spray in peace. Opinions make the world go'round. I'll let you know more details on the new packaging/spray trigger/O handle once I've gotten some. (method professionals, got any insight? I know you're reading this! I can see you!)

(PS - Take a quick look in the background, you'll be able to see the new Pomegranate Tea image design shown on one of the bottles. Looks like the scents coming back will be Lavender + Lemongrass, Vanilla Apple, and Sweet Water; and while I'm not sure, Citrus Cilantro is shown in the pic, so perhaps it's sticking around post-spring edition? And then we have the Gingerbread + Spice and new Pomegranate Tea scents for fall. Can't wait!)

tea + cookies

method luster Robert got us going this week with his big reveal of the new Holiday scents method has coming out later this year. So hey, why live for today (ain't nothing happening today anyway! Actually, nothing exciting happens for me most any day, but let's not go there, alright?) I just got some great news as to what the new special edition fall aircare scents will be! This year we have:

+ Gingerbread + Spice
+ Pomegranate Tea

Gingerbread + Spice is a returning favorite, while Pomegranate Tea is a new scent for method! They've had Pomegranate hand wash before, but I'm sure this one will smell different, with the tea undertone. Can't wait! (Oh, I know, it's still summer, right? But only for one more month! Ha ha! (Or something like that...)

Don’t you know that you’re toxic...


Britney was right! (Yeah, it's a stretch, just go with it. Don't get it? You're all the better for it, trust me.) Heh'anyway, my friend Sam sent me over this article. Seems people are slowly catching on! (I say slowly, cause the title has the word "may" in it. Baby steps, baby steps, I guess.)

"New study suggests household products may be toxic

The chemical industry is not happy because the EU is forcing them to list all chemicals and prove that they are safe rather than the US model where the government has to prove unknown (and unlisted) chemicals are dangerous. As it stands today, the burden of proof is stacked against researchers and consumer groups. The chemical industry is obviously happy with the US model which is why they are furious with the details of this new study from the University of Washington. The study claims that many household products far exceed safe levels of toxic chemicals despite what the chemical industry says.

Trouble is, you have no way of knowing it. Manufacturers of detergents, laundry sheets and air fresheners aren't required to list all of their ingredients on their labels -- or anywhere else. Laws protecting people from indoor air pollution from consumer products are limited.

When UW engineering professor Anne Steinemann analyzed of some of these popular items, she found 100 different volatile organic compounds measuring 300 parts per billion or more -- some of which can be cancerous or cause harm to respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems.

Some of the chemicals are categorized as hazardous or toxic by federal regulatory agencies. But the labels tell a different story, naming only innocuous-sounding "perfume" or "biodegradable" contents.

"Consumers are breathing these chemicals," she said. "No one is doing anything about it."

Industry representatives say that isn't so.

"Dr. Steinemann's statement is misleading and disingenuous," said Chris Cathcart, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Specialty Products Association, in a statement."

+

Here's the study they mention above:

"Fresh scent may hide toxic secret
by Lisa Stiffler

The scented fabric sheet makes your shirts and socks smell flowery fresh and clean. That plug-in air freshener fills your home with inviting fragrances of apple and cinnamon or a country garden.

But those common household items are potentially exposing your family and friends to dangerous chemicals, a University of Washington study has found.

"Consumers are breathing these chemicals," Anne Steinemann said. "No one is doing anything about it."

Industry representatives say that isn't so.

"Dr. Steinemann's statement is misleading and disingenuous," said Chris Cathcart, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Specialty Products Association, in a statement.

"Air fresheners, laundry products and other consumer specialty products are regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and subsequently have strict labeling requirements," he said. "Companies producing products that are regulated under FHSA must name on the product label each component that contributes to the hazard."

Millions are spent annually to ensure that fragrances in the products are safe, according to a joint statement from the Fragrance Materials Association, which represents fragrance manufacturers, and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, which works closely with the association.

Ingredients are routinely tested, and chemicals that are considered dangerous are present at levels much too low to cause harm, according to the groups.

But there are numerous reports of people -- particularly those with asthma, chemical sensitivities and allergies -- having strong adverse reactions, researchers said.

That's a problem when public restrooms in restaurants or airplanes use air fresheners, or when hotels wash towels and sheets in scented laundry supplies. And even when the concentrations are low in individual products, people are exposed to multiple sources on a daily basis.

Aileen Gagney, Asthma and Environmental Health Program manager with the American Lung Association in Seattle, herself an asthma sufferer, has a rule of thumb to help avoid exposure: "If it smells bad, it's bad; if it smells good, it's bad."

But even that won't always work.

According to Steinemann, even products labeled "unscented" sometimes contain a fragrance and a "masking" fragrance to make them odor-free.

People, Puget Sound at risk?
For Steinemann's research, published Wednesday in Environmental Impact Assessment Review, she selected a top-selling item from six categories of products: dryer sheets, fabric softeners, detergents, and solid, spray and plug-in air fresheners.

Then she contracted with a lab to test the air around the items to identify the chemicals people could be breathing.

Ten of the 100 volatile organic compounds identified qualified under federal rules as toxic or hazardous, and three of those -- 1,4-dioxane, acetaldehyde and chloromethane -- are "hazardous air pollutants" considered unsafe to breathe at any concentration, according to the study.

The labels gave no indication that the irritating and potentially dangerous chemicals were present, so Steinemann checked the product's Material Safety Data Sheets. These technical documents provide ingredient information for the safety of workers and emergency responders. They, too, disclosed little detail, mostly citing ingredients such as "essential oils" and "organic perfume."

