In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Essential Care Organics (Odylique) website for the company's environmental policy. No policy could be found. However, the company was considered to be providing environmental alternative products: it only sold products certified to Soil Association organic standards. The company website included the following statement regarding the certification: “The Soil Association's organic standards correspond to our philosophy that health and beauty products should be ethical, free from toxic ingredients and as organic as possible.”

Regarding packaging, the following statement was found: “Minimising our impact on the environment is an intrinsic part of our ethics and hugely important to us. It extends right through from our support of organic agriculture, recycling and energy saving policies to the packaging we use. We have always strived to use locally made, recyclable and non-toxic packaging and as a small company we are able to react quickly to the introduction of innovative ‘earth-friendly’ materials which also meet our ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ criteria and enable us to progress our goal quickly and effectively. To this end, we have now replaced all our 200ml bottles, 50g and 175g jars with those made from 100% recycled materials (old milk bottles in fact!). 98% of our packaging is made in Europe. Almost half of our bottles and jars and all of our product boxes are made in the UK.”

On the basis of the above statements, the company was considered to be committed to providing environmental alternative products.

Due to the fact the company had a turnover of less than £10.2 million, and was considered to be providing a social or an environmental alternative, it received an exemption from full reporting under Ethical Consumer's Environmental Reporting category and received a best rating in this category.

Reference:

www.odylique.co.uk/ (22 December 2016)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Odylique's website for details of its policy on toxic chemicals.

The company stated: “Odylique and Essential Care products are free from synthetic chemicals and are all certified to strict Soil Association organic standards. We were one of the first companies to create certified organic cosmetics and follow the precautionary principle to formulate the purest cosmetics possible. We avoid all synthetic chemical irritants and possible allergens like artificial fragrance. In addition, we exclude lanolin, wheat, dairy and soya derivatives, salicylic acid, peanut oil, common allergen tree nut oils, and more...”

In addition the company listed in detail some of the potentially hazardous chemicals it avoided using. These included parabens and phthalates; triclosan was absent from its ingredients lists and explicitly stated not to be in the company's deodorants.

The company was considered to have a positive toxics policy and received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for toxics.

Reference:

www.odylique.co.uk/ (22 December 2016)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Essential Care Organics’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. No information was found.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 know microplastics ingredients that can be found in our personal care products such as toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. They are tiny plastic particles that are added for their exfoliating properties, but sometimes purely for aesthetic purposes only.

A recent report by Code Check found that non-biodegradable liquid polymers were also prevalent across a wide range of cosmetic products. Like microplastics, these materials degrade with a similar difficulty in the environment and may cause similar harm.

In 2018, the UK government banned the use of microbeads in toothpastes, shower gels and facial scrubs. However, some products classified as “leave on” were not subject to the ban, this would include lotions, sun cream and makeup, as well as abrasive cleaning products. This ban did not extend to non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Given that the company’s did not have a clear policy on the use of microplastics, nor did it address the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymers, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

odylique.co.uk (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Odylique's website for details of its policy on palm oil. A page on the website was found, entitled "Why we don't use palm oil", which contained the following statement:

'We have never used palm oil as an ingredient in any Odylique products. We do use a couple of ingredients that may use palm oil as an input material, for example, the emulsifiers cetearyl glucoside or cetearyl alcohol, which are largely derived from corn sugar and or coconut. We have sought assurance from our suppliers that if they are at certain times obliged to use palm oil as a feeder material, it is from a certified sustainable (RSPO) source. This is also a requirement of our organic certification along with a guarantee of no genetically modified ingredients.'

The company also disclosed its supplier of palm ingredients, and the small volume that it used. As the company only used RSPO certified derivatives (which it sought to avoid), and disclosed volumes and supplier, it received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its palm oil sourcing policy and practice.

Reference:

odylique.co.uk (2020)