In May 2021 Ethical Consumer searched Friendly Soap's website for information on its environmental reporting.

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 and detergents industries. It received a best rating under Ethical Consumer’s Environmental Reporting category.

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Website (26 May 2021)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Friendly Soap Ltd, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. As it was a small company under £10.2m turnover, Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:
1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.
It mentioned carbon on its Our Story page, stating: "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". It was also vegan and palm oil free, and supported Treesponsibility, a local treeplanting project, to offset its carbon footprint.
It did not explicitly discuss further reductions of climate impacts, for example in terms of energy efficiency. However, as a small company whose products were cutting climate impacts it received a middle rating, and lost half a mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

Website (26 May 2021)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Friendly Soap Ltd website, for information on toxic chemicals.

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. Some forms or uses of these chemicals are banned or restricted in the EU or the USA. A strong policy on toxics would be no use of these chemicals or clear, dated targets for ending their use.

A blog on The Friendly Soap website stated that its products were free from parabens, phthalates and triclosan..

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

Reference:

Website (26 May 2021)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Friendly Soap Ltd consumer website. The following statement was found: “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:

Website (26 May 2021)

On 26/05/2021 Ethical Consumer searched for information on Friendly Soap Ltd ’s use of palm ingredients. The mass production of palm oil has relied on the destruction of rainforests, which has wide ranging impacts including contributing to climate change, as well as loss of biodiversity and human rights.
To get a Best rating in this category, a small non-food company (turnover less than £10.2m) needs to be either palm oil free, or to have all palm oil and derivatives certified RSPO/Organic/Fairpalm,or to be making persistent efforts to avoid palm oil derived ingredients. It may have some present in very minimised amounts, eg in one product or one problematic ingredient.

The company stated "We also use plant-based oils like coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and cocoa butter" and stated on its packaging visible on its website: free from palm oil. It's ingredients lists were simple and did not appear to contain any palm derivatives.

Overall, Friendly Soap Ltd received a Best Ethical Consumer ranking for palm oil sourcing.

Reference:

Website (26 May 2021)