The explosion of online marketing gives us so much information and choice, that it’s hard to know which way to go. We are in danger of becoming paralysed by too much choice! We can spend hours entranced by social media campaigns, lost in fantasy, not really knowing how true the claims are.
So how do we ensure that we are making safe and ethical skincare choices? One way is to spend a little time looking ‘behind the scenes’ of a company. We try to help you make informed purchasing decisions, by providing transparent and honest information about who we are. We truly believe in the importance of ethical practice, both in business, and in our private lives. Our goal is to provide enough, clear information, to enable you to make up your own mind about us.
How do we protect you?
When you buy one of our products, you want to know that we have done our utmost to keep you and your family safe when using it.
To ensure we are making safe and ethical skincare, all our products have been scrutinised by a Chartered Chemist. They are checked to ensure that the ingredients we use are safe and appropriate for the products we produce. This includes checking how the essential oils are obtained from the plant, for example. This is important, because how the essential oil is extracted from the plant material affects the resulting oil. Extraction methods, such as cold-pressing and distillation, have a significant impact on the chemical composition of the oil.
We identify any cautions or contraindications as part of this process, and pass all this information on to you. Clear and comprehensive information is provided on our website, as well as on our product labels. We also use any up-to-date research findings to alert you to potential issues to using a specific product. For example, avoiding products in our Life range during pregnancy.
We provide you with all relevant information about our products, to enable you to make an informed choice.
We follow all the legal requirements for the UK and EU, for making and selling safe and ethical skincare products. This means that you have all the information you need to decide if you want to buy our products.
It is very important to us that we do not mislead you by making claims that are not supported by evidence. We try to cut through myths and misinformation, to provide products that are underpinned by scientific findings. Unfortunately, research evidence to back up the claims made for traditional ingredients and remedies is often lacking. This is because research studies are very expensive to carry out, so it often isn’t financially viable to do them. However, as the organic and natural health movement gathers pace, more good research studies are being published. This enables us to find evidence for (or against) using a particular ingredient in our products.
We take protection of your data very seriously.
You may have heard that there is a sea of change occurring in how our personal data is managed and used in the UK. As of 26th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) revised the way organisations collect and process personal data. It provides a greater transparency in how businesses collect, and use our data. We now have more control over who has access to our personal data, and what they can do with it. It also allows us to restrict or remove any personal data that we believe is unnecessary or intrusive. All companies that collect personal data now need to provide and adhere to a Fair Processing Notice.
You can find our Fair Processing Notice here
How do we protect our living environment?
We all make choices every day, sometimes they are conscious choices, sometimes we make them out of habit.
At Purely Skincare, we endeavour to make positive, conscious choices to produce effective and safe products. For example, we actively seek environmentally-friendly solutions to our manufacture and packaging choices. We are passionate about organic living, so we choose ingredients that are certified by the Soil Association, to the International Cosmetic Organic Standard (COSMOS).
This means that we can be sure that wherever possible, our ingredients are organic and natural. By choosing organic ingredients, we know that our suppliers meet stringent standards that have sustainability and environmental protection at heart.
Using certified organic ingredients also means full traceability, with the assurance that the ingredients have not been tested on animals. We certainly will never test or buy ingredients that have used any animal in this way. Most of our products are suitable for vegans and are identified as such in the product information. Where we have used organic beeswax, we know that the bees’ health and well-being have been prioritised. Therefore, we use it in our Soothing Chamomile Balm and Active Muscle Rub, confident that it meets Soil Association standards.
We actively seek environmental-friendly solutions to packaging and shipping.
As part of our ethos, we strongly believe that we need to use less packaging and think about what form our packaging takes. This is more than being ‘on-trend’ and needs to be part of our sustainable business planning. However, there are also practical implications to consider. For example, what should we use for our products? Glass, plastic, or aluminium? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? What about using recycled materials for our inner (bottles and jars) and outer (packets or boxes) packaging?
At the moment, we use glass, and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for our inner packaging (bottles and jars). These materials are useful, because they are strong and stable, and don’t react with our products. Most importantly, they are easy to reuse (or up-cycle), and recycle in our home recycling bins. Our jar and bottle labels use water-dispersed acrylic adhesive, which means they can be recycled alongside the PET bottles.
