Found this bag by Credo Bags today...love!
I have updates!
I was asked to contact Aveda and Philosophy specifically by friends and I contacted each company and finally received responses from each company.
Verbatim from their e-mail response: “Aveda’s plant-based mission and principles, on which the company was founded, have always steered us toward using plant-based or plant-derived ingredients whenever possible. In keeping with this mission, Aveda products are developed using pure flower and plant essences and are phthalate-free. Aveda does not use phthalates in its formulations.” So, this is good to know, however, I have learned to go ahead and take a look at the other ingredients to make sure that nothing is listed there that might be harmful in a different way.
Secondly, Philosophy. Also, verbatim from their e-mail: “thank you for contacting philosophy! we do have many different products that are phthalate free. please reply to this email with any specific products you are interested in and we would be happy to verify if they are phthalate free.” Yes, the e-mail contained no capitalized letters. Weird.
Anyway, this is more of a “skirting the issue” response to me, because while Philosophy does have some phthalate-free products, they are not committed to using natural products, and so, don’t. This means that phthalate-free products may have different harmful chemicals in them. I confess to completely crushing my sister-in-law’s favorite lip gloss from Philosophy by letting her know that it contained three different ingredients that are considered to be carcinogenic, bio-accumulating, and/or endocrine disrupting. Whoops. So, I am debating crafting a doozy of an e-mail in response, listing every Philosophy product I can find, also asking pointed questions about the oxybenzone, octinoxate, and benzyl benzoate they put in their lip gloss.
Thirdly, Thymes. This is a fancier-than-usual product line that they sell in my fancy grocery store, but you can also find them in gift shops and on-line. I wanted to buy my mom some of their candles/soaps, but decided to see if they were “okay.” Their response, also verbatim, was: “Thank you for your reply. No, we no longer use SLS/SLES, propylene glycol, DEA, TEA, formaldehyde donors, or phthalates in our products. I hope this is helpful and if you have any further questions, please let me know. Thank you!” Similar to my Aveda research, it would be wise to check out the other ingredients they use to make sure they are “good enough.”
So, if you want to hunt down info about specific chemicals, you can either read up on wiki or head over to EWG’s Skin Deep
database. They have a big databank of products that they grade based upon ingredients. There are a couple of caveats with the EWG database, though…some of their listings are outdated and therefore do not necessarily have the current product formula in the database. They also score heavily for potentially harmful side-effects that don’t necessarily affect people in the same way. For instance, I am not allergic to fragrances. Anything with an undisclosed fragrance (possibly because fragrances can contain anything from phthalates to synthetic fragrances that do not occur naturally) gets a high score of 8/10. Hence my research that entails actually contacting the companies and asking for clarification. However, if you want info about a particular chemical, it’s a good source.
And my own review of the ridiculously cheap, homemade baking-soda-based deodorant spray that I wrote about last time: Day 1, I wore a wool sweater over a long-sleeved tee and jeans, the temperature high for the day was 50 degrees, and I did not do much in the way of exercise. Day 2, I wore a loose jacket over a t-shirt with a scarf (and jeans again), the weather was a little warmer, and I matched the same level of effort for the day. I am not a sweaty person, usually, so I’m not really concerned about wetness, but on the funk-level, I am more concerned. In all honesty, I have to say that at the end of each day, there was surprisingly *almost* no stink. I think this works better than Tom’s for me. And when I say almost, that means, there wasn’t zero odor, but I’d say it was at about 97% funk-free even the next day.
Day 3-4 were spent on the weekend doing not much. Then came Monday, which was, notably, the first day I wore synthetic fabrics. And this was the first day of funk. I thought maybe I had not applied enough. So, of course, like the good little researcher I am, I made sure I put enough on the next day, and wore another outfit of synthetic fabric. Same result. I switched back to cotton, and voila, no stink! And then, I did go to the gym. And I did sweat. But I did not stink. So all those health classes touting natural fabrics to allow the body to breathe weren’t lying! Natural fabrics allow any moisture to wick away. Synthetic fabrics?…not so much, therefore encouraging funk-causing bacteria to grow. So, at least for me, I will continue to use the non-aluminum, baking soda and water “deodorant” on those days when I wear natural fibers, and someday, when I splurge on the La Vanila stuff, I’ll use that when I wear the synthetics. In the meantime, though, I have stumbled upon a reason to buy more natural-fiber clothes. Oh, dang.
P.S. The only drawback to the baking soda and water formula is that the spray pump seems easily clogged by the baking soda in the solution, so I now I just “splash” it on. Maybe less baking soda or more water will reduce that problem? Next batch I’ll tinker with the amounts. But, definitely a thumbs up. Try it!