"It's a reasonable expectation to think that laundry products and air fresheners would be free of chemicals that can cause cancer," said Erika Schreder, a staff scientist with the Washington Toxics Coalition.

"But as this UW study shows, it's disturbingly easy to find toxic chemicals in everyday products like these because companies don't have to say what's in their products."

Cathcart, of the Consumer Specialty Products Association, said the information's not on the package because the "chemicals are not present in the products at levels deemed hazardous under the law. Given the limited space on product labels, it is important to include the relevant information consumers need to make intelligent use, storage and disposal decisions."

The threat isn't limited to people. Steinemann and others worry that the chemicals in consumer products flow from homes to the outdoors.

"These chemicals get into our water systems and into Puget Sound," she said. They are "extraordinarily hard to get out of the environment."

Steinemann's research was paid for using discretionary money awarded to her as a UW professor; she wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. She has also submitted for publication a study that goes further to examine ingredients in cleaning and personal-care products.

Regulatory gaps
With fears growing over chemicals in consumer products -- lead in toys, bisphenol A in plastic baby bottles, phthalates in shower curtains and cosmetics -- environmentalists and health advocates are calling for stricter regulations of chemicals in everyday goods. They also want shoppers to have more readily accessible information.

Manufacturers and trade groups representing consumer products routinely counter that there's plenty of testing and oversight from within the industries and from government regulations to ensure safety.

In the fragranced-products arena, they point to industry Web sites with information on product ingredients and suggest contacting companies with specific questions.

Critics maintain that's not enough.

"There's obviously a loophole," said Michael Robinson-Dorn, a UW law professor who aided Steinemann's research. "We regulate many of these chemicals in other circumstances, yet when they're in products that we're in contact with daily, in some cases, we don't wind up finding out about them."

He said the items can slip between regulatory cracks by falling into the jurisdiction of multiple government agencies, none taking ownership.

"Any time you have a product that is regulated by many different agencies, it's easy for them not to react," he said.

In the absence of strong laws, the marketplace is starting to regulate itself.

After the Natural Resources Defense Council last fall found troubling levels of phthalates -- plasticizing chemicals that can potentially harm developing babies -- in air fresheners, Walgreens pulled the products from its shelves.

Last month, NRDC and other environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency to force manufacturers to test air freshener safety and label products with a full ingredient list.

Steinemann's study could push the process along.

"Consumer demand for less-toxic products will encourage companies to reformulate their products," she said. "This is a case where a little information could have a great public benefit."

There are also a few useful charts from the article you should check out. Thanks Sam!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ho ho ho, green giant!

Julie Artz, over on Chezartz.com, let me know she's done an interview with method "green giant" Drummond Lawson (who happened to be our very first method profile over here on method lust!) Make sure to read this Q&A, it's very informative; including discussing potentially hazardous ingredients found in method products. Read on:

"An interview with method’s “green giant,” Drummond Lawson

After trying many method products over the past 6-8 months and writing my method product review last week, I found I still had some unanswered questions about this innovative company and its products. Why do they still use petroleum-based ingredients? What’s up with the artificial fragrances? Why aren’t they signing the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and partnering with EWG? Why don’t their sweeper dusters break down in the compost bin?

So I got in touch with Drummond Lawson, environmental chemist and member of the “greens-keeping” team at method and started prepping questions about some of the concerns I raised in my product review.

I chatted with Drummond last week, set to probe through marketing shtick to get the answers I wanted. But for the most part, marketing fluff was refreshingly absent from the conversation. Instead, Drummond paints a rather inspiring picture of what a company can do not only to design a cool product, but to really agitate for change in a marketplace that has been about convenience at the expense of the environment for far too long. We also touched on method’s vision to put a greener soap on every sink in America, on what Clorox’s green line means to a company like method, on its work to develop better environmental standards, and on the secret to composting those danged sweeper dusters.

Drummond: It’s cool to see consumer awareness about products. It’s a gap in conventional media, so in terms of soapboxes, this [blogging] is a cool avenue.

ChezArtz: Thanks, Drummond. So tell me, what is a Green Giant?

Drummond: I work in the greens-keeping department which would translate at another company to Sustainability, so I’m essentially the sustainability manager. I was originally thinking the Green Giant was a super hero not a vegetable trade salesman. Adam Lowry [method's co-founder & Drummond's boss] is about six inches taller than me so it’s not a good fit in terms of names for me.

The greens-keepers end up working with the formulation chemists who select the ingredients and determine concentrations for method’s products. My interaction with them is to make sure these ingredients are green, that the materials are safe for use in the environment and on people in any concentration. Instead of having to build products with potentially hazardous materials, if you start with nonhazardous materials you preempt the problems. I work with the packaging engineers too to make sure the human health & environmental factors are considered in each decision. Its cool to work with a company that is doing it in advance.

ChezArtz: I read that you spent six months in Germany doing environmental assessments of all of method’s ingredients for the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA). What was that like?

Drummond: Yeah. Have you read Cradle to Cradle? [Editor's Note: This book spawned Cradle to Cradle Certification, and the company behind the certification works in partnership with the EPEA] Cradle to Cradle is the most interesting book in the world. It’s super-relevant, it’s mantra is “How can you redesign the process of making all the things in the world in terms of making them environmentally positive?” The previous paradigm was buy less, do less, essentially sacrifice. Cradle to Cradle says go back and make really cool products like Frisbees and office chairs and toothbrushes. Instead of sacrificing them, redesign them so that they’re environmentally sound. For method it’s a vision to build the products by incorporating environmental factors from the beginning.

