ecostore New Zealand Blog

Labelled with care: The power of information
Posted On October 8th, 2014

Multi-Purpose Cleaner label

There are so many everyday products like shampoos, soaps, dishwash liquid and laundry detergents on supermarket and shop shelves, and it can be hard to know which ones to choose.

Labels on product packaging are one way to help with that decision, because they usually tell you what’s in the product. That means you’ll know what you’re about to eat or drink, put on your skin or hair, or spray on your kitchen bench, for example.

When ecostore started, it set out to make it easy for people to clean their homes and bodies without using nasty chemicals that put our health and environment at risk. But that’s no easy task. The UN Environment Programme estimates there are about 80,000 chemicals in common use globally, with 1000 new ones developed every year.

Disclosure of ingredients isn’t legally required on cleaning product labels in New Zealand yet, but we believe it should be mandatory so people can easily identify and research what’s in the products they buy. This is especially important for people trying to reduce toxic chemicals in their lives and for anyone with skin sensitivity or allergies.

The other issue is many ingredients have names that are hard to understand – if you saw cocamidopropyl betaine or CAPB on a label, would you know it was a surfactant? Or that cocamide DEA is a thickening and foaming agent?

Product labels aren’t just a chance to spell out ingredients – we also include the third party certifications designed to give buyers confidence not just in the product but how it’s made. Our Auckland factory is certified CarboNZero, which shows we’re proactive about measuring and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions; and it’s been awarded Enviromark Diamond by Landcare Research. Diamond is the highest of five levels in a system that includes identification of environmental aspects and impacts, environmental targets and programmes and internal management reviews and audits.

Also, ecostore products aren’t tested on animals and we encourage recycling. We recently made the switch to sugarcane based plastics  instead of using traditional plastic and this packaging is 100% recyclable.

Take a close look at the example label we’ve chosen to picture – we hope it shows that we go above and beyond to give you all the information you need. And if you want to know more, take a look at our ingredients database.

As well as finding out what’s in the products, we hope you’ll also notice that there aren’t many ingredients in the cleaner we’ve pictured. That’s because our philosophy is that less is more – we aim to include only what’s needed and leave out unnecessary chemicals like synthetic dyes.

We also think it’s important to buy from companies you’ve developed trust in, so if reading labels in detail and researching ingredients isn’t possible, you can rely on those companies to do the hard work for you.

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