What is the Pink Tax, and Why Do We Need to Ax it?

The pink tax, also known as the reason why women usually pay more on identical products to those marketed towards men, has become a louder conversation within beauty and lifestyle industries. Guys, it’s time to #axthepinktax. Beauty and lifestyle brands have been jumping on this bandwagon to make gender equality in commerce become a reality.


You may have been seeing a lot about the pink tax in the news lately, especially since a lot big beauty brands are bringing awareness to it. However, if you aren’t too sure what this tax is all about, it’s important to know that it’s usually a term used to talk about the difference in pricing between identical products (shampoo, shaving cream, and even sheets) that are marketed towards men and women, according to Georgina Gooley, Co-Founder of Billie, a body brand rejects the tax by offering a pink tax rebate to its customers. And given the fact that women are usually the ones paying more on these identical products, many brands (like Billie) are jumping on the #axthepinktax bandwagon as conversations about gender equality are becoming increasingly louder.

To understand more about pink tax, and why this is a big deal for the future of retail, we spoke more to Gooley and other brands (saying no to the tax) about why this is a pretty big deal for women everywhere.  

Why Billie Rejects Pink Tax

Shaving companies tend to be the biggest pink tax culprits, according to Gooley, as she says women can pay anywhere from 10 to 15 percent more for a pink razor compared to a nearly identical men’s product.

“Most shaving companies are created for men and women were simply an afterthought in this categoryas such, razors have traditionally been one of the biggest culprits of the pink tax,” Gooley tells COOLS. “The idea that women should have to pay more for the same product is offensive and totally absurd.”

With such alarming percentages in mind, Gooley sought out to give women an affordable shaving experience. Alongside Jason Bravman, the duo set out to create Billie, a uniquely-designed line of razors and body care products available for half the price you normally would find in the store, she says.

And to reimburse women for the years they’ve spent overpaying for women’s razors, Gooley says Billie has also launched the Pink Tax Rebate, something she hopes raises awareness and encourages customers to buy products from companies that are fair to women. The rebate works by consumers sharing a referral link with their friends. When they enter their email to join the Pink Tax Rebate, the brand will send them a coupon to use on their next Billie purchase.

How European Wax Center Got Involved With The AxThePinkTax Campaign

European Wax Center is another one of the major beauty businesses getting in on the pink tax action, as Sherry Baker, President of Marketing & Product Development at EWC says the brand launched its own #axthepinktax campaign this year to help bring awareness to the issue.

Baker says because of The Pink Tax, the average woman pays an extra $1,351 per year, making it important for women to be informed in order to make educated buying decisions in the future.

“The Pink Tax has incredibly low levels of awareness, and we knew we wanted to be the catalyst for change,” Baker says. “We are a brand that champions unapologetic confidence, so we decided to take a stand to #AxThePinkTax.”

European Wax Center launched The #AxThePinkTax campaign in April of this year with the aim to raise mass awareness and education about the issue, inspiring women to make more empowered purchasing decisions, and to advocate for equal prices for equal products, Baker says. In addition, as part of the movement, she explains the EWC brand wanted to help create opportunities for women through strategic partnerships with charities that focus on empowering women.

Although awareness about the Pink Tax is EWC’s year-one strategy, Baker says there’s more to come, as the brand is already planning it’s year-two Pink Tax strategy that will build on the awareness the campaign generated this year.

Boxed.com Launched The Rethink Pink Campaign To Keep The Pink Tax Conversation Going

“When I realized there were price discrepancies among men’s and women’s everyday essentials, I knew there was something Boxed should do to change this,” says Nitasha Mehta, Director of Vendor Marketing at Boxed, a membership-free wholesale retailer that offers direct delivery of packages via the Boxed App. “It doesn’t make sense that a woman should have to pay thousands more over her lifetime for everyday necessities like razors, body wash, and shave gel.”

In 2016, Boxed created the Rethink Pink Campaign to help women save money on everyday items including razors, tampons and pads, according to Mehta. To keep up their commitment to the campaign, items on the Boxed.com site are not only reduced but are also labeled ‘Pink Tax Free.’

Boxed users are also encouraged to keep the conversation going by sharing the hashtag #rethinkpink on their favorite social media site. In doing so, Mehta hopes this will prompt other companies to think about this issue and follow their lead.

SNOWE Created A Blush Bedding Collection To Bring Awareness To The Pink Tax

“Women have been paying the Pink Tax, that extra seven percent, for so long, it’s practically  become a habit,” says Rachel Cohen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SNOWE, a home essentials company which offers state-of-the-art bedding and other luxury items. “But we don’t want to fail our customers in the same way.”

To address that extra seven percent, SNOWE launched a special Blush Bedding collection, which offers blush-colored sheets and duvet covers, for all genders. Cohen says the company marked the price down seven percent, and since doing so, she says the company has barely been able to keep the new blush bedding in stock.

She says the success of the collection is definitely a testament to how much how much the community stands with us in support of gender equality in pricing, and of course, the enchanting power of neutral pink.


No more articles