Sustainability Evaluation of eco-friendly brands of soap, shampoo, cosmetics, and home care products

Maciamo

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Cleaning products, detergents, liquid soaps, shampoos, sunscreens and cosmetics can all potentially contain chemicals harmful to health or for the environment (especially to aquatic life, where these products usually end up). But their ecological impact can be even greater at the source, in the way ingredients are grown or extracted.

Palm oil is a major component of most cleaning products, detergents, body soaps, shampoos and toothpastes. You will find it in the ingredients under the names sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearic acid, glyceryl or octyl palmitate, just to name a few (there are over 100 chemicals derived from palm trees). Most often even these names are hidden behind the more generic 'anionic surfactants' (see below). Palm plantations are one of the biggest drivers of tropical rainforest deforestation, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce over 80% of the world's palm oil. If you don't want to sponsor deforestation and the loss of biodiversity and extinction of species linked to it, it is essential to choose either products that do not contain palm oil or companies that source their palm oil responsibly in sustainable plantations.

Plastic pollution is another global concern. It is our responsibility as consumers to recycle plastic containers. But manufacturers can also do their part by using recycled plastic for their bottles in the first place, which limit even more plastic consumption.

Finally, all manufacturing has a carbon footprint. Some companies are doing more than others to limit their impact, be it by using 100% renewable energy or planting trees to offset their emissions. A few have even managed to become carbon neutral.

Read the article is here: Choosing healthy and eco-friendly personal care and home care products

 
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I have expanded the article and added a comparison table of the main ecological brands. It turns out that Attitude does not use sustainable palm oil (at least nothing is mentioned on the website) and Seventh Generation has a lot of products containing chemicals that are toxic to aquatic life.

BrandOrganicRecycled
bottles
Palm oil-freeNo toxic chemicals100% Renewable EnergyOthersSCORE
Attitudenono, but carbon neutralnoyesnoReforestation programmeB
Avrilyes, 10%+someno, but RSPO1 caseyesWaste reduction, EcocertA
Bentley Organicyesnono, but sustainableyesnoA-
Bio-Dsomeyesno, but RSPO1 casenoA
Cattieryes, 10%+nono, but organicsomepartlyWaste reduction, EcocertB+
Caudaliesomeyesno, but RSPOyesnoReforestation programme, 1% for the PlanetA+
Conscious SkincareyesyesyesyesnoA
CoslysyesyesyesyespartlyWaste reduction, EcocertA+
Dr Bronneryes, 90%+mostlyno, but organicyesyesZero Waste, USDA Organic, B CorpA+
Dr Organicyes, 70%+noyesyesnoA
ECOSsomenono5 casesyesCarbon & water neutralB
Ecovernoyesno, but RSPOyesyesZero Waste factory, B CorpA
Ecozone/Yondersomeyessome6 casesnoB
Etamine du Lysminorpartlyno, but RSPOyespartlyEcocertA+
Faith In NaturesomeyesnoyesnoB
Froschsomeyesyes4 cases?Active climate protection, EU Ecolabel, EMAS certifiedA-
Green Peopleyes, 90%+no, but carbon neutralno, but organicyesyesClimate positive & waste reductionA+
Greenscentyes, 70%+refillyesyesnoSoil AssociationA
Kneippsomemostly glassno, but sustainable3 casespartlyReforestation programme, waste reductionB+
L'Arbre Vertnonono, but RSPO1 casenoReforestation programme, EU EcolabelA-
Love Beauty and Planetminoryesno, but sustainable3 casesyesCarbon Tax FundA-
Neal's Yardyes, 90%+mostlyyesyesyesCarbon Neutral, Net Positive, Charitable DonationsA+
Odyliqueyes, 95%+yesyesyesnoCharitable DonationsA+
ProvilannoyesnoyesnoBlue AngelB
SANTE Naturkosmetikyesyesminimal and RSPOyesyescharitable donationsA+
Seventh Generationsomeyesno, but RSPO7 casesyesClimate Activism, EU Ecolabel, B CorpB+
Sodasansomesomeno, but RSPOyesyesCarbon neutral (reforestation), FairtradeA+
Sonettyespartlyno, but organicyesyesA+
Suma (Alter/native & Ecoleaf)someyesno, but RSPO3 casesnoA-
UrtekramyesnonoyesnoB
Weledayes, 78%someno, but RSPOyes50%Ethical BioTradeA+
 
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Best value products of A-rated brands by category (top 3)

Here are best prices available in Western Europe. Products with toxic ingredients were excluded.
Cheapest hand soapPriceRating
Frosch 500ml refill bag3.6€/l on Amazon.deA-
Bio-D 5L recharge3.96£ (4.3€)/l on BigGreenSmile A
Coslys 5L recharge6.26€/l on their websiteA+


Cheapest body soapPriceRating
L'Arbre Vert 6x 250ml7.8€/l on Amazon.frA-
SANTE 950ml pump8.28€/l with Subscribe & Save on Amazon.deA+
Coslys 5L recharge9.92€/l on their websiteA+


Cheapest shampooPriceRating
Coslys 5L recharge8.82€/l on their websiteA+
L'Arbre Vert 250ml9.2€/l on Amazon.frA-
SANTE 950ml pump10.3€/l with Subscribe & Save on Amazon.deA+


Cheapest washing-up liquidPriceRating
Bio-D 5L recharge2.09£/l (2.29€) on BigGreenSmileA
L'Arbre Vert 750ml2.4€/l on Amazon.frA-
Ecover 950ml2.58€/l on Amazon.deA

Cheapest dishwasher tabs: 0.17€/piece for Ecover, Frosch and L'Arbre Vert.


Cheapest laundry detergentPriceRating
Sonett 20L recharge2.98€/l on Amazon.deA+
L'Arbre Vert 1.5l refill bag3.59€/l on Amazon.frA-
Etamine du Lys 5L recharge5.4€/l on their websiteA+


Cheapest kitchen/grease cleanerPriceRating
L'Arbre Vert 740ml3.04€/l on Amazon.frA-
Frosch 750ml4.73€/l on Naturitas.beA-
Sonett 1l7.2£/l (7.9€) on BigGreenSmileA+


Cheapest glass & windows cleanerPriceRating
Bio-D 5L3.2£/l (3.5€) on BigGreenSmileA
Sonett 1l6.1€ on Amazon.deA+
Ecover 500ml5.7£/l (6.2€) on BigGreenSmileA


Cheapest toilet cleanerPriceRating
Frosch 750ml2.44€ on Kazidomi (member price)A-
Bio-D 5L2.32£/l (2.54€) on BigGreenSmileA
Ecover 750ml2.83€/l on Amazon.deA
 
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I have spent several days looking up every ingredient of almost every product from the ecological brands above to verify whether they really did not use any toxic chemicals. You can see the results here.
 

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