New research published in April to support the Soil Association’s Campaign for Clarity – which aims to clean up greenwashing in the beauty industry, found that many brands use the word ‘organic’ on labels when their products are not certified as such.
Unlike organic food, which must adhere to strict EU regulations, there are no legal standards for the use of the terms organic or natural on beauty products.
In practice, any brand or beauty product can be labelled as natural or organic even if it contains virtually no organic or natural ingredients. It may be labelled as ‘organic’ but include ingredients banned under organic standards.
Faced with this lack of legislation, expert organisations have created a series of robust, independent, voluntary standards to encourage responsible use of the term “organic”.
The Soil Association, Cosmos and NaTrue are well-known organic certification standards, with the NSF-ANSI and USDA standards from the US also appearing on some products on the UK high street. Plus there are the European certifications, Ecocert and BDIH.
In February, we published 9 guides to beauty products and listed the organic certified brands. We give certified organic products an extra plus point on our score tables.