The likability of the company, the feeling of the product (by appearance and content), along with its efforts to market itself as sustainable is quite probably going to attract a certain cohort of consumer. However, delving beneath the surface it is apparent that the sustainability of the ingredients falls very short. While on first look, such content as mango, shea and vitamin E will ping as both luxurious and nutritional for the skin, is it worth investing in a product that has the opportunity to be these AND sustainable? The limited information with regard to transportation also falls short. The size of the company adds to concern with regard to the carbon footprint. Is the investment there to buy the ingredients in large enough quantities to reduce the impact this company is having on the environment? Is producing in small quantities what is best sustainably if repetition of resource use potentially increases an already labour-intensive processes use of appliances (for example)? The overall score for this product is also far shorter that one would want when buying with sustainability in mind. However, the work done here is admirable and offers potential to both the consumer and the sustainability market. This product is far better in so many ways (less pollutants, great packaging and ingredient potential as examples) than what the deodorant shelve presently has on offer.
The Your Natural unscented deodorant stick is vegan, has no fragrance, and contains only 7 ingredients. This product also contains no aluminium, no parabens and no artificial ingredients; all of which are commonly found in traditional deodorants and can have detrimental effects to human and environmental health. I have chosen the unscented version of this product because I believe that it’s also important to draw upon products for people with sensitive skin.
Firstly, this product contains organic *coconut oil* for its moisturising and antifungal qualities. Coconut oil has a low environmental impact, due to coconuts being picked by hand and their growth not requiring any herbicides or pesticides, which would usually be detrimental to the land. However, as the rise in demand for this oil has increased, so has the unethical growth of coconuts, using monocultures (farms just growing coconuts) which can damage the biodiversity of the ecosystem by introducing bacteria and fungi. It is always worth checking who is sourcing this oil before making a decision on its sustainability. Overall, if sourced well, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Shea butter is also used because it is a great moisturiser, it is non-comedogenic (does not to cause blocked pores) and full of Vitamin A, E and F. Shea butter is one of the world’s most sustainable natural resources, because shea trees grow naturally in the wild grasslands of west Africa they don’t need irrigation, pesticides or fertiliser. They also produce an abundance of fruit where the shea butter is obtained. Overall, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Organic bicarbonate soda has been included too for its odour eliminating and anti-bacterial qualities and it is also a natural organic ingredient. However, Bicarbonate soda comes from a non-renewable, non-recyclable source: trona (found in Wyoming) and then it is processed into bicarbonate soda. It is energy-intensive in its manufacture, as it comes from mining and also in its transportation. Overall, although it has good qualities it is not a sustainable ingredient.
Organic arrowroot powder allows for an easy spread whilst also absorbing perspiration. Arrowroot is a sustainable crop, it needs no pesticides or human care, and it doesn’t need any specialist tools for cultivation or processing. Its excess waste can be used for livestock feed and as a pesticide. Regardless of this crop not needing pesticides to grow it is important to buy Organic, because arrowroot is used as a crop beneath bananas and coconuts which are crops that can use pesticides, this in turn would affect the arrowroot. Overall, it is a sustainable ingredient.
Mango Butter (aka mango seed oil) is used for its moisturising properties. It is not made from the mango fruit itself, but from the hard kernel. This would otherwise be left over during mango processing, which makes mango seed oil particularly sustainable. The kernel contains about 9-13% fat, which has to be extracted and this is where chemical processes might come into play. ‘Your Natural’ does not specify whether they use chemical processes or whether they have a more sustainable system, which I would like to see in terms of the company elevating its transparency. A sustainable system would be doing gentle organic farming, which takes much more time, reducing the yield of the mango oil. The resulting mango oil is of much better quality. Overall, in my opinion, this is a more sustainable ingredient than many others – if processed ethically.
Vitamin E is used in this product as a gentle and effective way to strengthen the skin barrier under your arms. According to DSM (the leading supplier of vitamins for human and animal nutrition and personal care products globally) it has the lowest carbon footprint in the vitamin production industry. However, research on this matter is limited and therefore I cannot confidently state how sustainable this ingredient is.
Lastly, Candelilla Wax gives this product its pleasant texture and binds all of the ingredients together. Candelilla Wax is sourced from the Candellia plant which is found in Mexico. Overharvesting has negative issues such as degradation of local biodiversity, persistent drought, rapid expansion of invasive species, and poor working conditions and low pay, these factors also bring the threat of the gradual extinction of this important natural resource. Overall, I cannot consider this as a sustainable ingredient and ethically sourced beeswax may be a better alternative.
Your Nature does not provide any information concerning who they source their ingredients from, which is why I cannot give this section a higher rating.
This products applicator is also made from 100% recycled cardboard and is completely plastic free, it is also fully recyclable. Furthermore, this product is also delivered in an environmentally friendly Jiffy Bag that is made from a 100% recycled paper fibre lining and is also fully re
This product has never been tested on animals and is handmade in Bristol (UK).
Your Nature have not published the specifics on how this product is made, but I will provide a generalised outline of the production of a general natural deodorant. First of all, the coconut oil and shea butter are heated above boiling water and stirred until they melt. Then the arrowroot powder, bicarbonate soda, mango butter and essential oils are added to the mixture. In the case of this product there are no fragrances so no essential oils would be added. Lastly the candelilla wax is added in order to bind the ingredients together. This final mixture is then poured into its glass container and placed into the fridge to cool. This process is not detrimental to the environment because, as this company makes their product to order, it does not involve large amounts of energy and water.
This product is made by the father and son duo that founded Your Nature in their home in Bristol. They created this company to find a natural deodorant, that was ethically sourced, affordable, likeable to consumers and worked effectively. I believe that the likability and affordability of this product is an important part of a company’s ethos because if the product is not likeable or affordable then it is not accessible and personally, if a product is not accessible then it is not sustainable. I admire Your Nature for prioritising these factors in their ethos, alongside the sustainable sourcing of their ingredients.
However, looking at the ingredients, it is notable that all of them are sourced from overseas (relative to the UK) which raises the question of how they are transported and the subsequent effects on this companies carbon footprint. Despite this, the customer base is entirely set in the UK and therefore, in terms of shipping locally, their footprint is lower than other companies shipping worldwide and would be a positive alternative to use in comparison to the traditional spray deodorants in metal cans.