I’ve had a lot of questions about why we’ve been out of stock of Andalou Naturals for such a long time. And I also thought that I’d share why we’re choosing not to keep stocking Pukka Tea, or Schmidt’s deodorants any longer.
Unilver has bought both the Pukka Tea and Schmidt’s deodorants brands. While I like both of these products, I’m not happy about buying products that are now owned by a multinational like Unilever. I know that they’re both saying that nothing will change, etc, etc. However, as a company, Unilever tests on animals, which is not okay with me. It’s also less than transparent about the ingredients that they use and how harmful they are.
Yes, it’s great that truly natural and organic products are becoming mainstream. But we’ve been down this road before. The Body Shop and Burts Bees are two brands that come to mind.
Multinationals are answerable to their shareholders, and their aims are to make as much money as possible. That’s it. And what happens is that formulas are subtly changed. The ingredients aren’t quite as good as they used to be. And the supply chains aren’t as transparent. The brand is no longer as ethical as it was.
And the products that we love are no longer the same products.
So what’s the problem with Andalou Naturals?
This is what’s been happening with Andalou Naturals. There have been a few ingredients added to their products that I don’t like. I wrote about this last year, when I noticed silicones creeping into Andalou Naturals products. At the time, Andalou Naturals assured me that they were listening to their customers and they’d be reformulating. They haven’t as yet.
I had a number of customers request that we keep stocking these products, despite the silicones, so I brought them back in but made sure to say clearly that the products contained silicones. Then I noticed that some of Andalou Natural’s new products contained phenoxyethanol. Needless to say, I didn’t add these to the Hello Charlie store.
And then late last year, BWX bought Andalou Naturals. BWX owns Sukin, and have been quite open about their push into China with this brand.
The problem? China still requires animal testing on imported products, and I’m not okay with that.
Now, I’m not saying that means that you shouldn’t continue buying these brands. You may disagree with me and think that it’s great that natural is going mainstream.
But for me, and for Hello Charlie, it does mean that we won’t continue to sell these brands. It’s not enough for me that a product is natural. I want to know that it’s ethical as well.
So we’ll be selling out the stock that we have, and then we won’t be selling them anymore.