The key factor was that in the past, the materials were not really well understood. You knew what the best material was for arm rests for office chairs, but EPEA’s bread & butter was going out and assessing the materials to find out which one was best for the environment. How can we move to materials that you are comfortable with from the start. It’s a fundamentally different approach than even companies that are in the green product market are taking. It’s not as easy a message to sell because you’re not relying on a single term that everyone knows (green, natural, organic) to sell your product. But there is an appetite for people going out and learning more. People want to know: What is the bottom line on these materials?

ChezArtz: method has worked hard to get its products recognized by the EPA’s DfE program. As you move into more beauty & personal care products, do you have plans to seek a similar partnership with Environmental Work Group or the Compact for Safe Cosmetics?

Drummond: Yeah, we looked at the Compact. When I was at EPEA we worked on another brand that signed it. The Compact is going one quarter as far as they should. They’re making a baby step and using their corporate clout to make this visible without doing enough. We haven’t signed up for it because we’re not going to endure a very weak standard held up by people who are not doing enough. What we’re going to try to do is focus on organizations that reflect stronger standards for gentle, environmentally-benign bath & beauty products. We’re doing Cradle to Cradle certification on the full line of personal care products. That reflects the ingredients, where they’re coming from, what the packaging is like, the full package.

The DfE has the same philosophy as us with regards to using benign ingredients to start with. The EPEA is more rigorous. Every product we’re making does pass the standard. We’re interested to see how other standards come up or whether they’re maybe not as direct as we want them to be.

ChezArtz: But the Compact and the EWG are two of the only sources of publicly-available knowledge. What are you doing to reach out to consumers?

Drummond: Making these standards more visible is key. Traditionally the Dfe doesn’t work with consumer products, they’re more like institutional cleaning products. It’s important to have standards for industrial products, but it doesn’t help consumers pick something up off the shelf. So part of our efforts are around making these standards more visible to the public. We’re part of the community that’s hoping to make that a standard and make the Cradle to Cradle protocol more visible. We’re a very visible brand so we can draw attention to it. Giving consumers the appetite to learn more will help.

The EWG we’ve looked at it for a while and one of our green chefs has worked with them in the past. It’s very good for more cosmetic-focused brands. They do such a wide scope of work that they have to make generalizations that don’t really hold. Instead of looking at what specific fragrances or what specific colors are in a product, it paints them all with one brush. That doesn’t allow for more intelligent environmental design. The ethos for environmental quality here is let’s make the products accessible, let’s lower the price instead of making something super obscure. Between 2-10% of people make product decisions based mainly on how green something is, but we’re making something fun and beautiful so the other 90% can have a green soap on their sink.

ChezArtz: My pal over at A Mama’s Blog wanted to ask you the following question: After looking up the ingredients on Skin Deep, your hand soaps have potentially hazardous ingredients in them. Why are there potentially hazardous ingredients in your liquid soaps? How do you justify to consumers who are paying more for your soap assuming they are making a more natural option, only to find out method has more potentially hazardous ingredients then some conventional brands?

Drummond: So the key piece in this is the term “potentially hazardous.” There have been some dubious colorants and fragrances approved by the FDA in the past. These should not be approved in the first place, so that makes for a big workload initially to make sure the ones that are out there are safe. We use 13 colors out of the 50 that have been approved. So method & the EPEA have gone through those 50 and researched 9 FD&C and 5 chromophore colorants for aquatic toxicity, skin irritation potential, was there any accumulation in the body, would they stain surfaces, how durable were they? DfE and Cradle to Cradle approve the ones method uses. To make them super super colorful with small concentrations of colorant, you need to use these ingredients. So you’re using petroleum products, but they’re at .001% concentration.

Colorants we’re willing to cede ground on because we can get a huge effect with minimal input and the other 99.9% of the ingredients are coconut-derived. So all those 50 colors are lumped together as “potentially hazardous” in Skin Deep’s database. Same thing for fragrances. They have a huge potential for skin irritations because they’re volatile, they come from many different sources. The big focus on our fragrance is non-toxic, biodegradable, and not allergenic in sensitive or non sensitive people. Neat smelling products that open doors in the group of people that aren’t looking for a stripped down simple product. They’re a blend of a certain portion of essential oils. Our pink grapefruit is mainly citrus oil, for example. The synthetic products act as carriers and allow you to use less of the citrus oil, but make it so that you can smell them more easily, so you end up with this blend of natural and synthetic fragrance. We put a lot of work into getting healthy fragrances, but it’s put [by EWG] in the bucket with harmful synthetic fragrances.

One of the most contentious soap ingredients are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It’s the simplest soap ingredients made from coconut. It’s used in everything including some detergents that are irritants. It’s not surprising that it’s ended up as a stigmatized ingredient. Used in high concentration and non-buffered, it is an irritant. But you can use it in smaller concentrations so it’s not irritating, but it’s still in the ingredient list and therefore shows up on EWG. Instead of relying on the key indicators for healthy ingredients, we’re making some hard decisions. SLS we’ve talked about a lot even though we’re very comfortable with it, should we pull it because of the public perception? So far it makes more sense to use it than to swap it out to get the PR points..."

