Ecover have become a popular household brand with consumers looking to be more eco conscious. Stocked in major supermarkets with an accessible price point, they've certainly grown in popularity recently. But how eco friendly and ethical are they really?
Lets start with the positives….
There are definitely positives to discuss when looking at Ecover. Their ingredients are generally kinder to the planet than other popular brands (Fairy I'm looking at you…) and they do not use parabens, triclosan and phthalates. They claim to use biodegradable, plant based ingredients, however their exact ingredients are not listed. (There was also an incident in 2021 where they had to recall some of their 1.5L non bio laundry liquids as they contained potassium hydroxide at hazardous levels that can cause them to leak could cause burns to skin or eyes…) but their ingredient lists are generally less scary and toxic than other brands available.
They also don't include phosphates, which are harmful to aquatic life. MANY other household brands do use phosphates, which is worrying when millions and millions of litres of products such as washing up liquid and laundry liquid etc are washed down our sinks every day. So for this, they get a green tick.
Other yays for Ecover include their refill systems which they are rolling out and the fact they do not use animal products. Whilst they are NOT certified vegan (which does pose a few questions…..) they claim all of their products ARE suitable for vegans. They are also Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning their products are not tested on animals.
Their bottles are plastic and on their website they claim they are working towards finding a way to ensure their bottles are made from recycled plastic. Plastic can only be recycled once or twice as it loses its quality each time. So ultimately, a huge number of Ecover bottles will be destined for landfill unless they switch to a refill system only. Whilst we salute them for trying to use recycled plastic, which is a more eco friendly option than virgin plastic, there's definitely a greenwashing element here.
OK, here's the negative, and its a BIGGIE….
Ecover are owned by SC Johnson. Urgh. They brought Ecover in 2017, as well as Method, which is another “eco” brand you might have seen in the supermarkets.
SC Johnson are a huge multi national company behind some very well known household brands. Duck, Mr Muscle, Glade and even Raid Pest Control.
None of these products are eco friendly in the slightest. The complete opposite in fact. There's huge amounts of chemicals, non recyclable plastic and….
…SC Johnson still openly test on animals.
When you purchase an Ecover product, ultimately your money is heading back to SC Johnson. Which is such a kick in the teeth for consumers looking to step away from these toxic, plastic packaged products that are harming the planet.
The final thought…
Whilst Ecover tick a lot of the right boxes, its pretty damn hard to ignore the fact their owned by SC Johnson. Its great that they are bringing awareness to supermarket shoppers about the chemicals in our household products, and their products are greener in terms of ingredients than other big brands, but ultimately, it is SC Johnson cashing in on the “green” trend. Is it a better option than other popular brands? Yes. Is it the best option? Definitely not.
We do not, or ever will, stock Ecover. Instead, we choose to stock an Ethical Consumer Best Buy Brand Miniml for our household refills, which we send out in reused plastic bottles. You can see all of our refills here: https://www.thelittlegreenfox.co.uk/rescued-refills-35-c.asp