- Our products are NOT certified ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘cruelty free’, nor ‘gluten free’ because being a small company we simply can not afford the cost of certification and then annual renewal fees.
- However, our products ARE natural, VEGAN (except for lip balms that are vegetarian as they’re made with beeswax) and GLUTEN FREE
- We DISCLOSE ALL INGREDIENTS so you can decide whether the product is right for you or not.
- We are against animal testing and cruelty to animals or any living creature.
If you have time and interest to learn about issues that small companies like us are facing while trying to compete with the big companies please continue reading.
Often we’re asked if our products are certified ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ or why we are not registered through programs that certify that companies are not using animals in testing of their products, such as for example PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies Program.
This is a very important but also very frustrating topic for us and any other small company out there trying to do the right thing for consumers and for the environment while competing with the big and well established players in the market.
We are a small family company and we have been in the personal care products business since 2008 when it actually started as a hobby, making products for family, friends and neighbors. As we caught the interest of more like-minded people we started expanding our product line and selling to local stores.
Couple of years ago we started looking into various certification programs and quickly realized that we'd have to mortgage our home to register for these programs so we could proudly display their logo on our labels and on our website.
I'm sure it would help our sales but the sad part is that small companies like us simply can't afford it. Each certification ("natural", "organic", "gluten free", "not tested on animals", "Ecocert", "B company", etc.) require few thousand dollars to start the process and then an annual fee to maintain the certification. In addition, all our labels would have to be reprinted at a large cost.
Just few years ago we were in discussion with Environmental Defense Canada to become part of their "Just Beautiful Pledge" (which also has an annual fee). After a few months of trying to respond to each requirement and email from them we simply gave up. To "take a pledge" all companies have to disclose the ingredients in all their products. This should have been easy since we already list all ingredients in our products on our labels and on our website. However for one single product (bubble gum lip balm) we couldn't get our supplier to further break down what's in their "artificial flavour" (which is used in gum, candy, and other foods) other than the 3 ingredients they told us were in the flavouring.
Environmental Defense Canada would not accept the information we received from our supplier so we could not "take the pledge". At the same time there were companies that were “allowed’ to “take a pledge” even though they had not divulged the components of at least one flavour or fragrance. When we pointed this out to Environmental Defense Canada, they said they didn’t know how this could have happened and that they would get someone to look into it.
None of our products have ever been tested on animals, nor will they ever be.
In addition none of our ingredients are ever tested on animals. We only use plant based ingredients (except beeswax we buy from the neighbor up the hill).
This Spring we were in Toronto at the Green Living Show and we caught a bit of performance ("presentation") by a spokesperson or sales rep for one of the larger cosmetics companies. Her message was "ask them for a proof that their product is natural.... etc." and then went on to say "they can't prove it because it's very hard to get certified" and she continued telling the audience how her company is certified by a list of organizations. Of course money is not an issue for them.
We know the existence of these ‘governing’ and ‘certifying’ agencies is critical for consumer protection and we fully support it, but we also support a level play field in which rules apply equally to all companies, big or small. The main barrier for small companies is cost, not the concern that one cannot pass the certification process. We have looked into many of them and we know it would be a 'breeze' if it wasn't for the initial expense and annual fees.
The bottom line is that we simply cannot afford the fancy ‘stickers’ that prove that we are who we say we are, i.e. ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘vegan’, ‘gluten-free’ and ‘against animal cruelty’.
Therefore, we leave it to you, the customer, to decide.
We appreciate your support and will continue to provide products for your home and your family that are natural, animal cruelty free, safe and effective.
Bo and Brian Penny - the founders
Alexa Campbell - President and CEO