Organic, cruelty free, Fair Trade… lots of these terms are thrown around when talking about our food and beauty products, and it can be hard to know if these things really are what they say, or if they have been subject to ‘Green Washing’ – a new term which sees big companies using environmentally friendly terminology to lull customers into thinking their products are greener than they actually are.
Lisa Bronner says “I count myself among the trusting, but there is one place that I need to be on my guard: the body care aisle of my local pharmacy. Trust and deception fight it out on many a body care product label. Where there’s a market trend, there is always to be found a manufacturer preying on the unsuspecting, uninformed, or distracted shopper. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in product labelling. There are many labelling traps that will ensnare an unwary shopper – and their money – without overtly defying any labelling laws.”
This Organic September, we want to help you demystify some of the overwhelming symbols you see on the back of labels, as well as simplify just what those terms mean, so you know that when you’re shopping, you can ensure you’re making those conscious decisions. We are proud to say Dr. Bronner’s products have all the following certifications, meaning you can shop worry free!
Starting with the obvious for Organic September, USDA Organic means that the item you’re purchasing comes from organic origin. Whilst USDA is a US stamp, it still applies to all Dr. Bronner’s products. This means that the product has been produced without synthetic substances such as fertilisers and pesticides, ensuring that the product you have has been produced with practices that supports ecological balance and conserves biodiversity. Lisa Bronner points out that “The personal care industry is not regulated as strictly as the food industry regarding making an organic claim on a product. This means that any product can say “organic” but without the USDA Organic Seal, there is no verification”
Natrue is an organisation whose mission is to protect and promote natural and organic cosmetics to the benefit of consumers worldwide, and this is the more recognised Organic Certification in the UK/EU and is the certification printed on the label of the products sold in the UK. NATRUE Certification Guarantees that the products are made with truly natural and organic ingredients, sustainable production processes, environmentally-friendly practices,no synthetic chemical fragrances, colours or preservatives, silicones or petrochemicals. It also certifies no irradiation of end products or herb ingredients and no GMOs.
Certified B Corp
B-Corp businesses are scored on the B Impact Assessment, meaning to qualify, corporations must meet certain requirements when it comes to workers, customers, community, and the environment. B Corp certified businesses must be making a positive impact in all these areas to qualify, and it focuses on the impact of the company, not just its products.
Fair For Life
FairTrade products promise to have sourced its ingredients from farmers and groups all over the world. This means fair wages and safe working conditions are guaranteed, and no child labour. It also means environmental standards are applied to these farmers, ensuring the livelihood of thousands of farmers and workers is provided, pushing social community projects and empowered people. Our main ingredients are certified fair trade by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) through their Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification Program. They verify that ethical working conditions and fair prices are provided along our entire supply chain. Dr. Bronner’s was the first company to establish certified fair trade supply chains for coconut oil and palm oil.
The Vegan Trademark helps shoppers identify that a product is free from animal ingredients. This includes actual meat but also bi-products of animals such as egg, bees wax and honey.
The leaping bunny is probably one of the most recognised symbols amongst shoppers, as this means that the products have not been tested on animals. Dr. Bronner’s products and ingredients are never tested on animals so qualify for the Leaping Bunny logo through the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program.
Non- GMO project
GMO or genetically modified means that some of the ingredients have been changed in order to create the product. Dr. Bronner’s products do not contain any genetically modified ingredients/organisms (GMOs). Non-GMO verification ensures that our products and ingredients are free from GMO engineering or contamination.
We hope you found this guide helpful and will be able to spot some of these labels now when shopping!
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business committed to honouring the vision of our founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to helping make a better world. “All-One!”