Wild Natural deodorants are a highly regarded, dermatologically approved product that is most certainly more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical brands. They work hard to empower their customer community to make sustainable everyday decisions and have designed their product to eliminate waste. The only problem I have found is the lack of information on their sourcing policy, their manufacturing processes, and their supply chain. To be a truly sustainable brand, Wild needs to improve on their transparency.
Wild claims that their deodorants are made using all natural, vegan ingredients. Each deodorant is made from the base ingredients and the fragrance elements. The base ingredients include tapioca starch (for absorption), caprylic/capric triglyceride (an emollient), stearyl alcohol (prevents separation), sodium bicarbonate (controls odours), coconut oil (moisturiser), sunflower seed wax (Vitamin E), shea butter (moisturiser), Theobroma cacao seed butter (prevents loss of skin water), parfum, glyceryl caprylate (co-emulsifier) and tocopherol (Vitamin E and antioxidant).
But are these ingredients actually sustainable? I was unable to find any information on how and where they source their ingredients. On the surface, their ingredients are natural, so they are inherently better than their chemical counterparts, for they contain no parabens or aluminium. Several have low environmental impacts. For example, to produce 1 kg of tapioca starchy roots it takes 0.4 kg of CO2 eq, which is roughly equivalent to driving a car for 1 mile. However, there are ingredients that could be problematic due to drastic increases in demand. Coconut oil is made from coconuts, which are traditionally grown without pesticides or herbicides and are harvested by hand. With the rise in demand, coastal mangroves are being cleared for coconut monocrops, reducing biodiversity, depleting soil, and requiring fertilizer. Sunflower seed wax is a heavily industrialised product and can only be considered sustainable if sunflower fields are sustainably managed. The lack of information means that I cannot 100% confirm that Wild uses sustainable ingredients.
Their cases are made using durable aluminium and post-consumer recycled plastics details. Once again, I was unable to find specific details on where they source their aluminium (though it is extremely recyclable). Their cases are designed to last a lifetime, meaning that customers only need to buy 1, thereby reducing plastic consumption. Once the deodorant runs out, customers can purchase refills. These refills are 100% plastic free and made using bamboo pulp, making them 100% recyclable and home compostable. This is fantastic, but I was once again unable to find out where they get their bamboo pulp from.
I was unable to find any details on their manufacturing process, including the location of their manufacturing plants, distribution centres etc. I also could not find out how they operate their facilities, in terms of energy types, energy efficiency, water consumption, waste disposal etc.
The only detail I discovered is that they use hydro-dipping to paint their cases. This process involves a base coat, a design printing using a special kind of ink on a PA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) film, an activator, rising and a clear coat. This process is durable, depending on the paint used and can be very environmentally friendly because it uses water and water soluble paints, providing local water treatment policies and chemical restrictions are respected . Once again, I was unable to find any details on whether they make sure they follow regulations, what the regulations are etc.
Encouragingly, they do state that, despite their cases being designed to last a lifetime, if not needed anymore, they can simply be sent back to Wild for recycling. They use the TerraCycle scheme, which spans 20 countries and seeks to recycle the “non-recyclable”. They partner with brands and municipalities collect waste from homes, schools and offices, to reuse, repurpose and recycle materials or create recycling programmes.
Another positive aspect is that they are committed to offsetting. For every deodorant they sell, they contribute a percentage of the sale to On A Mission. On A Mission is a non-profit dedicated to reforestation projects. With projects in Africa, Asia, South America and the USA, they are committed to compensating for 15% a year of CO2 emissions by planting 5.5 billion trees.
Wild claims to be the world’s first zero-plastic deodorant refill made from plants, packaged in plants and that can be composted to feed new plants. They received a 4.7 score on Trustpilot (a consumer review website), with 87% of 6,099 reviews stating it is Excellent (the best review).
They do seem to be committed to sustainability. They partnered with Ocean Generation to raise awareness in their consumers on individual actions that can address the oceans plastics issue and by having a Beach Clean day in Brighton (UK). Ocean Generation seeks to empower young people and institutions to make changes that reduce the threat to the oceans.
They also empower their consumers to make more sustainable choices in their everyday life. On their blog, they wrote about Sustainable Swaps for cooking, cleaning, and clothing. For example, for cooking, they suggest going vegan 1 or 2 days a week, provide recipes, give tips on how to reduce plastics use and even suggest ways to reduce scraps.
They guarantee that they are cruelty-free – awesome (although they don't seem to have a certification). They also have a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy. They state that, though their team is small, they train employees on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusions, they run book clubs where they read books by authors from marginalised backgrounds, they listen to feedback from peers and the community. They also have paid internships for people from underrepresented backgrounds and hold interviews that value skills over experience. This is highly commendable, but I was unable to find out if they take any actions to ensure that workers in their supply chain are guaranteed a minimum wage and safe working conditions.