Classic Going Green Mistakes #1

24 February 2014

When I blog I aim for total honesty and honesty is something that is high on my list for using brands and companies, and certainly so for using products. That means if i think something isn't so good, i'm going to say it. Obviously i'm not going to be trashing a product or brand but i'll give my honest opinion.
And when I talk about my green journey I also feel it is best to be 100% honest, which is why in my last Youtube video, the Going Green Tag I was open about using a completely non natural/organic liquid eyeliner. And I feel that it is only right to be completely honest when I make mistakes in my natural green journey or nearly make a mistake that i shouldn't have after learning everything i have. No one is perfect, and this is a tricky road to traverse!

So this little series (and hopefully it will be little) will document when I've made a total booboo or nearly fallen 'victim' to greenwashing, branding, marketing, pure laziness (on my behalf) and many other reasons. Because despite doing this for a few years now, I do make mistakes and still will continue to, i'm sure of it.

Today my mistake was almost falling for the Recognisable Big Name Brand. This means that there's a big name brand that is touted as natural and organic, green, clean and eco and you just trust it because you know the name, you know the design and packaging and you think you know their standards and quality.

In this case it was Ecover. Now I like Ecover, I have been recently transitioning my laundry washing products for this brand in an attempt to be better both to the environment and my body care. I like that their bottles are made from recyclable sugarcane  'plant-astic plastic' and in general while not being totally green and clean i think they give a good go at it. However, today I was trundling around my local supermarket and came across Ecover hand wash, I was pretty excited to find it amongst all the other hand washes and eagerly scooped it up. In my head all I thought was 'OOh Ecover, that must be good hand wash, nice and green and natural and safe for me and the environment' and away I ponced to another aisle, the hand wash proudly in my basket, feeling smug and oh so greeeeeen.

Hmm well creature of habit I am, and having learnt the hard way before I decided to just browse the ingredients list before i paid. Not because i suspected anything nasty to be in it (because this is Ecover, i was so sure they were so so clean) but just because i was curious. Imagine how my eyes popped when I saw SLS large bold and bright as the second ingredient! The Ecover hand wash was returned to the shelf faster than i took it off!
When I got home I hit up their website and found the FAQ section and their comments on SLS/SLES (under Ingredients) and my mind was blown! Not at all fitting with my views and to be honest i was shocked at how cavalier (and honestly quite uninformed and misguided) they seemed about it!

This lead me to start reading their site word by every little word, and while I still think they are a good brand I am now much more aware and informed about somethings that aren't sitting too well with me. While I'm not going to stop using the brand I now know which products I personally will avoid from their ranges.

So luckily this mistake didn't end with a product that won't be used or wasted money, instead I am much better educated on the brand. BUT I still made the mistake of assuming a product was suitable purely based on the brand name and the company it was from!

Have you ever done this before, what has it taught you?


  1. Great post! This is something that happens quite often. There are very few brands that I would use absolutely anything from (I have to mention Badger -- their standards are absolutely amazing). But it's so weird how things pop up in an otherwise clean line. There is one makeup brand that has amazing, pure ingredients, but for a long time their eyeliner had phenoxyethanol, which is odd because that's not even a product that normally needs to be preserved. Another of my favorite skincare brands makes a sunscreen that also has phenoxyethanol in their sunscreen, while the rest of their line is totally free from it. Just goes to show, you can never skip out on reading the ingredients!

  2. Great post! I've learned this the hard way as well. I do find, also, that companies making cleaning products will hide SLS a lot (eg. by calling it a coconut surfactant or something similar.) Here, at least, laws on ingredient disclosure are quite different for cleaning products vs. personal care, so a lot of times the ingredients on cleaning products are ridiculously vague.


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