Consumer goods giant SC Johnson took over ethical brands Ecover and Method in December 2017.
Both brands have been under a boycott call from campaign group Naturewatch Foundation, over SC Johnson's links to animal testing.
In April 2018 Naturewatch launched a campaign asking supporters and the general public to contact Ecover and Method, expressing their disappointment at the takeover and pledging to no longer buy their products until SC Johnson is cruelty-free.
At the time of the take over Caroline Ruane, Naturewatch Foundation CEO, said:
It's hugely disappointing to compassionate shoppers when favourite brands compromise their cruelty free credentials by selling out to multinationals that continue to benefit from animal testing. We sincerely hope that Ecover and Method will stand up for animals by using their new position of influence to convince SC Johnson that the way ahead is cruelty free.
Naturewatch continues to ask compassionate consumers to boycott all SC Johnson brands, including Ecover and Method, until the entire company is cruelty-free.
Three years after the takeover SC Johnson has made some progress. The Naturewatch Foundation said:
We wrote to SC Johnson and the company has since made significant changes to its website, including being transparent about whether animal testing takes place in a product’s development. They state that they won’t claim a product is cruelty-free if testing has happened further down the supply chain. Unless SC Johnson stops testing on animals completely, and deal with the issue of selling in countries where animal testing is mandatory, the Naturewatch Foundation boycott of Ecover and Method will continue.
SC Johnson owns other non Naturewatch-endorsed household cleaning brands such as Duck, Shout, Glade, Pledge and Windex.
Ecover and Method are themselves cruelty-free and remain Leaping Bunny certified but are no longer endorsed by Naturewatch because of the parent company.
The takeover also led to Ecover and Method both losing marks in our ethical rankings
- Ecover dropped from an Ethiscore of 11.5 points to current 3.5.
- Method dropped from an Ethiscore of 12 points to current 3.5.
SC Johnson (and therefore Method and Ecover) lose marks for scoring a worst rating in many of the Ethical Consumer categories. This includes:
- Worst rating for animal testing
- Worst rating for environmental reporting
- Worst Ethical Consumer rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies
- Worst Ethical Consumer rating for pollution and toxics
- Worst rating for palm oil sourcing
It also has operations in five oppressive regimes, didn’t disclose director pay, and was involved in lobbying.