Sarah Maslin Nir wrote a series of alarming articles on the nail salon industry in The New York Times. She exposed unsafe working conditions, abuse of workers and below minimum wages. She challenged readers to realize that our gain of low prices was a result of someone else’s loss. It left many people wondering how to respond appropriately.
Governor Cuomo responded by setting up a multi- agency task force to recover unpaid wages and enforce safety regulations to protect nail salon workers. Volunteers handed out fliers informing workers of their rights.
Pippa Lord responded with a website and campaign called, #handlewithcare. By taking matters into your own hands, literally, Instagram followers can take a picture of their nails and show support. This has opened up the conversation on a larger scale. Their goal is to improve conditions in nail salons and in the beauty industry as a whole.
The web site, Handle with care, is spreading the message of socially responsible service, with information and a hotline number to report violations and abuse. Awareness, advocacy and support is a good way to begin this conversation and respond.
There are many other industries who could learn from this example. As consumers, we can think about how our economic gain can be the result of someone else’s loss. Ms. Pippa is leading by example with information, compassion and kindness.