Not So Innocent Little Hats

It’s not often that I reblog a post, but I was planning to write about this very subject, and I don’t think I could do any better than this from The Knitting Goddess.

The Knitting Goddess Blog

Innocent Smoothies run an annual campaign where they ask knitters to make little hats to go on top of smoothie bottles. In return they donate 25p for each hat to Age UK. In case anyone doesn’t know Innocent are owned by Coca Cola – a huge multinational company with profits in the billions each year.

Let me start by saying that I think businesses donating to charities is a fantastic thing. Age UK seems like a great charity.

So what’s my problem?

There are lots of things wrong with this model.

Innocent proudly says that since 2003 it’s raised over £2 million for Age UK. On average that’s just over £140,000 a year – for 560000 hats a year.

Let’s start with a little look at the value Innocent puts on the time of the knitters who make these little hats.

Innocent make a 25p donation for each hat. The…

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19 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this Jan. Very well put.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • It’s something that irks me every year and I’m sure that the people who contribute, in good faith, don’t really think it through. I’d much rather knit something that will actually be used than simply knit landfill. It’s really all a marketing scheme for Cocacola.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. lucylawrencedesigns

     /  October 9, 2017

    I’ve *liked* this blog post because I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I didn’t know Innocent was owned by coca cola.
    Those numbers are shocking!

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  3. Well, that was interesting – what new form of madness is this! I had a little rant too 🙂

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    Reply
    • It makes me cross every year… especially because I’m sure that knitters get sucked in without realising what’s actually going on. My policy is that if I want to knit for charity, I find out what is actually needed and make that thing then give it to the charity concerned. And it I have a random ‘thing’ I send it to Knit for Peace, who work with lots of charities and can always find good homes for donations… although probably not tiny hats for plastic bottles!

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      Reply
  4. I’d never thought of any of this. What a terrible waste it is

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    • I think that’s it’s easy to get seduced by what appears to be a ‘good cause’. The answer is to support charities directly… if they want knitted items, they will have details available and you can make to fulfil a real need.

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  5. I agree. It’s just a massive self-publicising effort by Innocent. I’d be more impressed if they simply gave the money and stopped the waste: of time, of effort, of donor generosity, of lovingly made little hats that just get thrown away…

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  6. Totally uncool! Thanks for sharing on the Coca Cola bit…this is shady business, soaking up Knitters creativity and generosity…all for a quarter. Thats rude!

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  7. I wrote about this last year when I wondered if I would have been better off donating the money straight to Age uk raher than knitting hats. I missed the campaign to knit them this year, but have actually paid hard cash for one. Needless to say I have kept the hat.

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  8. A real eye-opener! Thanks for this.

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  9. I agree with Kate up there… The whole thing is just a big marketing gimmick. Little hats on bottles get a lot more attention than just donating a lump sum would. Oh, and to add another layer of ridiculousness – those hats don’t put themselves on the bottles, do they? So that must mean there’s either a dedicated hat-putting-on machine in every bottling plant (unlikely) or Innocent also need to pay people to dress their smoothies!

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