In 2018, Love Beauty and Planet was created with sustainability in mind; the people behind Love Beauty and Planet seemed to have commendable mindsets, hoping to continually reduce their carbon footprint and give back to the planet with each product they make. The company has various sustainable goals to reach by 2030: they hope to make all their packaging 100% reusable, have their ingredients 100% ethically sourced, have a net-zero carbon emission along their supply chain, make all product formulas biodegradable, and they hope to encourage their community to give back to the environment. They also have a sustainability report for their consumers to read, detailing their 2030 goals and the steps they have taken to achieve them but as of now, I find it hard to believe that Love Beauty and Planet will truly achieve their sustainable goals, as they are currently owned by Unilever, a corporate giant that is responsible for tonnes of plastic waste and pollution in oceans and ecosystems. Additionally, for a company that has ‘planet’ in their brand name that has expressed the desire to be held accountable, I believe Love Beauty and Planet can do much better in terms of transparency so they can truly be held responsible. If information about sourcing and ingredients is missing, consumers cannot properly hold Love Beauty and Planet accountable like they hope us to. I do not recommend buying from Love Beauty and Planet at the moment, as sustainable aspects and transparency regarding the Coconut Milk and White Jasmine deodorant stick and other products is lacking.
Love Beauty and Planet provides the consumer with an extensive list of ingredients that I will not entirely list out here, but their general ingredient list for their White Jasmine deodorant contains jasmine oil for scent, plant-based deodorizers, natural coconut milk derived from the kernel of the coconut, coconut oil, and various fruit extracts. They claim that their deodorant is 96% derived from natural resources, cruelty-free certified by PETA, vegan, aluminum-free, paraben-free, and alcohol-free. Because the sourcing of coconut oil and milk is not specified, it is difficult to automatically assume that Love Beauty and Planet’s supplier is sustainable and ethical. Although the coconut oil industry has not been as heavily criticized or researched as palm oil, something to keep in mind is that general coconut oil production in plantations can contribute to deforestation and decreasing biodiversity on tropical islands. While it is difficult to assume Love Beauty and Planet sources their coconut oil from partners farming coconut oil in an unsustainable way, the lack of information and transparency makes it feel as if the company has something to hide. For the deodorant’s scent, Love Beauty and Planet sources their white jasmine fragrance from Egypt. The Egyptian White Jasmine flowers are hand-picked, treated, and purified to extract the fragrance and the general extraction process involves the use of hexane, which can be harmful to workers. On their product information page, Love Beauty and Planet claims that the deodorant uses ethically and sustainably sourced extract. Both are very assertive statements, and apart from disclosing where they source their white jasmine fragrance from, the company does not elaborate or say exactly where other extracts and materials are sourced from. They say their ingredients are “sourced from places all over the world” and that they have sourcing partners who ensure ethical sourcing for ingredients and essential oils, but they do not say who their sourcing partners are or what methods they use to ensure sustainable sourcing. Love Beauty and Planet only specifies one fragrance partner, Givaudan, who has various issues with their factory releasing harmful pollutants and chemicals into surrounding groundwater in New Jersey.
Although it is great to see the ingredients of the deodorant listed out, the production process of Love Beauty and Planet’s Coconut Milk and White Jasmine deodorant stick is unfortunately not made transparent to the public. The most information I could find is that the deodorant’s natural ingredients still retain 50% or more of its original structure, meaning the ingredients are not intensely processed or completely transformed. The label says the deodorant is made in Canada, but there are no other mentions of factory locations on their website. After doing some more searching, I found that Love Planet and Beauty is owned by the Canadian global company, Unilever. In addition to having a 100% renewable electricity grid and using 67% sustainably sourced agricultural materials, Unilever states that they are invested in achieving sustainable goals. However, I am hesitant to believe such goals for Unilever at the moment though, because as of 2019, Unilever was a major polluter, releasing 70,000 tons of plastic and waste that ended up in developing countries. Despite Unilever’s desire to change and improve, I am still skeptical of the fact that Love Beauty and Planet is owned by Unilever, a company with an incredibly contentious reputation. As for the ingredients, no other manufacturing details for the white jasmine deodorant are disclosed, so Love Beauty and Planet lacks in this aspect. As for packaging, the container is made from 43% recycled plastic; this is a good first step in the right direction, but it would be great to see a larger portion of the deodorant container be made from recycled plastic. In terms of carbon emissions that may be released during transportation of materials, production, and shipping, Love Beauty and Planet released a statement that they will quantify their carbon footprint and tax themselves for going over their goals. The money from the tax will be used to reduce other carbon emissions and landfill waste.
Unfortunately, Love Beauty and Planet has not specified exactly who works in their factories, but Love Beauty and Planet states that they have been working with Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Program to improve the livelihood of their farmers and suppliers, help increase their yields, and respect the environment they work on. Love Beauty and Planet has also said that they have partnered with sourcing companies who promote fair wages for farmers and workers in places where they source ingredients from. As a part of their future goals, Love Beauty and Planet has also expressed their desire to implement programs that focus on ethical sourcing and to provide farmers and suppliers with a living wage by 2030. However, that implies that their current outsourcing methods or partners are not as ethical as they would like, or that some workers may not be receiving adequate treatment. As a company that has expressed a desire to be held accountable by their audience, I am disappointed by their lack of information regarding the sourcing of specific materials, production of formulas, and treatment of workers for the deodorant.