Eco-Barbie? Mattel Gives This ‘Green’ Thingamajig a Whirl

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When I first saw the press release about a “green” Mattel collection of accessories called Barbie BCause, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Apparently not. Mattel’s new “playful and on-trend” collection of hats and bags for young girls will be released “just in time to celebrate Earth Day in style.” Which is pretty ironic, really, given that Barbie dolls themselves are made out of plastic and are packaged in even more plastic. And not the kind of plastic you can throw in the recycling bin, either.

Thankfully, the limited edition Barbie BCause assortment of accessories doesn’t include a real doll. What it does include are brightly-colored, patch-work style bags, backpacks, pillows and totes. All the items are made out of “excess fabric and trimmings from other Barbie doll fashions and products which would otherwise be discarded,” says Mattel’s press release.

While I’m all in favor of teaching young girls the values of being green, I’m not so sure Mattel’s new doll really offers “eco-conscious girls a way to make an environmentally-friendly fashion statement.” It feels more like they found a way to make money off of scrap fabric than genuinely created a collection aimed at reducing their environmental impact. If Mattel really wants to be green, why not reduce the ridiculous amount of packaging they use for displaying their dolls? Why not only sell the collection at eco-conscious retailers instead of exclusively at Toys “R” Us? Oh right, because it’s Barbie.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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