Check out the rest of this great article over on Chezartz.com. (Which includes composting omop cloths, and a mention that we'll be getting new laundry detergents this fall? Hmm, I wonder if they'll be brand new, or updates? Curious!) Thanks Julie!

Useless trivia 101: Did you know, Drummond Lawson happens to be the most keyword searched method employee (do they call them employees? Hmm. I wonder... I mean, they are, but we're also customers, but they call us advocates. Gotta find out.) here on method lust? He's popular, that guy is!

method profiles - phil king

Brand new method profiles! If these were a reality show, we'd be on season three! But uh, it's not a reality show. (Hallelujah!)

Our method profile today brings us... Phil King! Let the chit-chat begin!

1+ Your name, please? And do you have a nickname at method?
Phil King. Nickname: Philthy.

2+ What was your first method lust?
Steel for Real, the artist formally know as Stainless Steel. Never cleaned a cooker in my life until using this with one of the microfibre cloths (something else I am rather fond of.)

3+ What brought you to method, the company? (How did you become interested in a career with method?)
I used to work in the same company in Australia as the genius that is Josh Handy, who is head of design at method. Through a ream of opportune occurrences, I ended up working with the team at method on developing and sourcing the microfibre cloths which were launched in 2006. After a year of sourcing / consulting, I was invited to be part of the start up team launching method in UK. Given that this meant leaving Seville, Spain, for life in London in the depths of winter, it’s obvious that I was already hooked on method.

4+ What is your title/dept. at method, and what is it you do there? How long have you been with method?
Chief Person Against Dirty, Hong Kong. I am responsible for looking after cool sustainable product development opportunities in Asia (eg bamboo derived packaging for the O-Mop) and trying to bring method to this part of the world, so one of my babies is looking after method in Australia. I have been with method since end 2006.

5+ What is the biggest thing you are currently doing, besides using method products, to help out the environment?
I reckon I am the only person in the whole of Hong Kong who rides a bike to work. It involves literally putting my life on the line. At home we are also serial recyclers – again, something which we have found takes a bit of extra effort in Hong Kong.  

6+ Who's the last person you've turned onto method?
The team from Hong Kong invest who helped us set up here. I definitely get more heat from them about getting our products into the shops here than I do from anyone in San Francisco.

7+ Which one best describes you as a person? Pink Grapefruit, French Lavender, Cucumber, or Go Naked?
Go Naked.

Thanks Phil! Seems like Hong Kong might need to get with the times, no? Hmm...

Check back Wednesdays for the next method profile! And be sure to catch up on previous method profiles by selecting from the sidebar list!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

copycat, copycat

Finally found a pic (photo on the left) of the Dollar stores's copycat method product, Solutions. Of course all they say is they are "biodegradable" which personally I think is a long way from being completely environmentally friendly. But it sounds good to the average shopper, unfortunately.

Secondly (photo on the right), method luster Aina writes in to say:

"Let me tell you how offended I was when I spotted these (method) knock-offs in a pharmacy around the corner from my house! And they are all of $1. How rude! LOL!"

These products even carry similar scents (cucumber and pink grapefruit) and titles (all-purpose cleaner.) Interesting finds! If you happen to find a copycat/"fake" method product, take a pic and send it in to method lust!

razzle dazzle

Whispers are saying the next method pop-up detox shop will be premiering in the Windy City of Chicago this fall! Keep on the look out - more info. as I have it! (Poor little Charlotte, dissed just like that.)

Christmas in July


Quick post here, I just received a notice from method luster Robert with some big Holiday (early!) news:

"Okay, so why this wasn't already on this site, I don't know. You disappoint me as a gay man. The gays are all about the holidays:

Holiday 2008:

+ Frosted Fir
+ Spiced Pear
+ Toasted Hazelnut
+ Winterberry

I dont know what formats. HO HO HO!!!"

Wow, Thanks! That ROCKS! I can't believe you're already thinking Christmas! Man! Ok, as for why it isn't already on the site? Surprisingly, Holiday hasn't made it to my head yet (much.) You got the goods early, and we're all better for it! I'm wondering what all they'll release this year? OH, I'm so excited. See, I almost don't even want to know. I love during November, walking into Target, and discovering the new Holiday method end cap, and seeing all that glittering wonderment! Oh yes! These sound like great scents, and I can't believe (after I bought up all the discontinued product! Ha! Always happens to me...) they are re-releasing Spiced Pear! Wow, that scent is Heavenly... Thanks again, Robert. More as it becomes available. Don't be too disappointed in me. I promise to earn my gay badge back! (It's a joke, people. A joke.)

PS - the pic is of one of method's earlier end cap Holiday displays (not this year.) I really hope they bring back the Holiday aroma sprays. They were sorely missed last year. I'm thinking perhaps they new of the aroma spray issues and decided to hold off last year (as there also was no cut grass and fresh lychee aroma spray for spring.) So hopefully in 2008 we'll see our favorite Holiday fragrances in spray form! (Thanks to ljc fyi for the store pic!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

sale!

method products are currently on sale at your local Target! Well, some of them, anyway. The tag says the sale runs through July 26th. Most of the sale covers the spray cleaners, hand washes, and such! (Spray cleaners are $2.66 right now, whereas the usual price is $3.29) Stock up!

danny designs

Over on Josh Spear, there's a great new Q&A session with method's own Danny Alexander!

