161: Write a letter or email of complaint

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL

From our guest writer Lynsey in England

Exerting your power as a consumer can be a really important eco-action

packaging overload

I think most of us can imagine a scenario where we order a product online, only to receive a knock at the door, and be greeted by a parcel which looks like it could contain a new kitchen sink! Assuming you haven’t actually ordered a kitchen sink, you’ve probably received a huge box of packaging, with your tiny little product lost inside somewhere!

Or maybe you’re fed up of your favourite food items coming wrapped in unnecessary layers of plastic; want to ask why your favourite cosmetic doesn’t have the Cruelty Free logo, or wondering why a product that used to be vegan now contains milk.

Most of the time, we complain about it to ourselves, but don’t pursue this any further – because it’s just an effort to write a letter or an email when we’re really busy  – and because of convenience, we often keep buying the product.

Making it easier to write a letter or email to complain

But, what if it was easier to complain?

Here I’ve written a simple and polite email template, which can be used for a variety of different scenarios. Just choose the relevant text from that in red and delete the parts not required, then add in your product information.

All it will take is a few minutes out of your day to find the correct email address/contact form and paste this text in.

Just this small step could make a really big difference. If the company doesn’t know there’s an issue, they won’t change.

Use your voice!

Template words



I recently purchased a product from you, and found it came in unnecessary plastic/is no longer vegan as you’ve added milk/does not have the Cruelty Free certification. ***Provide Product Information***

I very much like purchasing this product, however, due to the reasons mentioned above, I cannot continue to do so in good conscience unless changes are made to the packaging/ingredients/certification. I will be happy to source a product from another company which offers a more sustainable/ethical alternative.

Please can you advise me if you intend to make changes to your products and your current environmental/vegan/packaging policy?

Many thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Just one last thing – this email won’t always guarantee you the magic answer you’re looking for. But don’t give up! Just because you get a wordy email which gives you all kinds of excuses as to why they use this, and why they can’t change, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been noted.

Consumer power counts

And the more people that complain, the more likely a company is to realise it’s worth their while making changes.

In most cases, the companies you write to already know they need to change – they just need a push from us – the consumers.

After all, where would they be without us buying their products?

This article has been contributed by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton


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