In February 2020, Ethical Consumer sent Faith in Nature a questionnaire requesting information about its environmental reporting policies and practices. The company did not respond. Therefore Ethical Consumer relied on publicly available information to make its assessment.

The company was a British company and stated that it prioritised local production in Britain. The ‘our story’ section of the website provided a list of what was not used in the company’s products. This list included the following:
No Genetically Modified ingredients.
No synthetic colouring or fragrances.
No SLES, SLS or Parabens.
No artificial preservatives.
No BPA plastic (and we use rPET bottles wherever possible).
No Methylisothiazolinone (MI)
It doesn’t use animal products in any of its products.

Apart from this page the company did not appear to have a publicly available environmental policy or report.

However, as the company was a small company (turnover of less than £10.2 million), it was assessed for an exemption if it was deemed to be providing consumers with an environmental alternative in the sectors it operated in. As the company produced 100% Vegan certified and Cruelty-free products that were made from naturally derived or Organically certified ingredients, it was granted this exception and the company received a best rating for its Environmental Reporting.

Reference: (26 February 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Faith in Nature’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. The following statement was identified: “We’ve never used micro-beads in our face washes or other products”. No information was found about other microplastics or non-biodegradable liquid polymers. The company did not respond to a company questionnaire that was sent to them.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 known 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 all microplastics in its products, nor did it address the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymers, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference: (26 February 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer sent Faith In Nature's an Ethical Consumer company questionnaire, the company did not respond. Ethical Consumer therefore searched the company's website for information about its policies regarding toxics.

The company stated that it did not use parabens, phthalates, surfactants, SLS, nor SLES in any of its products. Triclosan was not mentioned, however no evidence could be found that it was contained in the company’s products. Ethical Consumer considered this to be a positive toxics policy and the company received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for toxics.

Reference: (26 February 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer sent Faith In Nature a questionnaire requesting information about its palm oil sourcing. The company did not respond to this questionnaire. Therefore, Ethical Consumer reviewed publicly available information on the company’s website.

A search of the company’s products revealed that Faith in Nature used palm oil derivatives in some of its soap and laundry products. The company’s ‘Our Ingredients Policy’ page was viewed and it stated, “At Faith in Nature, we have always had a policy of not using petroleum or animal fat based ingredients and for the past 40 years have sourced our ingredients from vegetable base. For many years this was always from Coconut oil. Recently Palm oil has been the choice of growers as the yield is higher than Coconut.”

In terms of sourcing the company said, “all our soaps are manufactured with sustainable certified palm oil from properly managed and sustainable sources, which cause no concern to animal life.
Other ingredients we use which do contain a percentage of palm oil are all sourced from suppliers who are signed up to the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil, and are all actively looking to source from responsibly harvested palm oil.” The company did not specify whether the REPO-certified palm derivatives that sourced were from segregated sources.

Positively the company stated that it did not use palm oil in any of its products, only palm derivatives.

The company went on to say, “This is the aim of Faith in Nature, to either phase out palm based ingredients, or be able to buy such ingredients from fully sustainable sources. We have made significant progress in recent years and are now in an almost fully sustainable position.”

The company did not provide a break down by volume of the palm derivatives used in its products and whether these derivatives were sourced from segregated sources.

It was clear the company was making efforts to source sustainable palm derivatives and reduce its palm oil use on the whole. However, the company did not provide any information on where it sourced its palm derivatives from, nor did it disclosure the volumes of palm derivatives that it used, lastly it did not appear to be invovled in any positive iniatives such as sourcing organic palm oil. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating for its palm oil policy and practice.

Reference: (26 February 2020)