"SpearTalks: Method's Danny Alexander

You can look at it one of two ways: Method was ahead of their time, or right on time. I tend to lean towards the former, because with a clear mission, a clear conscious, and a clearly obsessive attitude towards branding and design, the environmentally amicable cleaning products were progressive in nearly every way. They didn't smell like future bouts with cancer, they didn't scream "Earth Mother," and — whaddaya know — they worked. Additionally, were one to “absentmindedly” leave ones cleaning products out, maybe in effort to say, "That's right, I clean, and I'm so eco.” and “How jealous are you of my supreme perfection," it suddenly seemed kind of sexy to do so. Rain drop-shaped, Sweet Water-scented sexy.

We love Method for their environmentally responsible approach, their non-gag inducing aromas, and their effectiveness. But most of all, we love them for making us feel good about buying them. We wanted to share our love with Danny Alexander, an industrial designer at Method, but he seemed apprehensive about letting us stick our tongues down his throat (obsessively clean, Danny?). So we just settled for a heart-to-heart.

Joshspear.com: You came to Method as an environmentally friendly furniture designer out of NYC. What else in your past laid the groundwork for where you find yourself today?

Danny Alexander: Growing up I always loved to create. Whether it was origami, painting, assembling furniture, etc., I was always working with my hands. When I grew up a bit, I began to think that industrial design was the perfect combination of left brain and right brain thinking, but the thought of creating more junk to fill landfills weighed seriously on my conscience. My parents, who have both spent their lives working in social service fields, taught me at an early age to leave a positive mark on the world. So I set out on developing a career in sustainable design.

In New York I worked as a furniture designer, creating pieces in bamboo, sustainably harvested wood, non-toxic finishes, flatpack designs and all that jazz. But I grew tired of designing for only the wealthiest of the wealthy. If sustainable design is to be truly sustainable it needs to be accessible to the masses. So I came to San Francisco and started designing soap.

JS: You've been at Method for over a year now — what have you been up to over there?

DA: Well, my career at Method started in the toilet — literally. Lil Bowl Blu, our planet-friendly toilet cleaner, was one of the first projects I worked on at method. And in the year and change that I’ve been here, I’ve worked on countless others, including the bamboo omop packaging, the new cleaning wipes pouch, a handful of aircare products, and tons of conceptual projects we’ve been kicking around. Oh, and I’ve been working on my ping pong game pretty seriously.

JS: Method, in my book, is one of the most vivid lines of product the US has right now. It has the emotional connect, the distinct voice and personality, those hunkish good-looks… what else do you see as significant in terms of what Method represents as a brand?

DA: Perhaps most significant is the idea that Method represents the future of sustainable business. For too long, people have been forced to accept major compromises in performance and price to buy environmentally-friendly products. Method has turned this idea on its head, showing people that sustainability can come without compromise, and that sustainable products can actually perform just as well, if not better, than other products at little-to-no premium. The emotional connection, voice and personality of the brand generally stem from the “style” part of our “style and substance” mantra, but the sustainability bit is just as important and exciting to me.

JS: This is what blows my mind: Basically, all cleaning product companies use industrial designers, yet Method's products are some of the only ones that can easily be associated with the word "design." Why do you think this is?

DA: A lot of this stems from Method’s unique corporate culture that encourages innovation (I hate that word, but it’ll have to do for now) and risk taking. From the beginning, Method has had an underdog mentality that’s allowed us to be more willing to take leaps of faith and innovate. We’ve built the company and our products around five distinct pillars: health, sustainability, design, fragrance, and efficacy, and we weigh them all equally. Even as we grow larger and more profitable, we continue to take risks. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for most of our competitors to shift focus and take the risks that we do.

JS: What is the typical process that your team goes through while coming up with new packaging concepts?

DA: Every product comes to fruition a bit differently. The common themes that run throughout our development processes are speed and collaboration. A product often starts as a napkin sketch or a hot-glued prototype, and thanks to an incredibly talented group of people (we’ve got pretty much everything and everyone we need in-house, from chemists and engineers to a rapid prototyping machine and a beer-fridge for inspiration), we’re able to get these wacky ideas to market quickly. The entire development timeline, from sketch to shelf, is often under a year. Open, clear communication is essential to this process.

JS: I almost lost it the first time I saw that little green apple kiddy shampoo hop out at me on the Method home page. Were you involved in the design of those new lines (and if you were, can you tell us about it)?

DA: I wish. That was the work of my boss, Josh Handy, our illustrious creative director. And the adorable graphics were done by Sally Clarke, one of our many talented graphic designers.

JS: Do you just work on design for Method now, or are you still building furniture?

DA: I don’t know if I’d call it “furniture design,” but I’ve been living for the last year in a converted (actually still converting) warehouse, and I have built plenty of furniture, walls, and other toys for the space. With a handful of friends, I’ve been transforming this old ironworks shop into a wonderful home and playground, filled with everything a young lad could hope for. Between work and the warehouse, I'm pretty darn satisfied with my creative output, so you probably won’t see any furniture from me for a while (unless it’s in the warehouse, of course).

JS: As our store shelves have become increasingly cramped with more and more of the same stuff, it seems like it's the products that are either exceptionally different or exceptionally well branded that are finding success. Do you think Method will lose its sparkle once all the tag-along products start popping up?

DA: We try not to dwell too much on the competition — it only stifles the creative process. But, to answer your question more specifically, we have seen and will continue to see competition on many fronts. To date, nobody has been able to recreate the unique blend of style and substance that makes Method so special. We’re selling more than a bottle of soap; we’re offering a philosophy and a culture, which is inimitable. We’re confident that if we continue to focus on delighting our consumers in new and innovative ways, and letting our culture drive our products, we’ll continue to stay ahead of the competition.

