What makes a product eco-friendly?

What makes a product eco-friendly?

Nowdays all companies try to convince you that what they sell is eco-friendly, organic, and "green". Many times they use greenwashing, and powerful marketing tools to persuade you. But despite all these attempts, there still are truly eco-friendly products.

At Ecoizm we have stict criteria about what we belive is eco-friendly and worth showcasing in our store. You can read these criteria here.  While sorting through the products we encounter, we watch out for their origin, manufacturing, packaging, the environmental impact of using them, and their place in the ecosystem at the end of their lifecycle. But we also think this is not enough. Our mission at Ecoizm is to share as much information as possible about the products we offer, so you can make truly informed, green decisions.

We have two features aimed at sharing information about the green qualities of our products:

1, Environmental information: Each product description includes an explanation of why the given product performs better from an ecological point of view.  Also we tell you exactly what it is packaged in, and if it can be reused, recycled or composted.

2, Ecolabels: We created an ecolabel system in which each quality is represented by symbols. Some of these symbols are added if the product has some sort of well-established third-party certification, others we created ourselves, when there were no certification agencies for the particular green issue the product tackles. You can sort the products by the ecolabels, if you are interested in let's say BDIH certified, or zero waste solutions.

The ecolabels we use in our store are the following:

 

100% biodegradable:

These products are made of natural materials, that are readily biodegradable. At the end of its lifecycle, you can easily compost them, so they won't pollute the environment or sit on landfills for ages, as many plastic ones do.

You can find our 100% biodegradable products here.

 

BDIH:

The German BDIH (Bundesverband deutscher Industrie- und Handelsunternehmen) certification means that most of the plant ingredients are from certified organic farming, or they were foraged. They don't contain synthetic fragrances, colorings, mineral oil, and they are preserved by natural or nature identical preservatives. The use of animal testing, GMOs or radioactive radiation as preserving is banned entirely.

You can find our BDIH certified products here.

 

Cosmebio:

Cosmebio, the French Professional Association for Natural, Ecological and Organic Cosmetics, federates suppliers of ingredients, cosmetic laboratories, contract manufacturers and retailers with own brands. Cosmebio developed a Charter in 2002 defining the principles for production of ecological and organic cosmetics in respect of human health and environment. It is the owner of the corresponding label which gives guarantees to consumers.

Cosmebio has has two different labels:

Organic cosmetics: Adheres to the criteria of Ecocert Organic Cosmetic. It contains at least 95% natural ingredients, or ingredients from natural sources. At least 95% of plant ingredients comes from certified organic farming.  At least 10% of the product is from organic farming.

Natural cosmetics: Adheres to the criteria of Ecocert Natural Cosmetic. It contains at least 95% natural ingredients, or ingredients from natural sources. At least 50% of the plant ingredients come from organic farming. At least 5% of the product is from organic farming.

You can find our Cosmebio certified products here.

 

Der Blaue Engel:

Products and services that have been awarded the Blue Angel ecolabel are more environmentally-friendly than other comparable products and services. If you use products or services holding the Blue Angel ecolabel, you can be sure that you are doing something good for yourself, the environment and the future. This is because the Blue Angel is an environmental label organised by the federal government of Germany for the protection of people and the environment. It sets very strict standards, is independent and has proven itself over more than 35 years as a guide for selecting environmentally-friendly products. The Blue Angel logo consists of the following three elements:

  1. The label: The fundamental element of the Blue Angel is the trusted blue emblem of the United Nations Environment Programme in the form of a ring with a laurel wreath and a person with outstretched arms in the centre.

  2. The circumscription: This indicates the significant environmental benefits offered by the labelled products e.g. "because made of 100% recycled paper" ("weil aus 100 % Altpapier"). These main benefits are derived from the comprehensive and product-specific set of award criteria. The criteria for each product group take into account all relevant environmental aspects.

  3. The protection goal: It specifies the relevant environmental medium that is protected to the greatest extent by the labelled product e.g. "Protects resources".

You can find our Der Blaue Engel certified products here.

 

Ecocert:

ECOCERT was the very first certification body to develop standards for "natural and organic cosmetics" Introduced in 2003, the specification was drawn up in conjunction with all stakeholders in the value chain, i.e. experts, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers and development organisations. 

To ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product, the ECOCERT standard regulates the following:

1. The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. ECOCERT therefore checks:

  • The absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.).
  • The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.

2. A minimum threshold of natural ingredients from organic farming to be reached to obtain certification:

  • For both labels, ECOCERT Standard imposes that a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients come from natural origin.

For the natural and organic cosmetic label:

  • A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

For the natural cosmetic label:

  • A minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. 

3. On site audit is performed by an ECOCERT auditor

You can find our Ecocert certified products here.

 

Eco & frugal:

These products help cutting your carbon footprint and your budget at the same time! There are several ways how this is possible: save on energy bills with more efficient appliances, stop using disposables, or use simple, cheap natural agents for cleaning instead of the piles of bottled chemicals.

You can find our Eco & frugal products here.

 

Ecogarantie:

Ecogarantie is a Belgian organic certification. Since 2005, they developed a unique set of specifications, which are reviewed each year, for ecological products from personal care to washing products. Products – and only those products – which meet the Ecogarantie standards can bear the label. The presence of the label on the packaging confirms the independent control of the ecological character of the goods. The specifications developed by Ecogarantie are based on the principles of social, economical, and ecological sustainability, the respect for the delicate balance between plants, animals and humans, consumers’ expectations. Ingredients and manufacturing methods of Ecogarantie products have to meet a number of criteria on these fields.

You can find our Ecogarantie certified products here.

 

EU Ecolabel:

The EU Ecolabel logo makes it simple to know that a product or a service is both environmentally friendly and good quality. It’s easy to recognise and reliable. To qualify for the EU Ecolabel, products have to comply with a tough set of criteria. These environmental criteria, set by a panel of experts from a number of stakeholders, including consumer organisations and industry, take the whole product life cycle into account - from the extraction of the raw materials, to production, packaging and transport, right through to your use and then your recycling bin. This life cycle approach guarantees that the products’ main environmental impacts are reduced in comparison to similar products on the market. Fitness-for-use criteria also guarantee good product performance.

You can find our products with EU Ecolabel here.

 

Fairtrade:

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. When farmers can sell on Fairtrade terms, it provides them with a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their every day shopping. Fairtrade rewards and encourages farming and production practices that are environmentally sustainable. Producers are also encouraged to strive toward organic certification. 

You can find our Fairtrade products here.

 

From the producer:

It comes straight from the farmer, mostly from small scale family farms.

You can find the products coming straight from the producer here.

 

FSC:

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) runs a global forest certification system with two key components: Forest Management, Chain of Custody. This system allows consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products produced from well-managed forests and/or recycled materials. It ha 3 different labeling on products:

FSC 100%: The FSC 100% label means that the wood within the product comes completely from FSC-certified forests.

FSC RECYCLED: The FSC Recycled label means all the wood or paper in the product comes from reclaimed (re-used) material.

FSC MIX: The FSC Mix label means the wood within the product is from FSC-certified material, recycled material, or controlled wood. While not fully FSC-certified, controlled wood cannot be: illegally harvested; harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights; harvested in forests where high conservation values (HCVs) are threatened; harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; harvested in forests where genetically modified trees are planted.

You can find our FSC certified products here.

 

GOTS:

The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) label is the leading organic textile label of the world. It contains ecological and social criteria, and provides third-party certification to the whole supply-chain. It has two levels:

  • Label-grade 1: ‚organic‘: ≥ 95% certified organic fibres, ≤ 5 % non-organic natural or synthetic fibres
  • Label-grade 2: ‚made with X% organic‘: ≥ 70% certified organic fibres, ≤ 30 % non organic fibres, but a maximum of 10% synthetic fibres (respective 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear), as long as the raw materials used are not from certified organic origin, a sustainable forestry management program or recycled

You can find our GOTS certified products here.

 

Low waste:

Low waste products are either zero waste solutions, or they create significantly less waste then their usual alternatives. Most of the time even the small waste that is created can be composted or recycled. They are an excellent choice if you are looking for ways to cut waste, or implement a zero waste lifestyle.

You can find our low and zero waste products here.

 

Made in Hungary:

Local products produced and processed in Hungary.

You can find our Hungarian products here.

