Thinx marketed itself as a sustainable solution to menstruation, but plaintiffs say the underwear contains potentially harmful chemicals.
Juliet Bennett Ryla
Think you know what’s in your underwear? Thinx again.
Thinx — an absorbent underwear brand for menstruation or incontinence acquired by Kimberly-Clark in 2022 — markets itself as a safer, more sustainable alternative to disposable pads and tampons.
But plaintiffs in a 2022 class-action lawsuit claim third-party testing uncovered short chain per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), perNPR.
PFAS are synthetic chemicals used in products like nonstick cookware, water-repellent fabrics, cosmetics, and more, per the CDC.
They’ve been phased out in the US due to health and environmental concerns:
They can contaminate soil, water, and air, and don’t break down.
They can build up in people and animals.
Research is ongoing, but studies have suggested a link to harmful health effects, including cancer and vaccine efficacy.
Thinx denies the lawsuit’s findings…
… but agreed last week to change its marketing language and some production practices, plus pay $5m to reimburse some customers.
Interestingly: The lawsuit follows a 2020 Sierra magazine report in which columnist Jessian Choy sent several pairs to a nuclear scientist for testing, who also found PFAS; then-CEO Maria Molland denied those findings.
A key issue? Marketing
The lawsuit doesn’t assert that Thinx caused anyone harm, just that its marketing was misleading.
People often pay a premium or make purchase choices based on claims that products are “sustainable,” “natural,” or “organic.”
A lawsuit filed last week against Coca-Cola’s Simply Orange Juice alleges its marketing “is designed to drive sales and increase profits by targeting health-conscious consumers” — despite containing high levels of PFAS.
BTW: Five EU nations — the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway — proposed banning the use and production of PFAS earlier this month.
BMG Rights Management is suing the manufacturer of a “pooping” unicorn toy because it dances to “My Poops,” a rip-off of Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.” And, yes, there’s a video.
Update: Contractors who deleted files while working on the FAA’s NOTAM system’s databases caused all those grounded US flights. The FAA says it’s working to make the system “more resilient.”
A new study of 50k US households from 2008 to 2020 found that dollar stores were the fastest-growing food retailers, especially in rural areas.
Merriam-Websteracquired Quordle, a Wordle clone where players try to guess four words at once, for an undisclosed amount.
Elizabeth Holmes, who appealed her 11.25-year sentence in December, is apparently living on a $13k+/mo. estate. Prosecutors would like it if she, like most defendants, began serving her time.
Microsoft will shutter AltspaceVR, its social VR platform, on March 10, and divert resources to its AR/VR platform Microsoft Mesh.
The number of new podcasts has fallen off a pandemic-era cliff. Last year, ~219.4k podcasts were created, down from 1m+ in 2020.
Apple has managed to avoid major layoffs, in part because its workforce has expanded just ~20% since 2019, compared to Amazon’s doubling in size, Meta’s jumping 94%, Alphabet’s 57%, and Microsoft’s 53%.
Meanwhile, Wayfair is laying off 1.75k workers, or 10% of its workforce, citing waning post-pandemic sales.
A Swiss hackerleaked the TSA’s “no-fly” list after finding it on an unprotected server. It contains 1.5m+ entries, though many are aliases belonging to the same people.
Ah yes, an interesting analysis of alternative GPU thermal pastes, including cheese, ketchup, toothpaste, diaper rash ointment, and potatoes.
FROM THE BLOG
Would gallivanting around a Scottish castle with your boss make you more committed to your job? Retreat planning companies think so. Grab your passport: off-sites might be the future of work.
Showing no signs of chill, Netflix enters its next phase
It’s time to make some money — Netflix.
In Q4, the streamer surprised even itself, adding 7.7m net new subscribers after forecasting 4.5m.
Now, with membership growth back on track, the company says it’s focused on achieving greater profitability through new revenue streams. Among them:
The Great Password Crackdown of 2023: The company says 100m+ subscriber households share their passwords outside of the home, and that it’ll soon start charging for that. Whatever happened to “love is sharing a password,” Netflix — hmm?
Ads: In November, Netflix debuted its lower-priced, ad-supported tier. Netflix said it’s off to a strong start, but admitted its material impact in 2023 will be “modest.”
Big picture: Netflix represents less than 10% of TV screen time in the US and UK, and less than 5% of TV watching in places like Mexico, Brazil, and Poland. The company stressed that its $31.6B of annual revenue pales in comparison to the ~$300B pay TV industry, $180B TV ad market, and $130B gaming space.
Now, off to go watch “Kaleidoscope” and be confused.
101 professional networking tips
If this banger of a list isn’t enough, maybe try a pregame ritual. Or meditation.
But here it is: 101 tips and templates for getting in your zone and crushing every function. For smoother maneuvers at the job fair, shindig, or symposium.
Digits: Accountants, the egg-conomy, and more wild new numbers
Digits: Accountants, the egg-conomy, and more wild new numbers
1) The plant-based meat industry is struggling to vegetate. Sales volume at supermarkets was down 14% last year, and orders dropped 9% at fast-food spots.
2) Egg-gregious. Consumer advocacy group Farm Action is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the egg industry for price fixing. The group says Cal-Maine Foods saw $535.34m in gross profits in the 26 weeks ending Nov. 26 — 10x the profits they saw during the same period in 2021.
3) Konnichiwa, Japanese liquor industry. With a depreciating yen and the growing global popularity of Japanese cuisine, liquor exports from Japanjumped 60% in 2021 to 114.7B yen ($868m), and, in 2022, surpassed that level by October. Still, Japan represents just 0.1% of the global alcohol market.
4) They’ve had it with thenumber crunching. In the US, 300k+ accountants and auditorshave quit in the last two years. Now, industry giants like KPMG and PwC are outsourcing work overseas, where workers can handle up to 95% of an audit.
5) The secondary luxury watch market is on track to surpass the primary-sale market by 2033. In 2022, primary sales hit ~$56B and secondaries notched ~$27B. By 2033, they could reach~ $81B and ~$86B, respectively.
AROUND THE WEB
🏥 On this day: In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in the US to receive a medical degree, despite pushback from professors and peers. She later founded a clinic for low-income patients and a hospital.
🍲 Useful: This recipe site lets you enter an ingredient, then finds possible flavor pairings.
🎧 Podcast: Join host Ross Simmonds on this episode of Create Like the Greats for seven productivity tools you can use to create something great.
👶 That’s interesting: Dorothy Ellen Palmer and her brother, Don, were born to different mothers in the same hospital, a week apart. She writes about how, 60+ years later, they met for the first time.
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