JS: So, you've got this environmentally conscious, design-savvy creative class, and they're all obsessed with the idea of sexy cleaning products — words that up until very recently, could hardly exist side-by-side. What are some new product areas that you are hoping to take your currently captive audience into?

DA: Our goal, which is ambitious but achievable, is to create a healthy, happy home revolution. We’ve already blurred the lines between personal care, home cleaning and air care, and while continuing to revolutionize these categories, we hope to expand our offerings so we can lead our advocates further in the fight against dirty. Squeaky Green, the Method guide to detoxing your home (co-written by our founders, Adam and Eric), is one example of how we’re helping our advocates create healthier, happier homes in new ways.

JS: Your house is always spotless, huh…

DA: Well, until Method makes solutions for the whole “ware-home,” it won’t be completely spotless."

go advocate yourself!

Guess what's BACK! (Other than me, I mean!) method's official people against dirty advocate sign-up! Yes!

You can now head over to method home, and click on "meet people against dirty", then select "the community" and add yourself to the big ole' list of method advocates! I know many of you have been waiting for this to return to the method site, so rejoice, and go advocate yourself! Yay!

I THINK (but I'm not sure) if you signed up previously, you should still be listed as an advocate. BUT I'm not totally sure, as OY!, I attempted to make it to the 'N' section, but gave up. Right now it's using a page number method to view all the advocates; and I made it to page 14, and was still in the 'A' listings! Hopefully down the line they'll make it alphabetical (so you could just choose 'N' and boom, go to the 'N' section! Ok, I didn't really have to explain that one out, but just in case, ya know?) But none the less, it's back!

feelin' sweaty

...and not that good kinda sweaty. Ahem... method's updated their cute (I lust it to death!) little logo slash quirky blurb, located in the upper left corner of their site, with a new statement:

"method's is feeling sweaty - It's hot in San Francisco these days and we're stuck with no AC. Please someone send ice cream... and lot's of it. Preferably chocolate."

Ha!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

goodie box revealed!

Hey all, I'm back! (I bet you missed me, didn't ya? DIDN'T YA!? Well, one thing's for sure, I missed you. (Guilt, does it every time.)

Guess what I almost forgot! I forgot the big finale post on our first ever method lust advocate spotlight contest winner! I promised to let everyone know what Vimie had won, so here goes! Her box included (all from my own personal method vault!):

+ one Frosted Cranberry holiday soy candle
+ one bottle (old school!) lavender tear drop dish soap
+ one Fresh Lychee pill refill
+ one bottle bloq beach sage lotion
+ one bottle freesia blossom aroma spray (way old school!)

Uhm, I think that's it! (I have a short memory span, AND I forgot to take a photo before mailing it out. I know, I know!) Vimie was really excited to receive the box, and had never smelled the freesia blossom scent before, and loved it! (It's been discontinued forever, unfortunately.) So enjoy, Vimie! And be on the lookout for future method lust contests! You could be the next winner! (If you do as I say! Or well, maybe just follow the contest rules, that'll work too. I'm not bossy, I promise.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

hold one moment, please

Alright, you might want to sit down for this. Ready? Ok. I'm going on vacation! AND, won't be able to update method lust for an ENTIRE WEEK. I realize that, like me, your life is now over and you're probably ready to pack up the car and head for the nearest Grand Canyon like valley; but alas, it'll be alright. With time, hope, and lots of therapy, we'll be able to pick up our lives and move forward. At least on the good days, alright. There's bound to be two or three of those, right?

But don't worry, I'll be back! I promise! With all new method profiles, method advocate spotlights, and lots of method goodness as big ole' product rollout August (and method's birthday!) come our way! I'm heading to West Virginia (my home town, do NOT make fun of me. Oh alright, why not, everyone else does. I'm rubber, you're glue, what bounces off of me sticks to you! So blah!) and I'll be back and ready to methodize the blogging world on July 21st.

In the meantime, YOU have a job to do! Yes, you, and the world of method depends on it! Internet service where I'm going is like, dial-up, if I'm lucky (and sadly, I'm not joking. My hometown is the sticks, people, the sticks!) SO, this is what I want YOU to do! If you hear of some great method news, find a wonderful article, review, dish, dirt, gossip, new product sha-bang! or method does something even more amazing to their very own website/blog, I would lust it if you could put a quick note, just a short little "Hey, psst! Nathan, while you were out..." in the comments section to this post, and I'll get them all when I get back, and praise you endlessly for your help! So don't let us down, the world is counting on you. METHOD is counting on you. (Ohh, that makes you feel really good, now doesn't it.)

Until then, I'll see ya in a few! (One week to be exact, see that's not bad at all. There, there, stop those tears from flowing.) I'll miss you all! I'll send you a postcard! (Oh wait, that'd be a lot of postcards. Never mind! I'll blow ya kisses or something...)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

method profiles - callie robinson

The lost episode of method profiles has been found! Oh, not lost? Ok, so maybe I just got some more in, hot off the presses! Yow! These things sizzle! (method always sizzles, don't ya know?)

