Billie Eilish Responds to Backlash After Condemning ‘Wasteful’ Vinyl Packaging: ‘Wasn’t Singling Anyone Out’

Billie Eilish has long been combatting the music industry’s overconsumption habits by highlighting its sustainability wins and fails.

In a recent interview centered around her environmental activism for Billboard, Eilish called out the “wasteful” ways the “biggest artists in the world” sell an overwhelming amount of vinyl variants, usually to secure their No. 1 entry on the publication’s albums chart. “I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is,” she said. Though she didn’t name anyone in particular, Eilish’s comments were nitpicked online, with many believing she was “snubbing” their favorite musicians.

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“It would be so awesome if people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I said in that Billboard article. I wasn’t singling anyone out, these are industry-wide systemic issues,” Eilish said in an Instagram story over the weekend. “When it comes to variants, so many artists release them — including ME! Which I clearly state in the article. The climate crisis is now and it’s about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better. Sheesh.”

Eilish’s mother, Maggie Baird, was also interviewed by Billboard. The pair were responding to a question about making vinyl more sustainable, with the writer pointing out that Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” LP was made of 100% recycled vinyl and other recyclable materials.

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging, which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money,” she said. “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 fucking 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more.”

Much of the criticism came from fanbases for some of the biggest stars in the game, including Taylor Swift, who has released complex vinyl packages for her recent string of albums. In reality, Eilish’s comments apply to numerous artists.

“But to be fair, the problem is systemic, right?” added Baird. “Because if Billboard, to be honest, is going to not have limits… I would love to see limits, like no more than four colors. Or some kind of rules, because you can’t fault an artist for playing the No. 1 game.”

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