Have you heard of Greenwashing? It's a fashionable term, but it's also increasingly overused.
So at Wasch we decided to take stock of the subject.
Let's start with the definition:
Greenwashing is defined as a communication and marketing strategy aiming to make people believe that a company has adopted an eco-responsible policy or offers products with ecological values.
It is therefore a form of misleading advertising which consists of putting forward ecological arguments in order to make the brand shine and to register it in the eyes of the public in a green approach.
One of the sectors most affected by greenwashing is the cosmetics and household products sector. Brands are increasingly positioning themselves on the sustainable and natural aspect of their products, but their real environmental impact does not always reflect this.
Their strategy is to use misleading communication, or to highlight one-off good deeds to divert attention. They can also hide behind the obtaining of reputable labels, but which only guarantee certain verification criteria.
Fortunately, not everyone does! Some companies have decided to go all the way with truly green products.
This is the goal we have set ourselves at Wasch, by offering a detergent with 100% natural ingredients, but not just any ingredients!
In the world of household products, to check that a brand is truly green, you need to look at the ingredients in detail, as well as the packaging used.
Here is our analysis of the ingredients:
1) The base of the detergent:
Detergents always consist of a surfactant base. These are detergents that have the ability to lower the water's tension, thus allowing it to mix with fats and oils and to better evacuate them during rinsing.
This base represents between 10% and 30% of the final solution.
This is why it is very important to look at the surfactant used, including in so-called 'ecological' detergents.
There are 2 types of surfactants that are used in laundry:
The anionic surfactant: This one is among the most used in detergents. However, it is considered "bad" for health and the environment. Its most frequent representative is the SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), forbidden in organic cosmetics, but tolerated by the ecolabels in household products.
Of course, this one being less expensive, brands tend to use it in priority, but we have totally banned it from Wasch products.
The non-ionic surfactant:
As it is more expensive, it is less frequently used, or mixed with anionic surfactant. However it is much more advantageous for the environment and the health. The one we have chosen at Wasch is one of the mildest. It is rated as "good" on the INCI product reference site. It is adapted to the most sensitive skins like those of the babies. It is authorized in organic.
The second very important point is to check what resource the surfactant is made from. Many brands use palm oil, which is one of the main causes of deforestation... The surfactant we use is made from sugar and coconut.
Here again it is very important to look at the soaps used in the laundry. For example, a large proportion of Marseille soaps (especially the white ones) are made with palm oil.
It is also important to check that the soaps are not made with animal fat.
The one we chose at Wasch is vegan and made from olive oil only.
The majority of consumers still attach great importance to the fragrance of laundry. It is associated in our minds as a sign of freshness and cleanliness.
Ideally, however, you should use fragrance-free detergent, as this is still the most environmentally friendly solution, and clean normally has no smell. We therefore offer a fragrance-free detergent, especially for babies' laundry or people with sensitive skin, as fragrances can be allergenic, even when they are natural.
However, we wanted to offer an alternative for people who are really attached to perfumes. We use natural perfumes (essential oils) and have therefore banned synthetic perfumes.
It is therefore important to check that washing powder does not contain synthetic perfumes which are polluting and highly allergenic. However, it is also important to be careful with essential oils as some are also considered polluting when released into the water. We have therefore selected these essential oils with care for our products.
4) Complementary ingredients:
Finally, it is necessary to check which complementary ingredients are added to the detergent.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of harmful ingredients to avoid:
- Sodium lauryl sulphate
- Nonylphenol ethoxylate
- Petroleum distillates
- Optical brighteners
- Ethylene diamino tetraacetate
But be careful, because we remind you that not all brands indicate their ingredients on the packaging either, as there is no law requiring manufacturers to do so.
Now let's talk about packaging:
- Plastic says "Recycled" and "Recyclable". It is promoted by many brands, but how often is plastic really recyclable?
It will depend on the type of plastic, but recyclability will always be limited to only a few times.
The most common types of plastic used for washing powder cans are PET and HDPE.
PET is easily flaked, heated and remoulded. However, with each cycle, it loses viscosity and the resulting products are of inferior quality. Additives must therefore be added. In practice, it is therefore rare for a bottle to be recycled more than 2 or 3 times. Moreover, when it is transformed into textile fibre (which is the most frequent), it is no longer recycled because there is no recycling channel for clothing.
HDPE can be recycled up to ten times without loss of properties. But again, this is a best case scenario, as in reality the plastic is often 'contaminated' by the container or other materials, which impairs the recycling process.
- Glass: At Wasch, we have chosen glass to hold our detergents. Glass is 100% recyclable with no loss of quality or quantity. Glass is infinitely recyclable. A collected and recycled bottle will give a new bottle.
On the other hand, we chose glass because it is not petrochemical like plastic, and will not contain toxic residues for the environment. However, it is imperative to recycle the glass bottles, otherwise they will take years to disappear into nature!
With which products can you wash at 60 or 90 degrees?
thank you for an answer
All the detergents we offer on our site work from 30 degrees. So they work very well for 60 and 90 degrees too. Have a nice day!
Hello, the ecological impact is also due to transport, and therefore to the origin of the products you use to make the detergent. The soap comes from Marseille, where do the other components come from?
Thank you very much and congratulations for this great initiative.
Thank you for your comment and your order 🙂
You are absolutely right, and that's why we buy our ingredients in countries as close as possible to Luxembourg.
- The soap is indeed from Marseille
- The enzymes, bicarbonate and citrate come from Germany
- The aclool comes from France
- The essential oils of Lavandin come from Provence
- The labels come from Italy
We buy the surfactant and tea tree from suppliers in the European area, but the raw materials probably come from further away. We are still looking for alternatives for this.
Thank you and have a nice day