Our method profile today brings us... Callie Robinson! She's a new one at method, you can tell cause she uses capitals! (But I'm sure they'll beat it out of her soon enough! I joke, I joke! They won't beat it out of her, method doesn't beat people. They'll use chocolate tactics. No chocolate from the chocolate drawer, until you learn to write in all lower case. It would SO work on me, trust me. Like, the first day. actually, i'm gonna start now. see, i can do it. chocolate please.) On to Callie!

1+ Your name, please? And do you have a nickname at method?
Callie Robinson … I have no nickname at Method, I think it’s too soon.

2+ What was your first method lust?
I first fell in love with the Olive Leaf Creamy Hand Wash … I love love love the smell and it’s moisturizing, so I don’t need lotion after I wash.

3+ What brought you to method, the company? (How did you become interested in a career with method?)
Craigslist.com brought me to Method.  As soon as I saw the posting it was like the clouds parted and the angels sang.  I knew who Method was, but I didn’t get the full extent of what the company was really about until I checked out the website. Seeing the office and meeting the people just sealed the deal for me ... I lucked out!

4+ What is your title/dept. at method, and what is it you do there? How long have you been with method?
My title is “Penny for Your Thoughts”, which translates to Payroll Manager in non-Method Terms.  I work in the People + Environment department here at Method which is a lot like HR, but more of course!  I make sure that all the Methodists are happy by getting them paid on time and helping them out with their stock and 401k concerns. I am a newbie – only one month under my belt at this point.

5+ What is the biggest thing you are currently doing, besides using method products, to help out the environment?
I am a dedicated recycler meaning that I actually take the time to make sure that what I am putting in the recycle bin is actually meant to be there. I also am greening my pet by switching to natural, non-toxic kitty litter – Guinness (my cat) loves it!

6+ Who's the last person you've turned onto method?
My college roommate is addicted to Method now. She has tried every product she can find at Target and is begging to give me product feedback. I need to make sure she signs up as an advocate!

7+ Which one best describes you as a person? Pink Grapefruit, French Lavender, Cucumber, or Go Naked?
Pink Grapefruit.

Thanks so much Callie! Craigslist, huh? I gotta check that thing out!

Check back Wednesdays (if Nathan isn't slack, which he has been for a while now, but he's working on it, in Slackers Anonymous. Ok? See, he's trying.) for the next method profile! And be sure to catch up on previous method profiles by selecting from the sidebar list!

shrinky dinks

Recently, while roaming the method home site, I noticed they're gone down by one pawn dish soap bottle. They used to carry both cucumber and french lavender, but now only have the lavender. I used to think method was carrying these bottles on their site as limited edition purchases, since the pawn/ bowling pin bottle is so iconic with their brand (it was their first bottle design by Karim Rashid, and many feel it was simply "before it's time.")

While you can see method implementing the bottles functional design in other products, such as the baby + kids shampoo and body washes, as well as the new marine naturals line out in August; people still yearn for those great ole' dish soap bottles! And I'm not so sure method is keeping them in stock on their site anymore; instead they may simply be using up their supply (given that cucumber has gone away.)

But I stumbled upon this comment from another method advocate:
"I agree the dishwashing liquid container is a bit cumbersome. i think the karim rashid design is perfect but perhaps a bit smaller."

Yo, yo! Is that not a great idea, or what?! What if they took the exact pawn design (with the new no leak improvements, as I know they've made these changes with the new baby/kids/marine naturals lines. The very first versions sort of leaked at times.) But what if they took the exact pawn design, and shrunk it down, to a more manageable size. (Cause I gotta say, I love the bottle, but it is sorta BIG! In fact, it won't fit on my sink counter where I put my other method dish soap bottles, so I think smaller MIGHT be better!)

A lot of people were thinking method was working on a new dish soap bottle (since there have been problems with the current one, but with the new thumb notch, I'm wondering if they're not sticking by this one.) I think the new bottle is a really nice design, but bringing back the old iconic pawn bottle in a smaller form would rock our worlds!

Here's to wishing!

let there be leather

Can't find your favorite method leather wipes right now? Never fear! They are currently undergoing a packaging redesign (I'm expecting the same flat packaging as the bathroom, and all purpose wipes have received.) Expect to see these return to store shelves in a few months!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

gimme some grass

Andrew Taylor loves some cut grass! You don't believe me? Believe this! (Oh, and this post is from late last year, but it's a perfect time to mention it, as the new fall scents aren't far off, and all our spring/summer editions will bid us farewell!):

"A while back, my good friend Sara alerted me to the existence of air freshening products bearing my all-time favorite scent: fresh-cut grass. Apparently Target's in-house boutique cleaner and life-betterment brand, Method, makes a whole line of things that smell like cut grass: candles, scent rings (not plug-in), aroma pills (plug-ins), aerosol mist and incense-looking (but not burnable) scent sticks.

I don't often go to Target for home products; usually if I'm there, it's for appliances or clothing products, particularly Merona-brand underwear. But this weekend I had occasion to go to the SuperTarget in the next town over with my sister, also named Sara. We walked around pretty much the whole store, and just by chance, I spied the air fresheners and walked over, totally forgetting what non-relation Sara told me about Method's cut grass scent. But right there they were, a whole line of products that smell like fresh, sweet, wonderful grass!

But then I noticed something kind of sinister: All the cut grass-scented products were marked for clearance. Did this mean yet another grass-related product was biting the dust (after the now-discontinued Yankee Candle)? I bought an aroma pill and ran to the Internet to ask unrelated Sara if this was true. She said Method does seasonal rotation of their scents, which means the cut grass stuff (and some other summery/springy stuff) is being sold out of stock now to make room for wintry scents (I imagine piney stuff, maybe peppermint?).

