I’ve been on the lookout for a healthier and sustainable alternative to the deodorants I’ve been using and Wild makes a great product in terms of the ingredients it uses. Since the most common chemicals found in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants include parabens, phthalates, aluminum, and propylene glycol, it is important to hold those companies accountable and try to shift our attention towards brands that do better. Research has linked the aforementioned ingredients to serious medical conditions like different types of cancer, so the more natural ingredients that are included in Wild were the first thing that caught my attention. While their commitment to sustainability is visible in the ways they give back and try to incorporate circularity in their practices by having a refillable case, where Wild misses the mark is manufacturing and labour practices, as the lack of transparency makes me think they might have something to hide.
Each scent contains slightly different ingredients, however, the one I specifically looked at - Pina Colada, which is specifically made for sensitive skin, contains the following: caprylic/capric glycerides, tapioca starch, stearyl alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, triethyl citrate, helianthus annuus seed cera, cocos nucifera oil, butyrospermum parkii butter, parfum, theobroma cacao seed butter, magnesium hydroxide, zinc ricinoleate, tocopheryl acetate, helianthus annuus seed oil, coumarin, limonene. While it is good that the oils used are from organic agriculture and the ingredients are free from any artificial fragrance, parabens, aluminium, and sulfates, the product still contains sodium bicarbonate, which can be a skin irritant by messing with our skin’s natural pH levels. However, according to their website, sodium bicarbonate is used in minimum quantities to prevent irritation. Interestingly enough, they never concretely mention what quantity they use, which I find a little shady. Limonene and perfume are other ingredients that can cause sensitivity, but nothing is mentioned about these on their website. Furthermore, in spite of pledging to use cruelty-free, vegan ingredients, Wild is not certified by any major animal rights organisation. The ingredients page of the website provides really useful information about each ingredient used and its role, which is a really nice touch as it shows transparency. The refills are entirely plastic-free and made of bamboo pulp, which is home compostable and recyclable. This is a very encouraging initiative as most deodorants come in single-use plastic containers that usually end up in landfills. The holders are made with durable aluminium as well as post-consumer recycled plastic, being designed to last a lifetime. Instead of disposing of the case by themselves, consumers are encouraged to send the cases back to Wild for recycling with the company’s TerraCycle scheme. I think this is a great thing to do as this ensures that materials like durable aluminum which are hard to recycle don’t end up in landfills, but are rather recycled correctly by professionals.
Wild seems to be committed to be a sustainability-focused company by offsetting and therefore contributing a percentage of sale to “On a Mission,” a climate charity that work on reforestation projects for every deodorant they sell. The percentage contributed to the charity is not mentioned. While we know that Wild is a London-based company, little to no information is given on ingredient sourcing and production of the deodorants, which seems sketchy to me since they clearly put so much effort into advertising themselves to be so committed to sustainability. Any company that claims to be a “pioneer in sustainable personal care,” like Wild, should ensure sustainability and transparency across all levels of their business, which includes sourcing and production.
Again, I was not able to find any information on the manufacturers of the products or the working conditions. This makes me feel like they more so want to make the consumers feel like they are being sustainable, but they don’t go the extra mile to be transparent about production, working conditions, and manufacturers. This seems deceiving and makes me think that they are not really ethical in this regard. While it is great that companies like Wild begin to notice the unsustainable nature of a lot of personal care products, sustainability is about more than that. Although the deodorants produced by Wild are reusable, effective, natural, recyclable and compostable, they do not ensure sustainability at all levels, like production and sourcing, which I find equally important. With that said, finding a 100% sustainable deodorant is really hard and I would probably give this one a shot, at least until I can find one that is sustainable on all levels.