What is Organic?
Organic is something that has been grown or raised without the routine use of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This is monitored by organic certification bodies that inspect production methods, and audit the supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic genuinely are. This is regulated by European Law, but current legal standards only apply to food and farming. For non food products suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement. We have opted in - and are a Soil Association licensed Organic Retailer.
What is an 'Organic Lifestyle'?
In describing an "Organic Lifestyle" we mean one that is simple, healthy, close to nature and takes care of the environment. By choosing to live an Organic lifestyle you will be seeking to use natural and organic products throughout all aspects of your life; eating organic food, choosing natural and organic cosmetic products, eco friendly cleaning products and textiles made from organic fibres. You may also wish to take care of the environment in other ways such as recycling, using less energy and thinking about your carbon footprint. Our aim is to stock the products that help you do those things.
What is 'Organic Certification'?
Organic food products are regulated by European Law and must be certified to be called organic. This certification involves regular audit and inspection of the entire supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic really are. But current legal standards only apply to food and farming. There is no legislation around the use of the word organic in relation to non-food products. For non food products, suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement. A number of countries have developed separate standards against which to certify organic non food products. In the UK, the Soil Association, the most well known UK organic certification body has established its own standards to cover health and beauty products and textiles. The Soil Association is the most well known organic certification body in the UK, but there are a large number of other well respected bodies throughout the UK, EU and Rest of the World. In the UK the other main ones are Organic Food Federation and Organic Farmers & Growers, in Europe EcoCert certifies organic cosmetics and BDIH operates a standard of "Controlled Natural Cosmetics" which is not the same as an organic standard but still exerts very strict control over the ingredients allowed into cosmetic products to make sure that they deserve to be called natural. For textiles IMO and SKAL are widely respected.
A note about Organic certification
Unlike food, there is no legal protection of the word organic in relation to non food products such as cosmetics, textiles and cleaning products. This means that it is perfectly legal for a company to market products as organic when they contain very little in the way of organic ingredients. One of the ways you can be sure that the products you buy are genuinely organic is by looking for products that have been independently certified as organic. There are now a wide number of different organic certification bodies and confusing array of different symbols. Because these organic certification standards have developed at different times and in different countries, the exact detail of what is and isn't allowed into products under the standard tends to vary. However, in general they all seek to ensure that the agricultural ingredients in products are produced organically and place strict controls over the non organic functional ingredients that are permitted (such as foaming agents and preservatives). Organic textile standards cover the processing and manufacture of natural fibres and they assess production methods for their impact on human health, wildlife and their biodegradability.
What does your Soil Association certificate mean?
We are inspected by Soil Association Officers to ensure that we understand the difference between certified and non certified products, that we only describe products as certified organic when they genuinely are and that we store our organic products separately. We have to give the inspectors full access to all aspects of our business so that they follow the full audit trail of a product through our business. We expect our suppliers to provide detailed information about the ingredients of their products, and list exactly which are and are not organic. Where products are certified organic we ask our suppliers to provide us with a copy of the relevant certificate. The Soil Association logo is a mark of trust, with stringent standards to ensure products that are called organic are genuinely so.