The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is formulated with a single ingredient based on simplicity, but deciding if the product is sustainable is not simple.
This face oil contains only Moroccan Argan oil, which is claimed to be organic by the brand. It is also vegan and cruelty-free. However, the company website is not transparent on any organic certification body. At the same time, it is worth noticing that most of the organic-claimed Moroccan Argan oil products do not disclose the organic certifications on websites or packaging. As a consumer who would like to see proof of claims, companies would gain a better reputation for being transparent on being “organic”.
The packaging is a glass bottle with UV-protective packaging and a dropper made of plastic and glass. The packaging has involved the least plastic possible, which is made from petroleum. At the same time, glass is might pose a higher carbon footprint in single-use packaging than plastic even being recyclable.
The Ordinary product line is one of the product lines by DECIEM. One of the most important aspects to look at in this product is the production of Moroccan Argan Oil. The cold-press technique uses less heat which is beneficial for preserving the nutrients in the product, and lots of companies choose this method for cosmetic purposes. However, there isn't enough evidence to examine if energy consumption in the manufacturing sites in Morocco is green. It is also unclear if any fair wages producers were the suppliers of this material, which is an essential aspect as Moroccan Berber women traditionally collect the Argan seed. There is not much information available on the manufacturing process. Therefore, the comments on the operational side of manufacturing are minimal.
However, the company does claim to promote recycling at the end-of-use phase. Currently, there are in-store packaging recycling schemes in Canada, the UK and the US, which can take in the empty containers from any brand and some tricky parts of the packing—droppers that have plastic and glass. Practically speaking, the effectiveness of this scheme is questionable due to many potential barriers for consumers to make use of the scheme, such as distance to the store. Online shopping has increased because of the COVID pandemic. DECIEM also employs recycled and recyclable materials for eCommerce packaging, creating fewer carbon footprints. Overall, the supply chain of the product lacks transparency, and more information should be shared by the company to improve its sustainable impact.
DECIEM is committed to transparency, as they declared on their website. However, there is not enough transparency from a sustainable point of view. The company claims to act on "more responsible packaging, fighting climate change, better waste management, responsible sourcing and product lifecycle, and water conservation". At the same time, none of the status data was disclosed.
On the social aspect, DECIEM's Community Fund has partnered with some grassroots organizations for community benefits, such as Black Creek Community Farm in Toronto, which delivers fresh food to the residents during the pandemic. I would suggest the company update the information regarding the collaboration on the official website, increasing the accessibility of the data. Currently, it is hard to find the complete list of the organization's partners with DECIEM. The company also supports racial equality and LGBTQ group by employing a diverse group of staff with a balanced gender ratio, as disclosed on the website.
However, the reporting in environmental aspects is lacking as the company does not use any reporting standards to provide detailed information. At the same time, some commitments are made to be achieved by 2025:
-85-100% of our packaging will be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable.
-We will increase the amount of post-consumer recycled material in our product packaging by up to 50%.
-100% of our packaging's forest-based fibre cartons are FSC certified.
It is very encouraging that DECIEM has contributed to the social aspect and aims to achieve more sustainability. At the same time, it is recommended that the company puts more effort into the other aspects of ESG besides the social impact.
Company commitment https://deciem.com/en-gb/nothingchangesifnothingchanges.html
Moroccan argan oil environmental impact https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/28/argan-oil-beauty-anti-ageing-loreal-lush-berber