In my investigation of this body wash, specifically the “pure peace” floral scent, I found that the method company is beautifully transparent and genuinely green. What initially caught my eye is that they are a certified B-corporation, a form of business that legally holds companies ethically accountable. B corp certification is also valuable because it requires extensive investigation via B-Lab and it redefines the business “for profit” framework of contemporary corporations. This product is biodegradable, cruelty free, and packaged in a bottle made of half recycled plastics. Method is extremely transparent about their ingredients list, and I specifically enjoyed reading their detailed sustainability portfolio.
On the method website, the company is extremely transparent about their ingredients list for this product. I specifically enjoy how they list each ingredient, why it is included, and where it comes from. For example, a notable ingredient in this product is cocamidopropyl betaine, which I learned is a cleaning agent “derived from plant oils such as coconut oil.” I think this level of transparency should be the standard for most companies (especially for food and health products!). Method’s ingredients are certified and investigated by MBDC, an organization that assesses a company’s circularity, environmental health, and product lifecycle. Method is honest and transparent about where they can improve- for instance, one area for improvement for this product is that the packaging is made of only 50% recycled plastic. Compared to some of their other products, this is quite low. Method claims that they have intensively researched recycling programs nationwide to make sure that, at the end of the product lifecycle, the container can be recycled. Another flaw of this product is that it contains ingredients derived from palm oil, and I did not find information regarding sustainable sourcing of palm oil on their website. However, this product is free from many toxic chemicals found in comparative body washes, such as phosphates and parabens. I think the good in this product significantly outweighs the bad. Given method’s track record and legal responsibility to make ethical choices via b-corp, I believe that they are sourcing their plant based ingredients ethically and sustainably. An improvement here could be increasing the percentage of recycled material in their packaging, as in the scope of Method’s entire product repertoire, this specific product uses less recycled material than its sister products.
Method’s product transparency within their website is fantastic. As a California based company, they follow the strict California supply chain transparency guidelines that requires frequent visitation to production sites to ensure that child labor or slave labor is not in any part of the product supply chain. They also go beyond this state regulation via a comprehensive code of conduct which uses rhetoric against human trafficking and supply chain slave labor. Method’s factory is a perfectly flashy, green factory covered in a greenhouse roof (which creates pesticide free produce for the neighboring Chicago community), solar trees, a wind turbine. Best of all, all their products are made in one facility, which reduces transportation (aka carbon emissions and energy!). According to their sustainability portfolio, method is supporting their suppliers in reducing their environmental impact and improving efficiency.
Method was launched in the late 1990s by roommates Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, who wanted to transform the cleaning product market. They claim that method is built on a foundation of people, purpose, and the planet. In Method’s “greenskeeping” portfolio, the company gives comprehensive and extremely detailed information about their sustainability goals, immediate actions, supply chain, and where they can improve. They have even broken their corporate sustainability down into three sections for easier comprehension. First is “what we do,” which focuses on sourcing sustainable products, recycling packaging, using biodegradable products, and using clean fragrances. Next, “how we do it,” which tackles distribution, manufacturing, and sourcing. Last, “who we are,” which is their b-corp certification, social responsibility, and healthy work community! Method follows a closed loop, cyclical product design model certified by Cradle to Cradle, and they find ways to reduce their carbon footprint at every point of the product lifecycle, like building a fleet of hybrid shipping trucks!