Household cleaning products and supplies can be one of the most toxic sources of interaction in our daily lives. From everyday sprays to laundry detergents, it is important that there is a paradigm shift toward products that contain sustainable ingredients in sustainable packaging. I recently brought up to a friend that I was looking to switch to a more eco-friendly and less toxic detergent, and they recommended I look into Earth Breeze Eco Sheets. Earth Breeze products seemed better than alternatives like Tide or Gain, but I decided to research them before making the switch. What I have concluded is that Earth Breeze is definitely a better alternative to traditional detergent brands, but it needs to be more transparent in its practices, especially labor, if it wants to keep off the borderline between greenwashed and truly sustainable companies.
Emphasized on Earth Breeze’s homepage is that its products are vegan, gluten free, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and made from recyclable packaging. The ingredients making up the Eco Sheets seem like high quality, all non-toxic and avoiding harmful chemicals like phthalates. While I am not a chemist and I do not fully trust the FDAs certifications of what is safe and what is not for human consumption, Earth Breeze does compare favorably to competing brands in terms of ingredients. Tide, for example, has multiple ingredients that have been flagged due to safety concerns by the European Union. Earth Breeze also has the fewest ingredients listed among its competitors, even if some of them are difficult to pronounce. In addition, both the detergent sheets and the box they come in are fully biodegradable. This means you can shred up the cardboard box it comes in and add it to your backyard compost. The company uses no plastic containers at all, and prides itself on their commitment to the collective effort to phase out all plastics. I genuinely feel that Earth Breeze is a company that makes a quality, sustainable product and is one that you can trust to maintain these standards in the future.
Not only does Earth Breeze come in biodegradable containers, but the company has gotten rid of plastic throughout their shipping process as well. Furthermore, throughout all procedures Earth Breeze has become Carbon Neutral thanks to a partnership with We Are Neutral. Unfortunately, this level of neutrality relies heavily on offsets provided as a service of sorts by We Are Neutral rather than addressing systemic issues within the Earth Breeze supply chain. We Are Neutral claims to help companies implement initiatives that reduce emissions within the supply chain, but the company’s main emphasis is on offsets. A lack of specific actions being communicated from Earth Breeze makes me believe even more that the company is in fact not doing much to address its emissions footprint within its own supply chain. The exact process of making the Eco Sheets themselves is unclear, but I did manage to find on their website that, “water used during production is about 1.5 times the weight of the laundry sheet”. If you gained nothing from reading this statement, we are on the same page. The only other insight given into the production process is that the product is certified cruelty free. Being cruelty free and providing a vague statement on water usage is not going to cut it. Earth Breeze must be more transparent with its production processes if it wants to gain and maintain favor with an increasingly scrutinous Gen Z demographic.
I was unable to find any information regarding the labor policies of Earth Breeze. However, the company is relatively small still so it is not unusual for it not to have a comprehensive report regarding employee labor practices. I am optimistic that all employees get treated fairly, stemming mainly from the evidence of charity work Earth Breeze has participated in. The organization has helped plant thousands of trees, donated 10 loads worth of detergent for every pack bought, and provided free detergent to victims of the most recent California wildfires (which nearly burnt down their own warehouse). While it is likely that employees at this early stage company do get treated fairly, I especially would like to see transparency in the company’s supply chain. Labor practices of the suppliers are just as if not more important than the practices of the company itself. Time will tell if Earth Breeze will provide a clearer picture of its labor policies in years to come, but right now it is lacking in this area.