Eco sell outs – When “ethical” companies put money before morals

This week I learnt that “eco” brands Ecover and Method have been bought out by Johnson and Johnson. (I’m a little bit late to the party as the announcement was made in December last year!) I also learnt that J&J test on animals, a fact I had also been blissfully unaware of despite having used various products on both my children over the last 14 years.

I decided I would look into this some more just to be certain and sure enough the evidence was there in black and white!

Back to Ecover…. as an eco advocate I naturally stumbled across Ecover as a brand. I’ve been using many of their products, from fabric condition to washing up liquid prior to learning this new info.

I was naturally disappointed, and as a certified B corp I thought they were a pretty safe bet. Their B Corp status was just one of the many reasons I have been a supporter of them up until now.

A few reasons why I chose to purchase Ecover products…

The company stands for “Clean business,” (Fair trade, BCorp)

Clean plastic,” (if there is such a thing?! it’s recycled plastic anyhow)

Clean water (Phosphate free, low water usage)

“Clean sourcing,” (sustainable ingredients and supply chain)

But interestingly on this subject is their “Clean ingredients,” statement (mostly plant-based, renewable, biodegradable and VEGAN FRIENDY!)

I have a question for you, how can a vegan friendly company with a leaping bunny certification to state they NEVER TEST ON ANIMALS, allow themselves to be sold to a company who actively and so publically TEST ON ANIMALS?!

This whole dilemma begs the question why would a company with credentials such as these sell them selves out like this? Turns out money speaks louder than brand values and customer loyalty! But do we have to put up with actions like these from our chosen brands?

The body shop is a very famous example of how decisions like this can go horribly wrong for ethical businesses. In 2000 Naturewatch launched a boycott Bodyshop campaign after the Bodyshop was sold to cosmetic giants L’Oreal. The boycott lasted ten years, only ending in 2017 after new owners Natura updated their animal cruelty policies to industry gold standard.

Actions like these show us just how strong consumer power is in this century, and how it is becoming increasingly more powerful in the age of social media.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter engaging with other people with a vested interest in climate change, other eco bloggers etc and I see a lot of these types of campaigns. I’ve also personally reached out to a few companies on their plastic usage. Calling companies out in public is a great way of highlighting not only the problem but also encouraging brands to look at their own practices and listen to consumers.

As much power as these big corporations have is nothing compared to the power we ourselves yield as the consumer. We can choose what we buy, how much we buy, how often we buy and who we buy it from. If you look at it like that who really has the power? Us! We do, we are the consumers and we choose what we consume, simple.

Choose your products and companies wisely and we can slowly change the way these companies operate and how much power they really have over us and our buying decisions. If their company values aren’t in line with your own, don’t buy from them, simple 😊

Sorry ECover, I’m out.

8 Replies to “Eco sell outs – When “ethical” companies put money before morals”

  1. This sort of thing happens way too often and makes buying eco-friendly so much harder! Things are getting better though and I think more and more options will continue to develop and move into the mainstream.


  2. I am aiming to be a certified b. I do know that Johnson and Johnson is not a certified b so the fact that they bought another company who was should erase that certification. I am having one hell of a time getting the temporary certification as I own my company and am self-employed. It’s been hell. The bar needs to be raised. This certified b requirements need to be national not just certification level. It’s disgusting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: