Effect on the Environment
How does this product affect the environment in production and after its used?
Where, how, and by whom was this product created?
What does this product contain? What benefits do some ingredients have?
What do Product Labels Mean?
As product labels can be complex and mysterious, we aim to educate students about the meanings behind product labels. These labels teach us how ethical products can be, where they come from, and how the ingredients in certain products may affect specific skin types.
The Three Pillars.
When shopping, consider the three pillars contributing to sustainable products. The effect on the environment, source, and ingredients are critical variables in determining the sustainability of a product.
Common Labels .
FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED
Sustainable and fair trade, empowers farmers and workers in production
FOOD ALLIANCE CERTIFIED
Ethical animal practices, safe working environments, and protection of natural environments
USDA ORGANIC CERTIFIED
The products this label is found on reduce pesticide levels and limits synthetics
Understanding Chemicals .
Parabens are preservatives commonly found in skincare. Studies have linked them to cancer and behavioral changes, and they have also been discovered in marine life due to pollution.
Sulfate is a chemical originally created to be used in detergent, but can now be found in many hair care products. Sulfate links to hair damage and a loss of color.
Vegan products are created without any animal products or byproducts of animal production development. Vegan products will not include honey, collagen, gelatin, and other substances such as keratin.
Vegetarian products are products without any animal meat used in creation and development. However, these products typically still contain dairy, collagen, gelatin, and other products made by animals.
Look at the ingredients list and labels on the product to see if it meets vegan and vegetarian standards.
Verified by Vegan Action, however has not been checked for legitimacy.
CERTIFIED VEGAN AND CRUELTY FREE
Verified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK
Avoids chemicals and animal remains from slaughterhouses.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Marine wildlife and habitat conservation movement.
A deeper look at ingredients.
Mica, also referred to as mika, is a material that is commonly used in cosmetic materials, car paint, and personal care. Used to make “shimmers” or “sparkles” in products, it is highly sought after, but holds an ethical lowpoint.
Mica has a deep history of being mined through child labor. According to ethicalconsumer.org, “In 2016, Dutch NGO SOMO and Terre des Hommes Netherlands released a new report which confirmed findings of up to 20,000 child labourers being involved in the mining of the mineral along the border between Jharkhand and Bihar in North East India. It is estimated that 25% of the world production of mica is sourced from these illegal mines.”