Alba Botanica’s Coconut SPF 50 is one of the better sunscreen options on the market from a consumer and environmental standpoint. Furthermore, the packaging is also relatively eco-friendly, although there are some improvements to be made. One major area Alba Botanica is lacking in is transparency regarding supply chain/manufacturing and worker rights, which is critical to ensure the social justice component of true sustainability. In the beauty industry, there are many companies that excel from a affordability and consumer safety perspective. However, not many companies prioritize the environmental impact of their products, which a lot of the time goes hand in hand with true consumer product safety. However, Alba Botanica and especially its parent company, Avalon Naturals, are taking the step in the right direction by making consumer safety and environmental impact of their products an integrated effort.
Coconut SPF 50 is a water resistant sunscreen mist priced at $9.48 with a 100% plant-based, biodegradable formula. The formula is also reef-friendly as it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3), Butylparaben and Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate).
Alba Botanica’s parent company Avalon Natural reveals how they worked closely with manufacturing partners and suppliers to develop alternative preservatives to parabens. Even though the chemists at the manufacturing partners initially expressed serious reservations, now all Avalon Organic and Alba Botanica products contain no parabens, phthalates or sulfates.
Commendably, Alba Botanica has numerous certifications to back up their claims.
First, there is a biodegradable claim on the label, which means the formula breaks down with minimal impact on the Earth. The claim is awarded by an accredited third party laboratory by testing the formula’s CO2 conversion rate. However, it should be noted Alba Botanica does not disclose which “accredited third party laboratory” has tested their formula.
The product is also Leaping Bunny certified, which means that the sunscreen is not tested on animals nor has animal products. This certification is meaningful because it requires the company to annually commit to cruelty-free procedures through every step of the production process.
Furthermore, the formula is also certified by the Gluten-Free Organization, making it safe for consumers with gluten allergies.
For its biodegrabale formula and numerous certicifications, this product earns a full planet!
There is limited information on the actual manufacturing process that Alba Botanica uses. There is only an ambiguous statement available on the site “We review our packaging and manufacturing processes regularly to identify opportunities to further reduce the brand’s environmental footprint.” There is also no information on the suppliers on Alba’s site or on any third party sites either.
As for packaging, Alba states, “Many of Alba Botanica® products are packaged in bottles made from 100% post-consumer resin and our unit cartons are made with FSC certified paperboard to ensure that the paper stock was sustainably sourced”. Although this is reassuring, “many” is not a quantifiable value and the company should provide more quantifiable metrics to verify their claims.
Furthermore, if Alba uses plastic packaging “they put symbols on the packaging to make recycling easier”. Although, this action seems relatively inconsequential, it aids in the sorting process and makes the product more likely to actually get recycled . However, a better direction for Alba would be to be actively involved in finding more sustainable plastic packaging alternatives.
For lack of transparency in the supplier chain and the sustainable packaging reach, this product earns 0.25 of a planet
Alba Botanica’s parent company is Avalon Natural Products Inc. is an organic beauty brand. Avalon is somewhat a trailblazer in the beauty industry. They were also one of the first companies to sign the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Compact for Global Production of Safe Health & Beauty Products — agreeing that all their cosmetics sold in all markets would meet the more rigorous EU standard. The company received the NSF certification for organic ingredient use, ESG certification for safe chemical use, and the aforementioned Leaping Bunny certification.
Unfortunately, there is limited information on Alba Botanica’s work culture and worker rights. However, Avalon Naturals cites high enthusiasm and satisfaction, a result of creating meaningful change in the beauty industry by creating clean products.
Although the parent company has made significant progress in ensuring the safe measures in the beauty industry, for Alba Botanica, specifically, there is limited information regarding worker satisfaction and rights. This is the reason that Alba earns 0.5 in this category.