‘Mum’ is not always the word

The ‘One for One’ business model made famous by shoe brand Tom’s is now a well-worn philanthropic method whereby businesses donate 1 of their product, for every 1 sold. It’s now an almost commonplace corporate practice, especially for entrepreneurial-led brands such as Warby Parker and State.


US-owned rice brand Tilda recently launched the ‘Mum’s Helping Mums’ campaign, donating either one or three nutritional supplements (values 10 pence or 30 pence) to a new or expectant mother in need in Bangladesh, for each pack of rice sold.


While the aim is admirable and the premise is simple, the focus on ‘Mums’ specifically helping women in need, does little to progress the societal assumptions that women are responsible for caring for others. In a parental context, women are expected to be the main caregivers. Although the government recently rolled out shared parental leave, only 1% of British fathers took up the opportunity to take additional leave in 2016. In the wider context of the care industry 82% of professional carers in 2016 were female. These stats don’t take into account the unpaid care-giving and emotional labour that falls primarily upon female shoulders.

So, with the obvious gender imbalance in the role of caregiver in society, do we really need brands propagating inequality by using slogans like ‘Mums helping Mums’? Men are caring too, they do and should shoulder the same responsibility as women, so why not include them in the call to provide help for women in need?

We love the brand purpose of helping women in need, and to date Tilda have helped 184,313 mothers with their scheme. But we have a editorial suggestion for the campaign name that is inclusive to all of society, simply ‘Helping Mums’.


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