 

NaTrue:

Founder Members of NATRUE were originally members of the German Natural Cosmetics Association to which their products were certified. However, they realised that representation at an international level was missing. The presence of many different natural and organic national labels was a real problem which was not only confusing for consumers but also challenging for producers to formulate products with different requirements to comply to all these standards. It became urgent to address the lack of regulation within the sector, as well as the short comings of the existing national standards which were not in line with consumers’ and producers’ expectations and needs. Consequently, NATRUE Founder Members ultimately decided to launch their own international initiative taking account of consumers’ and manufacturers’ expectations and needs. This resulted in the creation of the NATRUE Label in 2008.

When the NATRUE Label appears on a package, you can be sure that the product it contains is not only compliant with a strict standard but also that a reliable certification process has been carried out by independent certification bodies which are themselves subjected to a rigorous accreditation process. This ensures that each and every NATRUE certified product provides consumers with several guarantees:

NATRUE defines its Label Criteria through an independent Scientific Committee – which ingredients are or are not accepted, minimum and maximum thresholds guaranteeing maximum naturalness and minimum derived natural ingredients are set

The verification of whether the products comply with the NATRUE Criteria or not by the NATRUE Approved Certifiers – a two-phase process – a formulation and ingredients audit followed by an on-site production inspection. Re-certification takes place every two years.

You can find our NaTrue certified products here.

 

Nordic Ecolabel:

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is a voluntary ecolabelling scheme that evaluates a product's impact on the environment throughout the whole life cycle. The label guarantees among other things that climate requirements are taken into account, and that CO2 emissions (and other harmful gasses) are limited - where it is most relevant.

By buying Nordic Swan Ecolabelled products and services, you as a consumer can contribute to a more sustainable environment, and be among the millions of people in the Nordic market who daily make more climate-friendly choices.

You can find our Nordic Ecolabel certified products here.

 

Not tested on animals:

The manufacturer of these brands don't test their products on animals.

You can find our products that aren't tested on animals here.

 

Organic:

The organic label can be found on food and cosmetic products with ingredients from certified organic farming, which is better for the environment. They are produced according to the strict regulations of organic farming, and are frequently checked. There are certification agencies which make sure that all rules are met. The organic certification is regulated by EU law.

You can find our certified organic products here.

 

Palm oil free:

Many rainforests are destroyed and burnt down to get more land for oil palm plantations. The enormous fires put millions of lives in danger, push species towards extinction, and put huge pressure on the global climate too, as they have carbon emissions similar to big industrial countries. Say no to deforestration by choosing palm oil free products!

We add this label to those palm oil free alternatives, in which many other manufacterers use palm oil.

You can find our palm oil free products here.

 

PEFC:

The PEFC logo and labels are globally trusted registered trademarks which assist businesses, consumers, forest owners and managers, and other stakeholders to identify and promote merchandise and goods from sustainably-managed forests.

- PEFC Certified

  • at least 70% of wood from PEFC-certified forests that meets or exceeds PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmark requirements and recycled material; and
  • wood from controlled sources

- PEFC recycled label

  • at least 70% PEFC certified material from recycled sources; and
  • wood from controlled sources.

- Promoting Sustainable Forest Management

  • Designed for educational or promotional purposes, this label indicates support for sustainable forest management and PEFC certification.               

You can find our PEFC certified products here.

 

Recycled:

Product made of recycled materials. Recycling helps saving energy, water and other valuable resources.

You can find our recycled products here.

 

Soil Association:

The Soil Association standards are the most widely used, recognised and trusted organic standards in the UK and they have a strong international reputation. EU law ensures that all organic food and drink sold in shops meets strict standards – shown by the green leaf logo on pack. The Soil Association wants to ensure the highest possible standards of animal welfare, environmental and wildlife protection, so they have their own higher – or stricter – standards in key areas. The Soil Association Certification is an independent certification body. It carries out inspections and awards organic certification to farms and businesses that meet our standards.

You can find our Soil Association certified products here.

 

Vegan:

It doesn't contain any animal ingredients.

You can find our vegan products here.

 

Zero packaging:

The product is unpackaged, altough sometimes there's a small label on it. If you are striving for a zero waste lifestlye, choose these products.

You can find our package-free products here.