BUSTED... A Collab Failure Story
Lesson 1: Don't be fooled by the glitz of the 'gram
Lesson 2: Always do your research
Lesson 3: Learn from your mistakes
Several months ago I was contacted by a company via Instagram. I am not here to shame or call anyone out so for the purposes of this post I will leave them nameless. Unfortunately, they aren't the only company out there doing this, so it honestly doesn't matter what their name is anyways.
Said company, slid into my DMs and fed me the usual "we totally dig your vibes and think that you would love us too" spiel. I engaged and checked out their profile and well, I dug their overall vibe. The company claimed to be selling yoga pants made from recycled plastic bottles and each purchase supported ocean conservation. Being the yogi ocean warrior that I am I was super interested! I scrolled through their feed and recognized some yogis that I was already following sporting their leggings and thought I'll give them a shot.
I ordered a pair of leggings with a discount code they gave me and then it all went downhill. A few days later I received a shipping confirmation for my order... from China Post. To my horror I realized that my leggings were about to begin their journey across the entire globe! My heart sunk.. the carbon footprint for these leggings was waaaay more than their price tag. I immediately went to the company's website and went through every page with excruciating detail because I wanted to see what I had missed or what to look for in the future to make sure I didn't do this again.
Now I am completely aware that a good deal of what we purchase comes from China, that is not necessarily my issue. My issue is that a single pair of leggings was being shipped across the globe and that this was happening for each person that ordered from this site. And I had a feeling that these leggings weren't going to be what the company was advertising.
Three weeks later I received my leggings in the mail and they were AWFUL!! Everything about these leggings was horrible: the fit, the print, the construction, the overall quality... EVERYTHING! Apparently whoever designed these had really skinny legs, because I could barely get them over my calves. Once "on" the fabric stretched so much that they just looked white and see through, even through they were black leggings. The print was STOLEN from another company and printed on shitty fabric (excuse my French, but at least you can see the passion is real). There is no way anyone could do yoga in these pants... or even walk in these pants.
I contacted the company, politely expressed my disappointment and asked for a refund. After trying to make me feel bad that my $0.14, or whatever it was going to be, wasn't going to be donated to ocean conservation if I returned my pants, the company finally complied and told me that I could even keep the leggings, which I begged to return.
I thought that was the end of it...
A week later I received another package in the mail from China Post... another pair of leggings. I contacted the company and they assured me that I hadn't been charge and that there was just a glitch in the shipping system. I offered to return both pairs to the company because I didn't want them and they asked if I would mind sending a pair so they could see what the issues with them were!!!! THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY WERE SELLING!!!! THEY HADN'T SEEN THEIR OWN PRODUCT YET!!!!!! And that's when I realized that the photos on their website and Instagram of the yogis that I knew and followed were stolen from a reputable brand that sells yoga pants with similar prints.
A week later I received ANOTHER package from China Post...ANOTHER pair of leggings. I wanted to throw up I was so upset! I contacted the company AGAIN and they assured me that it would stop (and after that it did). They also told me that they got ahold of a pair of leggings and they agreed they were awful.
Needless to say I no longer have any intention of working with this company. I did check their Instagram before writing this post to see if they were even still in business and it looks like they have changed things up a bit, but they are likely still selling yoga pants that have racked up more frequent flier miles than I have.
As pissed off and annoyed as I am with this company and myself, this whole experience has really made me do my research and I have learned to ask more questions when considering collaboration opportunities. It can be easy to get caught up in the offers when you are first starting to work with brands. In the beginning I wanted to say yes to every brand that reached out to me, I didn't want to be rude saying no and I thought any opportunity was a good opportunity. WRONG! I have definitely learned that this is not the case and I make sure that I do my research before working with any brand or else you might wind up with skin-tight, knock-off, see-through leggings from China.