The Hope Street Way
Our commitment to running an ethical business and helping you understand the amazing benefits of premium, vegan organic skincare.
All of our products are independently tested and are certified under the provisions of The Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008.
We can make nutrient packed creams because all our ingredients come from plants which are renewable and sustainably sourced. We use certified organic where possible which are free from the pesticides and fungicides which are used to grow non-organic plants. Although they are more expensive, organic farming is better for the farmers, the environment and also our bodies. Plants are full of nutrients, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are vital for healthy skin and body, and which are easily absorbed by the skin.
Mineral oils and synthetic chemicals which are used by most skincare companies have the benefits of being considerably cheaper to produce, have an indefinite shelf life, and are odour and colourless. However, they do not contain any nutritional value and we believe that they’re not so good for the body and not so good for the planet.
We use a preservative used by many green companies around the world known as Preservative Eco which is accepted by the Soil Association for use in organic products and also the Vegan Society.
An estimated 90% of cosmetic products are preserved using parabens like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben, which are made synthetically and are cheap to produce. For many years parabens had been considered safe but recently they have been subject to controversy and studies show that they may be more harmful than we think. Some studies have linked parabens to breast cancer and a low sperm count. Also methylparaben has been linked to premature ageing of the skin when exposed to UV rays. Although there is no definitive evidence available, we prefer to be cautious and will not use parabens in our products. For more information, see the Organic Consumers Association website http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/paraben011304.cfm
Many ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ skincare companies use grapefruit seed extract (GSE) which sounds very natural but has also come under much scrutiny. Studies have shown that most GSE preservatives contain the preserving substances triclosan and methylparaben, and those which do not, have shown to be inefficient in preserving against microbial activity. As a result, we have decided not to use GSE as it appears that it may not be so ‘natural’ and effective after all.
All our products are beautifully scented with essential oils from plants, which have been used in natural medicine, perfume, and skin and health care for thousands of years. Today the manufacture of essential oils has changed to accommodate the perfume industry and so some essential oils are mixed with synthetically produced aromatic chemicals, but sold as genuine essential oils. We have sourced our essential oils from companies that guarantee to sell 100% genuine essential oils of good quality, extracted from raw plants and parts of plants, and are able to indicate methods of growing and country of origin. Again we buy organic where possible and from suppliers who support community and fair trade projects. Essential oils do not just make our products smell wonderful, but they also add many therapeutic benefits. They are, however, very concentrated plant oils, so they should not be used on babies, small children, or if you are pregnant or have sensitive skin. So that no-one misses out, we have a fragrance free range where we have left out all essential oils.
Everyone wants a product to smell nice but this too often comes with a huge price. Companies do not have to disclose the actual ingredients in their ‘fragrance’ so they can add whatever chemicals they want. There are at least four thousand (yes, four thousand!) different chemicals used by the fragrance industry today. These chemicals are primarily derived from petroleum and can include phlatates, along with many other toxins and synthesizers. Phlatates are hormone disruptors which bind to your body’s estrogen receptors and affect both women and men. Synthetic fragrances emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air which have been known to produce a variety of problems including eye, nose and throat irritations, headaches, dizziness, nausea, rashes, depression, hyperactivity, damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, as well as cancer and birth defects. Although synthetic fragrances might smell good and can give a longer lasting fragrance, is it worth it?
Lots of lotions and body washes on the market come in beautiful shades of colours to appeal to you aesthetically and, of course, to match the colour of your bathroom. These colours are usually produced synthetically from petroleum or acetone. They can be skin irritants and can also contain impurities like lead acetate, which is toxic to the nervous system.
We prefer to use more gentle cleansers which may not have the same ‘bubble’ or foam effect as stronger cleansers but will be kinder to your skin and the environment. To increase the foam and for gentle exfoliation, use a 'scrunchie' or 'body puff', which also makes the body wash go a lot further.
Stronger cleansers like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate which are used in many skincare products can be harsh and thin the skin which results in dry, cracked and irritated skin.
None of our ingredients or products are tested on animals or contain animal by-products (e.g. beeswax, lanolin etc.) so they are all 100% vegan and registered with The Vegan Society.
All our electricity is supplied by Ecotricity, a company which invests what we spend on our bills in clean forms of power like wind energy.
We aim to be an ethical enterprise and use the Co-operative Bank so that when you buy our products, you know that your money will not fund the arms trade or animal testing.
We are committed to the principle of generous giving and will be donating at least 10% of our profits in any financial year to organisations which help people and the planet.
We have tried to price our products competitively, taking into consideration the cost of organic plant-derived ingredients and the work required for handmade products. Our prices are not inflated with an ‘organic premium’ because we want people to be able to afford them as we are committed to natural skincare for everyone. Choosing plant-derived does mean paying more but we believe that our bodies are important and deserve to be well looked after.
We hope you enjoy using our products. Please let us know what you think.
The Hope Street Team x