In February 2020 Ethical Consumer sent Friendly Soap Ltd a questionnaire, requesting information about its environmental policies and practices. No response was received. Ethical Consumer therefore searched the company’s website,www.friendlysoap.co.uk, in March 2020 for publicly available information.

The website stated ‘“Our ranges contain no animal products or by-products and have never been tested on animals, which means we’ve really earned our registration with Cruelty free International and The Vegan Society. Our ancient cold-process method means our soap is totally biodegradable and free from by-products too, so there’s literally no waste. In terms of energy use, we pour, cut, stamp and pack our soaps by hand in the UK, so we’re talking lots of calories but a small carbon footprint. Our packaging is pretty special too, because it’s made from materials that are 100% recycled as well as recyclable. Plastic doesn’t get a look in, and our parcels for delivery use brown paper tape. Heck, we even use poppy seeds and hemp bran instead of microbeads. A million miles from conventional detergents, we don’t use harmful preservatives or foaming agents because there’s no real need for SLS or Parabens’.

Friendly Soap was a small company (turnover of less than £10.2million) that was considered to be offering an environmental alternative to the mainstream cosmetics industry. It received a best rating under Ethical Consumer’s Environmental Reporting category.

Reference:

https://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/ (16 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Friendly Soap Ltd consumer website. The following statement was identified: “Friendly Soap will never use a plastic, which is derived from petrol, to bulk out a product and claim it as a ‘benefit’.” The company did not mention the use of non-biodegradable liquid polymers. Ethical Consumer also conducted a search of ingredients on the company’s website and found no evidence of the use of poorly biodegradable liquid polymers. As such the company was deemed to have a positive policy and this story was 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:

https://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/ (16 March 2020)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer sent Friendly Soap Ltd a questionnaire, requesting information about its approach to toxic chemicals. No response was received. Ethical Consumer therefore searched the company’s website,www.friendlysoap.co.uk, in March 2020 for publicly available information.

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

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

A strong policy on toxics would be no use of these chemicals or clear, dated targets for ending their use.

The Friendly Soap website stated that its products were free from parabens, phthalates triclosan, SLS and plastic.

The company received Ethical Consumer's best rating for toxics.

Reference:

http://www.friendlysoap.co.uk (7 August 2016)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer sent Friendly Soap Ltd a questionnaire, requesting information about its approach to palm oil sourcing. No response was received. Ethical Consumer therefore searched the company’s website,www.friendlysoap.co.uk, in March 2020 for publicly available information.

The website stated that its products were free from palm oil. Its ingredients lists were simple and clearly did not include any palm oil derivatives, instead using olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. Its policy was group-wide as it was an independent company. It received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its palm oil policy.

Reference:

https://www.friendlysoap.co.uk/ (16 March 2020)