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Billie Eilish speaks out after saying artists are being ‘wasteful’ with various versions of their vinyl records

"...It’s some of the biggest artists in the world making f---ing 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more," she said.
/ Source: TODAY

Billie Eilish is clarifying her comments after expressing her frustrations about the need for some artists to produce multiple vinyl albums in various variants.

In an interview with Billboard, the multi-Grammy winner shared how she’s always been eco-conscious and makes it her mission to keep sustainability at the forefront of her career. Eilish touched on her work on making vinyl more sustainable when she said she thinks it’s “wasteful” for “some of the biggest artists” to make multiple copies of their albums in several vinyl options.

In a follow-up Instagram story on March 31, Eilish clarified her quotes saying she didn't single anyone out. The singer began by writing that it "would be so awesome if people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I said."

“I wasn’t singling anyone out, these are industry-wide systemic issues,” she wrote. “And when it comes to variants, so many artists release them — including ME! which i clearly state in the article.”

Billie Eilish speaks out after her quotes about "wasteful" vinyl variants went viral.
Billie Eilish speaks out after her quotes about "wasteful" vinyl variants went viral.Instagram Story/Billie Eilish

Eilish continued by expressing that there is a climate crisis and “it’s about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better.”

In her interview, Eilish did not specifically call out any artist. She said that we live in a day and age where “for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging,” the singer said. “Which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money and gets them more…”

And like Eilish referenced in her March 31 statement, her album “Happier Than Ever” came in eight vinyl variants. The magazine notes that she used 100% recycled black vinyl and recycled scraps for colored variants, as well as shrink-wrap made from sugar cane.

“I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is,” Eilish continued. “It is right in front of our faces and people are just getting away with it left and right, and I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable — and then it’s some of the biggest artists in the world making f---ing 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more.”

The singer further expressed her irritation with artists’ desire to have a best-selling album and make different options just to get their numbers up. Vinyl sales contribute to an artist's overall album sales, especially when tallied up for the Billboard charts.

“It’s irritating to me that we’re still at a point where you care that much about your numbers and you care that much about making money,” Eilish said. “And it’s all your favorite artists doing that s---.”

Last year, the Oscar winner launched and funded REVERB's Music Decarbonization Project to help eliminate carbon emissions created by the music industry.

In 2020, TODAY reported that vinyl exceeded CD sales for the first time since the 1980s, with nearly 10 million more LPs sold than in 2019. And the sales have been growing ever since. However, not all vinyls are environmentally friendly.

Most vinyl is made of non-recyclable vinyl, and according to Keele University, modern records typically produce 0.5kg of CO2. The materials in the PVC plastic records can even leach plasticizers, chemicals that make it more flexible.

As for Eilish, she told Billboard that in her pursuit to make sustainability a priority, she’s also taking her merchandise into account. The singer said that the problem of making her clothes well made, ethically and sustainable, “It’s going to be more expensive and that’s the thing: People can be upset by that. But I’m trying to pick one of two evils.”

She added that it’s a never-ending fight and “it’s pretty impossible to force someone to care. All you can do is express and explain your beliefs.”