Recently, an anonymous reader left a comment alleging Korres is indeed a greenwashing company, despite my claims to the contrary. Despite my hella-heavy workload on other projects, I couldn't in good conscience let it go. I had to examine the data myself, especially because I use Korres daily on my face.
I've tried many of their products, and I've stuck with both their blush and foundation. Since reviewing the Ginger and Vitamins foundation moons ago, I have re-upped at least three times. From a cosmetic point of view, I am very happy with the SPF 10, as well as the coverage. It seems to be fragrance-free and is perfectly spreadable.
Now Anonymous' claim, "Korres IS a greenwashing company" was neither attributed to any source nor elaborated upon, so I can only assume this reader bases his or her opinion on Korres' ingredients. Greenwashing is also about manufacturing procedures and the environmental impact of such practices as shipping and packaging.
The first place I go for ingredient research is the Skin Deep database, where products are rated 0-10 for health hazards. With 86 Korres products currently listed, Skin Deep rates the company between 0 and 9. Further, the website contends Korres has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, but is currently considered "non-compliant" because one or more ingredients used in their products is prohibited or restricted by the Compact. These violations seem to include the use of "fragrance," as well as the chemicals Ethanolamine (in two hair colorants) and Polysorbate-60 in
In a world facing ever-growing problems including limited natural resources and the increase in pollution levels, Korres Natural Products sees its fundamental responsibility towards nature and the environment as an essential effort that should be done by all of us, for the protection of our planet."
According to Korres International's website, "Production takes place at our certified plant (environmental and quality management system/ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ECOCERT)which includes a water purification section, a production unit and a packaging zone.In terms of our ‘green’ commitment, we follow over 20 environmental management and sustainability programmes, including waste management, recycling, avoiding non-biodegradable ingredients/materials, emission control and carbon footprint appraisals."
ISO is by the organization's own definition, "An [international] non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations...therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society." In other words, ISO certification is stringent and "legit."
Kitty can only conclude that in a world of greenwashing, Korres is doing its very best to be a leader in eco-friendly manufacturing and product formulation. To us, intention is everything. Although many of the products in Korres' lines contain ingredients such as "perfume," or parabens (natural no-nos), by and large the Korres company is indeed towing the line and not greenwashing consumers. We at Organic Orgy would like manufacturers to list the ingredients of so-called perfumes. We understand proprietary formulation, but would like to know whether fragrances include toxic ingredients. We prefer fragrances made from essential oils without formaldehyde fixatives.
To learn how to read product labels and avoid the most toxic ingredients, check out this page produced by the Environmental Working Group, publishers of the Skin Deep database.