Things we get asked a lot
Q. Is everything we sell Vegan and Cruelty Free?
Yes, is the short answer. I am a strict vegan and animal advocate, I have been a vegan for nearly 10 years! What level does that make me? ;-)
I check and double check everything to make sure that all the products I sell are 100% vegan and also cruelty free (not tested on animals). Some of our products have vegan / cruelty free certification's printed on their packaging but even if they do not, don't worry they are all vegan and cruelty free!
Q. Is everything that we sell Plastic Free?
The vast majority of our stock is 100% plastic free, however, there are a few (mostly our reusable) products that do contain some plastic which I will explain now:
The Bamboo Truthbrushes that I sell, as the bristles have some nylon in them. At the moment, the plant based toothbrush bristles, are made of 62% castor oil and 38% nylon, as the only other completely plastic free alternative is boar bristles (pig hair) which is obviously not vegan. However, Truthbrush are constantly searching for a 100% plastic free and vegan alternative. In my opinion, these are the best toothbrushes on the market. Most other bamboo toothbrushes actually have 100% nylon bristles, so until an alternative that is 100% plant based bristles is found, these are the best.
The Naked Necessities Shaving Brush that we sell has synthetic bristles, but the brush should last for years. Normally, a plastic free shaving brush would be made with animal hairs which would not be vegan, so we have decided to stock this shaving brush until plant based bristles are available.
The lid liners in the glass jars of the Georganics tooth products are EPE liners, so there is a tiny amount of plastic in that range. However, Georganics have recently changed their packaging to make the lid liners 100% plastic free and I will be looking to restock with the new packaging as soon as possible.
The outer of the reusable cloth nappies are made from 100% polyester with a polyurethane lining. Inner is made from very soft microfleece. Inserts are two layers bamboo and two layers microfibre.
The reusable sanitary pads are made with an absorbent layer of microfibre (inside the pad) and a layer of waterproof PUL.
The reusable nappy and sanitary bags are made from 100% polyester with a polyurethane lining to give the bags a waterproof lining. The reusable nappies, sanitary pads and bags also have plastic poppers, but none of this plastic is single use.
Q. What packaging do we use?
All our packaging is 100% biodegradable and plastic free. I re-use cardboard boxes from my suppliers. I also use cardboard boxes that are made with recycled cardboard and are fully compostable.
Your items are wrapped inside the box in recycled paper and tissue paper and the boxes are secured with plastic free paper tape. This tape is available to buy in my store!
Rest assured that all packaging is recyclable and compostable. We also make sure that your box is an appropriate size and not oversized for a small item.
All the suppliers that I work with also share similar values as The Earth Shop and therefore I am able to re-use their packaging.
Q. What is our stance on Palm Oil?
Palm Oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. The Vegan Society classifies palm oil as a vegetable product therefore it is suitable for vegans and at The Earth Shop, we go by their stance on this.
We understand fully the concerns that people have with palm oil at the moment regarding the deforestation of some of the worlds most biodiverse rainforests and the loss of habitat for Orangutans, Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhino and other wildlife (believe me we are just as equally concerned as you are!)
The WWF has stated that to solve this problem, it is not as simple as boycotting all palm oil products. Palm oil is a very efficient crop, it produces more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Palm oil supplies globally 35% of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just 10% of the land. If we were to try and get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean or coconut oil you would need anything between 4 and 10 times more land, which would just shift the deforestation problem to other parts of the world and threaten other habitats and species. Therefore, simply boycotting palm oil may not be the best answer.
At The Earth Shop we have chosen to sell some products that do contain palm oil that is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. The RSPO is the world's largest independent third party standard for the production of sustainable palm oil.
The RSPO have developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. One of the criteria is that no primary forests or areas which contain significant concentrations of biodiversity (e.g. endangered species) or fragile ecosystems, or areas which are fundamental to meeting basic or traditional cultural needs of local communities (high conservation value areas), can be cleared.
They also stipulate a significantly reduced use of pesticides and fires; fair treatment of workers according to local and international labour rights standards, and the need to inform and consult with local communities before the development of new plantations on their land. For more information on the RSPO please go to their website.