Maui Moisture makes many claims on its website in order to convince the consumer of the quality of its products. However, these claims are not backed by much real information. The ingredients of the Gentle and Lightweight Conditioner are not environmentally damaging, but they are certainly not outstanding. Maui Moisture’s parent company, Johnson and Johnson, have been taking real strides in terms of their sustainability, but they are still a large corporation that still does animal testing. There was little to no information anywhere about how Maui Moisture’s products are made, and the lack of transparency leads me to question its practices. I would rate this product as a 1 out of 3 planets; Johnson and Johnson seems to be taking real sustainability initiatives, but there is a lack of transparency and they could be doing a lot more.
Maui Moisture’s Gentle and Lightweight Flaxseed Conditioner is made primarily of aloe vera and water. Aloe vera and water are both great natural ingredients for conditioners, as they can help moisturize. It also contains coconut water, another hydrating ingredient. The conditioner also contains other ingredients that are considered great for conditioners, such as Polyquaternium-10, panthenol and glycerin, none of which have substantially negative effects on the environment. However, it does contain some less than desirable ingredients, such as isopropyl alcohol and fragrance, which can be drying for hair. It also contains flaxseed oil, which takes a lot of water to produce. All of Maui Moisture’s products are vegan and free of parabens and silicones, which they make very clear on their website. These qualities unfortunately do not indicate much about the sustainability or ethicality of the products. Maui Moisture’s ingredients are not particularly sustainable, as some are toxic or require lots of resources to produce; however, they are not outright unsustainable either as they don’t have a large negative impact on the planet.
There was no information on Maui Moisture’s website about how their products are made, other than the statement that the products start with deionized, chemically treated water which is then infused with aloe and coconut water. Johnson and Johnson’s website did state that they are expanding their geothermal and solar energy use in their manufacturing, and aiming to operate entirely on renewable energy soon. It also mentioned that they have water stewardship efforts, which includes using less water and treating wastewater for irrigation purposes. Johnson and Johnson has also started initiatives to use less un-recyclable plastics in its beauty products; this has included using clear plastic in their bottles rather than colored plastic, which is harder to recycle. However, Maui Moisture still uses colored bottles, likely in order to increase the aesthetic appeal of the product. Overall, it seems like there are few, if any, sustainability initiatives taken by Johnson and Johnson that specifically apply to Maui Moisture products. Thus, the way in which they make their products is likely not very sustainable and I would not feel comfortable supporting it.
Maui Moisture’s website claims their products are eco-friendly, yet does not have any information on how or why that is - a classic case of greenwashing. Maui Moisture is owned by the company Johnson and Johnson. Maui Moisture itself claims that they do not test on animals, yet parent company Johnson and Johnson does; this makes the purchase of Maui Moisture not necessarily cruelty free as it supports an animal testing company. This indicates a lack of transparency on the part of Maui Moisture and Johnson and Johnson. As someone who prefers to buy cruelty-free products, I do not plan on purchasing Maui Moisture products anymore. Maui Moisture also promotes the fact that they have products for all hair types. It is nice to see a company that caters to the hair of people of color; however, Johnson and Johnson is a white-led corporation, and there are many black-owned alternatives for hair product companies. Johnson and Johnson is aiming to have 100% recycled plastic bottles by 2030, but their website did not mention how they are doing with this goal, which warrants suspicion and implies that they may not be doing very well in fulfilling it. Johnson and Johnson is also part of many orgs that strive for sustainability, and in 2020 was recognized by CDP with A-ratings in climate action for the third consecutive year and water security for the second consecutive year. In 2016, Johnson and Johnson also made a 5 year SDG commitment, and has provided progress with their goals; they have fulfilled almost all of them. This indicates an active commitment to sustainability, and makes me more likely to support Johnson and Johnson products.