However, we have decided it’s time for change, and are moving away from using plastic in our packaging. It is currently very difficult to go completely plastic-free for products that need atomisers, such as Silky Dry Oil. Therefore, we are transitioning to aluminium jars for our lip balms and butters, as our current supplies are used up. Our body oils and sprays will be packaged in aluminium bottles, with an aluminium top or recyclable plastic atomiser. As new environmentally-friendly packaging becomes available, we will test it out for compatibility with our products.
Please reuse, recycle or compost all our packaging!
To protect your products in the post, we use biodegradable cellulose clear bags, with biodegradable starch-based filling. We chose these because they can both go in your home compost heap (or green bin). The outer packaging we use is also recycled (both the jiffy bags and boxes), and recyclable. Even the tape we use to seal the boxes (and fragile marked tape) is recycled and recyclable!
Please reuse and recycle all our packaging – we provide some suggestions on each product page to help you.
For example, the starch packing can also be used in the bottom of your large plant pots instead of polystyrene. This keeps the pot light and easier to move (and you use less compost). If you empty the pot at any time, all the contents can be added to your compost heap. Think of all the flowers and veggies you can plant!
Attractive and guilt-free wrapping!
You will notice that we use plain boxes, without marketing logos, for our outer packaging. This is deliberate, so you can reuse them as gift or packing boxes. This doesn’t mean that your eagerly-awaited order won’t be attractive, though! Open up your package, and your order will be nestled within delicate wrapping paper. Our wrapping paper is acid free, and printed with vegetable ink, which means that it can be easily and safely home-composted.
Also, please check out your order ‘Thank You’ card. It’s made from recycled cotton t-shirt off-cuts, so no trees were harmed!
How do we protect employees and workers?
Diversity and Equality
We promote equal and fair employment opportunities and support open access to the workplace.
Our company aims to create a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form, in which all staff, customers, and suppliers are treated with dignity and respect. We believe in celebrating difference and valuing everyone. To this end, we support charitable organisations that work tirelessly to reduce discrimination, embrace diversity and enable opportunities to those who may experience difficulties in finding open doors.
We support charities and organisations that give their time freely and tirelessly, to help those who may need a little support.
Please look out for special promotions and events, helping to support our charities, Hopes and Beams, and Scropton Riding for the Disabled. If you click on the links, you can find out more about these amazing people and what they do.
We choose products in our supply chain that are ethically driven.
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 was brought in to address the rising concern of ‘slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour’ and ‘human trafficking’ 43. According to the Stronger together initiative,
“Slavery was abolished but never eradicated. Human trafficking is regarded as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second in profitability only to the drugs trade. Organised criminality has identified that the exploitation of workers provides a lucrative business opportunity44 .”
What can we do?
At Purely Skincare, we want to help eradicate modern slavery from the UK.
We have no forced labourers and/or trafficked persons working in our business, and we do our utmost to ensure that it does not occur in our supply chain. It is very important to us to feel confident that the supply chain to our finished product is ethically driven. Therefore, we seek reassurance and evidence from our suppliers, wherever possible, that they are trading fairly and ecologically.
For example, in our Collections range, we use packaging that also has an alternative use. But more than that, we want to ensure that it meets our ethical principles with respect to protection of the workforce, as well as the environment. We are very pleased to find products that do just that, with our natural cotton and jute bags. Our supplier has an anti-slavery policy, with fair trading practices to ensure that the products they buy are produced in an environmentally and ethically sound manner.
Similarly, our main essential oil supplier states that they only source their products where they are
“…fairly traded or ethically sourced from traditional communities, modern community projects or co-operatives fairly traded……which gives producers a better deal and enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”
As consumers ourselves, we have the power to keep suppliers on the right track, by consistently asking about their ethical credentials. By using our buying leverage, we can maintain and improve the quality and availability of safe and ethical skincare.
You can be sure that we will continue to monitor and be proactive in managing our business to ensure that we act responsibly and ethically in every aspect, from sourcing our ingredients, to how we deal with your data.