So! If you too, are in love with cut grass smell, and you'd like to keep that smell in your life through the long, cold winter, drive briskly to your neighborhood Target and stock up while you can! It goes without saying I already love my aroma pill, which will fill my room with this sweet loveliness for the next 6 to 8 weeks, and I think you will too, no matter what scent you favor (but cut grass is the best).

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Sara tells me that Target is not the exclusive retailer for Method products. I'll reproduce part of her comment here for ease of perusal:

"One small correction: Method isn't Target-exclusive, not completely. They're just kind of... inconsistent about where they're stocked. Like, sometimes you can find their products at Linens and Things, sometimes not. They have the body wash at Jewel, but not the cleaning products. And, like I mentioned on my livejournal that time, there's drugstore.com. I think Target is just their main retailer, somehow. I'm just putting this here in case any of your readers don't have a Target nearby: you have options! You can shop online! Etc."

So there! No excuse not to smell like cut grass (when it's in season)."

You can currently find the cut grass scent in aroma sticks and rings at Target; and the pills, candles and refills can be found at Big Lots (and possibly some other discount stores?) You can also find the candles and aroma sticks at methodhome.com And I'm telling you, it's crazy how many friends/associates/etc. even I talk to that think method is some in-house brand for Target! I guess it's a curse and a blessing! Either way, we know where to go!

lil' happy, lil' sad

First the good news! It seems the new marine naturals personal care line will consist of the aforementioned sea minerals, water flower, and refresh mint body wash; along with the same scents in foaming and gel hand washes. Sea minerals will also see itself in a body scrub (the only scent to make it into the body scrub line, not sure why. Perhaps they're testing it out.) I can't wait, August is really much closer than you think (scarily!)

AND now the bad news! It appears that the body lotion and shaving cream (cringe!) will not be making a return visit. At least not in the foreseeable future. You know, as for the shaving cream, I think it got mixed results. I read lots of reviews about how guys just did not like it for shaving, while women thought it worked great. It was a different texture than most guys are familiar with. And I'll reveal a secret, when I first tried it, I didn't like it so much. It was so thick and wow! But I think it's like coffee, or calamari, Ha! (but no, seriously) it's something that grows on you, and now I love it so! I think it's great. I think a lot of people just didn't give it a chance. Man! I'm so bummed, no shaving cream. I'm surprised. I think I'm gonna go get some more Goodwill backups! I don't wanna go back to Gillette, method! Don't make me! (I think we should start some sort of petition! What do you say?)

As for the lotion, it seems to be a weird thing for method. Ages ago they had hand lotion for a while in signature (which smelled like sweet water to me?), green tea + aloe and french lavender scents, then those went away forever. Then they brought out the bloq body lotion, but it was the first to go in that line. I think the lotion is a great idea, so I hope they revisit both of these products at some point! Especially the shaving cream. I was hoping for post shave lotion, and the such. Alas, I'm still excited for the new body/hand wash line! Refresh mint, come to papa!

omop inside and out

You might recall my little omop incident last week, and how broken up I was about it all! I just ran around with half an omop, sweeping up the floor. But you know, it's just not the same as a whole omop, it's not as cool; and you might just look silly, without a handle and all. I'm just sayin', is the thing. So it was with great happiness the wonderful method folk (ok, well, ONE in particular, no? Yes! Yay!) sent me a gracious coupon for a replacement omop, which I could redeem at Target. Hmm, now if only I could find a Target somewhere by? WHERE ever might there be one? Oh wait, I'm in one as I type this.

No, I'm not REALLY. But that would be me, wouldn't it. Sigh...

So anyway, I was so excited! I mean, I'm excited because I can replace my sad little broken omop with a brand new one, even though it's still an omop. But I was still excited! Yes, I know, I haven't started my medication, I promise, real soon like. So I thought I'd do a little by the numbers photo op on the new bamboo packaging (with my continuing theme of sucky photos. Really, I mean, I go to food blogs and their photos are like works of art? What the crap is my problem? Huh.) Someone had mentioned in the past it was like opening an ipod, with all the cool packaging, folding back one section of the box and moving on to the next. And you know, they're sort of right! Check it out!

That is what you first see when you pop off the top! (Faux fur blanket not included with purchase! It's mine, hands off!) The floor cleaner and cloth sitting all nice and pretty. The compostable cloths, and a small booklet are included beneath the all floor cloth.

The little compartments the products sat in have sayings on the packaging. The cleaner says: "just squirt + mop. no water. no bucket." while the cloth compartment says: "people friendly. floor (and tube sock) friendly. planet friendly."

And TADA! Oh my, someone stole my omop! Man, I knew they were popular, but... Oh alright, so uh, I put the entire thing together in the truck while I was waiting in front of a pizza shop for my deliciously bad for you food to get all cooked up (I told you I was excited!) so I couldn't take a pic of the pieces in the box. Sigh... but here's where they'd be! They now have (slightly annoying, as they're really helpful, but take a tiny bit of work to remove. But that's just me whining) these stickers that tell you how to put it together easily. A, B, and C. (But cuter, they say A, B, C in a humorous way, something like A to B, B easy, B peasy, to C almost done, and such; but I took mine off, so uh, I forget exactly. Forgive me, ok!)

There you go, the omop show! Now, run out and get one for yourself! You know you want one!
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