Faith in Nature

overall rating:

1.6

planets

Henna Moussavi
11/1/2021
No items found.

Faith in Nature is a natural, cruelty-free independent brand founded by a woman called Rivka Rose in 1974. The intent of the brand from the start was to introduce a new hair and skincare line which practiced ethical production, a consideration that was somewhat bypassed during the 70s. The stated objective on their site is to “reconnect people with the powers of nature by making it accessible to all”. Today, Faith in Nature can be found in many cosmetic shops in the UK, making it part of the mainstream products available on most shelves, as well as a competitor for other large corporations.

Upon analyzing the process by which it is made, alongside the materials used in the production of their products, the overall score received by Faith in Nature on their efforts towards sustainability would be 1.16. The intent to appear sustainable certainly radiates from their mission statement and through the narrative provided on their website, although upon further examination, there lacks adequate data and factual information to support their claims. Whilst they do promote recycling and indicate awareness for how they can diminish their negative impact as a brand, they are not a certified organic company, a surprising discovery that contrasts the image they portray.

What it's made of:

1.5

There is a transparent explanation on the company’s website which explains their use of plastic for their bottles. Despite the choice to use plastic, they assert that their “400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999”.

Unfortunately, the choice to use plastic still contributes to further production of plastic and the possibility for that plastic to end up in the wrong place. They do urge people to return their bottles to the stores themselves. Although this line of action is also somewhat impractical, it's moving in the right direction. There is also a bottle refill policy, wherein one can take in a large container of 5 litres or 20 litres, reducing the need for multiple purchases of smaller plastic bottles. An underlying point would be that even if their bottles are recyclable, this does not mean people will always abide by this, thus creating room for some harm to be done. In any case, the effort to reduce plastic and introduce a closed-loop method is certainly rare and considerate of a cosmetics brand, despite placing some responsibility on the consumer to facilitate this.

On the other hand, Faith and Nature also offers shampoo and conditioner bars that produce zero waste and include neither plastics nor sulphites. Their formulas also “use naturally-derived cleansing surfactants that pass a specific biodegradation test which achieves at least 60% in 28 days”. However, their products do contain a trace of RSPO approved palm oil. RSPO’s Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production is “an assurance to the customer that the standard of palm oil production is sustainable”. The justification of Faith in Nature for using these traces of palm oil is the reality that “sunflowers would require twenty times the land-mass”, making it an extremely complicated issue to navigate. Oil is not a necessary element to haircare products, although it does provide the “smoothness” that is always advertised with various shampoos and conditioners.

If the brand wanted to commit to as little waste or environmental harm as possible, they could create a more sustainable formula. It could become less popular as a mainstream haircare brand, though it would better fulfill the mission listed on the website. They are also not a certified organic product, despite being certified as cruelty-free, vegan, and 100% natural in fragrance.

For this somewhat questionable navigation of their mission statement, Faith in Nature receives a 1.5 on what their products are made of.

How it's made:

1

As compensation for the ingredients used in the production of their products, Faith in Nature produces their products locally within the UK, near Manchester. They are even “the UK’s largest manufacturer of natural products”, utilizing freshwater from the Lake District in their formulas. Furthermore, they are in the process of moving to a new site, stating that this is “where green manufacturing processes are literally the foundation of the site’s build”.

Whilst this is all good news regarding the production of their items, they still do not disclose the specific data or numbers indicating what footprint the company truly has. Their website vaguely states that they are “in the process of crunching all of those numbers and we’ll publish them as soon as the scientists have done their bit”. This is an unideal way to present their environmental impact, and it is not known when this data will be published.

Based on the aforementioned information, whilst their claims are certainly impressive but lack the data to back it, Faith in Nature deserves a 1 for how it’s made.

Who makes it:

1.5

Rivka Rose began this company with the mentality that “natural, cruelty-free, ethical products should be affordable to all”. Given that line of thought, the company has stayed independent and is capable of having autonomy over the various means of production. They are able to “swim against the tide”, as they put it, a luxury which many small brands tend to lose under larger corporate entities. Therefore, due to the freedom they have, the aim to keep long-term and well-paid staff employed, and their decision to remain as a smaller independent brand warrants a 1.5.

Their efforts to indicate their ideals and mission on their website are very inviting, although a higher rating would necessitate further transparency and clearer displays of data-based evidence.

Sources: