Over the last few years the market for eco-friendly personal care products has grown rapidly. As there are many organizations that certify cosmetic products with eco-friendly branding and logos, I believe it’s important to be aware of a least a few of the ‘official’ certification agencies to assist you in making more informed purchase decisions. In this blog we’ll look at eco-friendly organizations that certify organic, cruelty-free and vegan.
While the term “natural” is not regulated the term “organic” is and can be used only if the product has been certified by an authorized certification program. Interestingly, both US and Canadian national organic certification agencies have very similar standards.
Organic ~ US Standards – “Organic is a labeling term” for products that have been produced where its entire supply chain, including the operations that produce organic ingredients, handlers, and manufacturer of the final product must all be certified under the National Organic Program regulations under the US Department of Agriculture.
Organic ~ Canadian Standards “Organic is labeling a term” that means a plant or other natural material is certified to be produced without pesticides and its production system including processing and handling meets the Canadian Organic Standards under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
USDA or Canada Organic Seal can be used on products containing 95-100% organically produced ingredients and can claim their product is organic.
USDA or Canada Organic Seal is not to be used on products containing 70%-94% of ingredients that are organic, however the label may display or claim (US standard states up to 3 organic ingredients) organic ingredients and can claim their product is organic.
USDA or Canada Organic Seal is not to be used on products containing 69% or less organic ingredients and products may not utilize the term organic anywhere on the label, but may identify specific ingredients as organic.
PETA Beauty Without Bunnies Program (US based) – requires companies to complete a short questionnaire and sign a statement of assurance verifying they do not conduct, commission, or pay for any test on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products and they pledge not to do so in the future.
Leaping Bunny (US & International) – requires that the company makes a voluntary pledge not to test on animals during any stage of product development AND that the companies suppliers make the same pledge. As well, the company agrees to independent on-site audits to verify their claims are true. Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free brands.
Vegan – cosmetics that do not use ingredients derived from, by-products of or tested on, animals. And, provide supplier verification that animal products were not used in the manufacturing of ingredients.
If you’re searching for eco-friendly cosmetic products, consider looking for some of these official logos on the packaging.