Greenwashing in beauty

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of greenwashing is: “Behaviour or activities that make people believe that a company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is”.

We hate to say it, but greenwashing is rife in beauty. And we know it. The Soil Association’s Campaign for Clarity revealed that 76% of respondents felt misled by the labels on cosmetic products.

'Organic' and 'Natural' are pretty much meaningless, when it comes to beauty:

The most concerning aspect of beauty marketing is that there is no regulation when it comes to use of the words 'organic' or 'natural'.

This means brands can use the word organic, even if organic products make up just 1% of their product. They can also claim to be natural if one ingredient comes from a plant and the bulk of the product is made up of petrochemicals.⁠

So, lots of brands include one or two organic or natural ingredients alongside a whole bunch of harmful chemicals and still put ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on their packaging.

Essentially, unless certified, 'organic' and 'natural' are pretty much meaningless...

The importance of certifications:

Your best bet, when looking for a genuine sustainable beauty brand, is to start with looking for third-party certifications. But, take some time to look into the certification to ensure it truly aligns with your values.⁠

COSMOS (international) and Soil Association (British) are both robust stamps of approval. They require that every ingredient that can be found organically is and they ban harmful ingredients, too.⁠

PETA and Cruelty-Free logos guarantee that no animals have been harmed in the making of a product.⁠

Fair Wild and Fair For Life consider the human impact of ingredients and guarantee better prices for farmers across the world.⁠


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