Simply Effective scores highly when it is transparent with much of the information it provides for its customer. Where it all falls flat (and therefore reduces its potentially great score) is transportation methods. Not only can we as consumer make a conscience decision about the carbon footprint our purchase has made, but also the labour and packaging involved here. It is also a shame that some of the ingredients has an impact on the rainforest. Such an easy thing to remedy and with so many beauty products relying on one of the most heavily overused but super important natural resources on the planet; it should be one of this businesses key concerns. Moreover, the lack of information on how the deodorant is made, leaves me with just a guess on how they do it without knowing how they actually do do it. With these issues on one side of the sustainability weighing scales, on the other are the positives are the ingredients and packaging (we know the glass jar, the lid and cardboard inserts are recyclable), and the promise of a company that does care. I would argue that this product is a better alternative to the traditional deodorant sprays available in supermarket stores.
The Simply Effective all-natural simple deodorant is vegan, has no fragrance and contains only 6 ingredients. This product also contains no aluminium, no parabens and no artificial ingredients all of which are commonly found in traditional deodorants and can have detrimental effects to human and environmental health. I will go through each of the ingredients within this product and evaluate their sustainability, however, because Simply Effective does not provide any specific information as to where they source their ingredients, this is just a general overview and not specific to Simply Effective.
Firstly, this product contains coconut oil for its moisturizing and antifungal qualities. Coconut oil has a low environmental impact, due to coconuts being picked by hand and their growth not requiring any herbicides or pesticides which would usually be detrimental to the land. However, as the rise in demand for this oil has increased, so has the unethical growth of coconuts, using monocultures (farms just growing coconuts) which can damage the biodiversity of the ecosystem by introducing bacteria and fungi. It is always worth checking who is sourcing this oil before making a decision on its sustainability. Overall, if sourced well, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Shea butter is also used because it is a great moisturizer, it is non-comedogenic (does not to cause blocked pores) and full of Vitamin A, E and F. Shea butter is one of the world’s most sustainable natural resources, because shea trees grow naturally in the wild grasslands of west Africa they don’t need irrigation, pesticides or fertilizer. They also produce an abundance of fruit where the shea butter is obtained. Overall, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Bicarbonate soda has been included too for its odour eliminating and anti-bacterial qualities and is also a natural organic ingredient. However, Bicarbonate soda comes from a non-renewable, non-recyclable source: trona (found in Wyoming) and then is processed into bicarbonate soda. It is energy-intensive in its manufacture, as it comes from mining and also in its transport. Overall, although it has good qualities it is not a sustainable ingredient.
Arrowroot powder is organic, allows for an easy spread whilst also absorbing perspiration. Arrowroot is a sustainable crop, it needs no pesticides or human care, and it doesn’t need any specialist tools for cultivation or processing. Its excess waste can be used for livestock feed and as a pesticide. Regardless of this crop not needing pesticides to grow it is important to buy Organic, because arrowroot is used as a crop beneath bananas and coconuts which are crops that can use pesticides that in turn would affect the arrowroot. Overall, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Kiwi seed oil has many skin care qualities, is organic and also aids the relief of itchy skin conditions. The oil is extracted from seeds of a kiwi fruit in New Zealand, by a cold pressing method. Cold pressing is an environmentally friendly technique and does not use heat or chemicals during the production process. The temperature during this process is also stringently controlled. In addition, Kiwi fruit tend be grown without chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers but it is always worth making sure that this is the case. Overall, this is a sustainable ingredient.
Lastly, carnauba wax gives this product its pleasant texture and binds all of the ingredients together. Carnauba Wax is sourced in Brazil and over-harvesting is having a negative ecological impact in the Amazon Rainforest as well as other issues such as degradation of local biodiversity, persistent drought, rapid expansion of invasive species, and poor working conditions and low pay. Overall, soy wax may be a better alternative.
In terms of product packaging this deodorant comes in a glass jar with bamboo lid and does not use any plastic, it is fully recyclable. It also is delivered in a cardboard box with recycled paper inserts. It is unknown whether the cardboard box itself is made from recycled materials.
This product has never been tested on animals and is handmade.
Simply Effective have not published the specifics on how this product is made, but I will provide a generalized outline of the production of a general natural deodorant. First of all, the coconut oil and shea butter are heated above boiling water and stirred until they melt. Then the arrowroot powder, bicarbonate soda, kiwi seed oil and essential oils are added to the mixture. In the case of this product there are no fragrances so no essential oils would be added. Lastly the carnauba wax is added in order to bind the ingredients together. This final mixture is then poured into its glass container and placed into the fridge to cool. This process is not detrimental to the environment because as this company makes their product to order it does not involve large amounts of energy and water. However, on a larger scale, small amounts of energy can add up to a significant energy usage, in this case it is not yet an issue due to the small company size.
Moreover, this product is also long lasting. One 50g jar usually lasts a minimum of 3 months which reduces consumption and therefore production. It is also cost effective in this way
All of Simply Effectives products are handmade in the U.K, which is positive as this is where its primary customer base is located. However, looking at the ingredients, it is notable that all of them are sourced from overseas (relative to the UK) which raises the question of how they are transported and the subsequent effects on this companies carbon footprint. Furthermore, there is no information about working conditions or equal rights so until all of this information is made readily available, I am unable to give this section a higher rating.