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Greenwashing: What is this and what the heck is really natural when it comes to products?


How natural can you get? Well, we all know that you can’t just pick a plant from the soil (organic soil?)  and use it as a body wash or shampoo, it has to be processed in some what way to turn into the product. Essential oils go through a rather in depth process to be derived from the plant – this is kept as ‘natural’ as possible. What you need to watch out for is the many other ingredients skincare brands use to ‘preserve’ the natural product , or mix with other non-natural ingredients (including fragrance). What you can do is read the fine print.

There is a heck of a lot of waste in the world, there are companies who claim to be good for planet – especially in skincare, yet many of them use single use packaging, and are Greenwashing.

What is Greenwashing? has summed it up well.

Basically, they have written about the beauty industry’s dirty little secret.

There is a tricky side to words like “clean”, “natural”, and even ‘Organic” – namely, that a lot of it is bullshit. “In cosmetics, unlike food, these terms are not regulated unless certified. And, even then, certification can mean something or nothing, so it’s pretty confusing.  Many companies slap the word organic on their products, even though they have no certification whatsoever, that is called greenwashing. (excerpt obtained from


What you can expect with Ora Aromatherapy’s products?

Well, you can expect it to be paraben-free, petrochemical-free, no animal testing, mineral free oil, alcohol free, silicone free. We do not claim to be 100% organic, because that, these days, is nearly impossible. All our products are made by hand, this means only one pair of hands has made these from scratch. There are no tiers of people making cuts, charge up is simply enough to put food on the table and pay a few bills for one small NZ family. Essential oils are used which are 100% therapeutic (these are certified!) and where ever we can, use organic essential oils. Our products are in glass bottles which are reusable, and recyclable. We package as best we can in boxes with wood wool. We are using home compostable courier bags where possible. We know we can’t be everything, but we are conscious.

The question you can ask yourself is, what does it mean to be using natural or organic products? How often are you fooled by an icon on a bottle that says ‘vegan’ ‘organic’ ‘ecofriendly’ without looking into the small print (if there is any listed) ??

Ora Aromatherapy is always looking to better the products and practices, but for now you can rest assured we are transparent, and we think pretty damn close to being as natural as you can get!

XX Kate

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