The word ‘sustainable’ is hot topic. We all want to do more to be it – so choosing the products we use can become tricky, especially when we get lost in the mystification of greenwashing and unclear claims.
Here are four key principles you can use to help you when deciding which brands you choose to buy from and the products you consume:
How does the brand source?
It may sound fantastic to buy products that have a focus on natural ingredients, but the way the ingredients in our products are grown can have a huge impact on if they are actually sustainable. If possible, try to find out how products are being sourced or the kind of ingredients that are within. Generally, local is better, but this isn’t always possible – especially if the company is at scale so it’s about finding a balance between what feels right and what makes you question it. It’s also important to remember that just because something is vegan, it doesn’t mean it is cruelty free. Look for clear certification to indicate both of these claims.
Check the packaging – does it have any certifications in terms of how it was sourced, and the materials used? Does the brand have a recycling scheme in place? Are all elements fully recyclable or compostable?
Not only do microplastics have the ability to be harmful to us, they are also harmful to the environment. Once broken and released from the original source, they can be released into water and ecosystems which are home to many species and you would be surprised to know the amount of products that still contain them – they are often used as emulsifying agents in products. Check for a ‘zero plastic inside’ certification on the packaging. If in doubt, check out the brands website or drop them an email to ask them directly.
Are they constantly shifting the dial?
Sustainability isn’t something that once you’ve done something, you’ve ticked the box and that’s it. It is constantly shifting and evolving. There could be a new material comes out the following day that changes everything. There could be shifts that need to be made based on reports. There could be a global pandemic that changes the way businesses handle things! There needs to be an understanding of betterment within the brand and their ethos.