When I was eight years old, the American shopping mall was in its heyday, which made it the most logical place to get my ears pierced by a teenager with questionable training and a hopefully hygienic gun that punctured skin. Claire’s, Inc., at the time, was king of the low-end accessories market and successfully peddled its junk jewelry and accessories to the hungry teen and tween masses. Let’s just say they basically had a lock on the babysitting money riding around in many-a-fanny-pack, mine included.
But just like the recent Toys R Us retail meltdown, Claire’s is riding the shopping mall fad into the ground… maybe because it’s got no place else to go. Unfortunately, according to Bloomberg, the company is saddled with some $2 billion in debt, and will soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to reorganize.
Well, if their week could get worse, here it is: Claire’s is now fighting back against a report that claims several Claire’s brand cosmetics have tested positive for asbestos contamination. It seems in December, Claire’s pulled a few products from its shelves after an independent test revealed high levels of asbestos in the talc that was used. The products, marketed to young consumers, included powder compacts, eye shadow and contouring kits. Soon after, Claire’s determined with its own tests that the products were just fine.
Following the all-clear from Claire’s, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) decided to run another round of tests of its own and, guess what, announced that three of the Claire’s products it has tested in an independent laboratory showed they had high levels of asbestos.
CBS News says that Claire’s “categorically denies” these findings, and the company stressed that it uses the same talc in its products that many other cosmetics brands use.