In March 2020 Ethical Consumer sent Honesty Cosmetics a request for information about its policies and practices. No response was received and so the company’s website, www.honestycosmetics.co.uk, was searched for publicly available information regarding environmental reporting. The company’s environmental policy was viewed.

The policy stated that Honesty Cosmetics manufactured its own range, ensuring its policies could be upheld. In regard to other brands sold through its website the company stated: “All products offered through the Honesty website are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. We also offer a wide range of complementary products from other companies. Although their individual policies vary, we will only stock vegan products, and only stock products from companies who operate a fixed cut off date policy (where relevant) with regard to animal testing. Items are always selected for their quality and animal/environmentally friendly features. We are increasingly adding items with organic ingredients. We do not however, make any claims that the products we offer are all organic, ‘natural’ or ‘chemical free’.”

“Products are made from quality raw materials. Plant oils and extracts are fully utilised and only natural plant colourings are included. We use no mineral oils or petrochemical based detergents...All products are biodegradable and contain nothing that is harmful to the environment...We try our best to ensure the source or raw materials does not exploit or adversely affect the environment or its people...All bottles are recyclable. Our 200ml bottles and 1000ml bottles are made from HDPE.”

However, as not all of its products were organic it would be expected to discuss the production methods used for its non-organic raw ingredients.

The company had a turnover of less than £10.2m and was striving to offer a number of environmental alternatives and therefore received an exemption in this category, thereby receiving Ethical Consumer's best rating for Environmental Reporting.

Reference:

www.honestycosmetics.co.uk (12 March 2020)

In April 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Honesty Cosmetics company website for information about the company's policy on microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. The following statement was found: “All products are biodegradable and contain nothing that is harmful to the environment”. This company was considered to be a positive policy on this issue. This story has been marked as information only.

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.

According to a recent report by Code Check, 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.

Reference:

www.honestycosmetics.co.uk (12 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Honesty Cosmetics corporate website for the company's policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates.

Some forms or uses of these chemicals were banned or restricted in the EU or the USA.

Triclosan is an antibacterial and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. They are used as preservatives. Phthalates, usually DEP or DBP, are used in fragrances and are endocrine disruptors.

The company's website stated that non of its products contained parabens, but no information was found in relation to triclosan and phthalates.

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer spoke over the phone with a representative from Honesty Cosmetics who confirmed that the company did not use parabens, triclosan or phthalates in any of its products. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for Pollution and Toxics.

Reference:

Phone call with Honesty (12 March 2020)

In April 2020 Ethical Consumer spoke on the phone with a representative from Honesty Cosmetics. They stated that Honesty did not use palm oil in any of its own-brand products and tried to avoid palm oil derivatives. However, they stated that some suppliers in the company's supply chain would not guarantee that certain ingredients were not palm oil derivatives. For this reason the company could not guarantee that all of its products were free of palm oil derivatives.

The company did not use palm oil, but could not guarantee that its products were free of palm oil derivatives. The company also did not disclose any volumes in relation to palm oil derivatives. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Palm Oil.

Reference:

Phone call with Honesty (12 March 2020)