August 20 2014

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The Battle Against “Green-Washing” Is On


Going green is hot, and everyone wants in on the action—from large corporations to smaller niche brands. But the rush to release soaps, shampoos, skincare, and makeup with “natural” or “organic” on their labels is causing a quality-control issue. Or so say certain pioneers of the green movement, who have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) against 13 personal care companies they allege have made false claims on their products. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Intelligent Nutrients, Organic Essence, and the Organic Consumers Association have called out Jason Pure Natural and Organic, Kiss My Face, Nature’s Gate Organics, and Stella McCartney’s Care line (which was discontinued in 2008), among others, for claiming that their products are organic without actually using any organic ingredients. What does this mean for you and me? Some argue that stricter regulations from the government would stifle innovation in the organic personal care category; others say that without them, it will become increasingly harder for consumers—and legitimate operations—to seek greener pastures. If anything, take this as a call to action to be more diligent about reading the labels on the back of your favorite products since, unfortunately, you can’t believe everything they say on the front. For more information on how to decode all the jargon, visit the Environmental Working Group and Labels for Life. [WWD]

Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Bronner’s



  1. seberenz says:

    However disheartening this article, for honest green eco-friendly companies and consumers alike, it is indeed a ‘call to action’. Not just in the beauty and health industries, but how important it is to read the labels in purchasing your favorite organic foods and clothing! A fantastic book to read for those interested in sustainable development of fashion and beauty is Future Fashion White Papers, published by Earth Pledge. The series of essays delves into the todays and tomorrows of sustainable fashion, and how, if it is to be more than a passing trend, those who hold sway with the patterns of consumers and have the means to inspire the masses (i.e. Industry leaders, advertisers, fashion editors, higher education institutions and their teachers) must cooperate and bring attention to the education of this revolution. If the consumer sees that the product they buy (and most likely pay a higher price for) is not even organic as labeled, you can forget their customer loyalty. What is more angering is that this does not just effect the particular cheating companies, but the organic revolution as a whole (giving skeptics have more ammunition=BAD). So, then: check your labels, stay informed, and educate others on organic products and their impact on every single living creature!

  2. seberenz says:

    How disheartening! If the Organic Revolution is to become more than a passing trend, we cannot afford to give skeptics ammunition! Not only are the specific names losing cred (shocking, about Stella McCartney!), but the natural and organic industry on a whole. A must-read: Future Fashion White Pages, a series of essays published by Earth Pledge, giving sturdy evidence for why it’s so important for articles like this to arise, no matter how angering their truth! So pleased to see Vogue taking initiative, staking it’s name and relationship with companies, to shed light on the education of our consumerism. It’s the responsibility of those with sway on the public to inform (i.e. industry leaders, editors, advertisers, teachers). So, stay informed and read your labels!!

  3. NotMod says:

    How many coats?

  4. crysalis says:

    this goes for food as well, this gum i found saying all natural sugar free had acesulfam K for sweetener, causes tumors.

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