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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is Simple skincare good for the planet, for animals and for people?

Simple is a skincare brand owned by Unilever, one of the biggest retail corporations in the world. Simple’s products cater predominantly to those with sensitive skin, and due to its affordability and prevalence in supermarkets and pharmacies, is a popular UK skincare brand. However, due to the unethical business activities of Simple’s parent company, this brand, unfortunately, does not score well in The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Skincare Ratings Table.

We encourage Simple and other skincare brands that do not gain high Good Shopping Guide scores to keep striving to improve the ethics of their business activities, and to push the skincare sector to lead the way when it comes to protecting the Environment, Animals and People.

Is Simple Cruelty-Free?

No, Simple is not entirely Cruelty-Free. Although Simple’s Animal Welfare statement does take up a stance against animal testing, consumers should note that Simple does continue to trade in China, a country that requires animal testing to be conducted on all health and beauty products that are sold in stores. So whilst products sold in Europe might be Cruelty-Free, not all Simple products are guaranteed Cruelty-Free globally. For this reason, some consumers feel it is not right to continue to financially support a brand that may conduct animal testing anywhere in the world.

We encourage all skincare and cosmetics brands to carefully consider where they trade and to be wary if certain countries compromise their business ethics.

Simple’s current Animal Welfare Policy is not deemed detailed enough for such a large and popular brand, and we encourage all skincare companies to publish a comprehensive, transparent and specific Policy.

Is Simple Vegan?

Simple’s products are not certified-Vegan, and consumers should be aware that beeswax does appear in some of the skincare products. Though Simple has committed to making all of its products Vegan in the future, this has not yet happened and no independent certification has yet been obtained.

Is Unilever a good company?

Whilst The Good Shopping Guide was encouraged to see Unilever’s in-depth Environmental Report, with many targets and progress updates, Unilever can hardly be called a good ethical company.

Does Unilever use GM ingredients in its products?

Yes, Unilever does use GM ingredients in its products, as evidenced by this statement from the corporation.

“Our priority is to provide consumers with safe products that meet all regulatory requirements and fulfil our high standards for quality. And our commitment to safety and quality includes all of our food ingredients, whether produced from conventional crops or from GM crops authorised by regulatory bodies. We believe GM crops are as safe as their traditional counterparts and fully support regulatory control around GM technology and continued scientific research in the area.”

Some environmentalists and environmental scientists believe that GM crops have a significant ecological impact. This report from Montana State University goes through why the use of GM crops can increase the use of herbicides and increase the likelihood of herbicide-resistant weeds.

Are Simple skincare products Organic?

Unfortunately, no Unilever beauty brands have any certified-Organic products.

How could Simple become an ethical brand?

Simple is held back from becoming a more ethical company by its parent corporation, Unilever. However, we encourage Simple and other Unilever-owned brands to obtain both Vegan and Organic accreditation, in order to better conserve the vulnerable Environment and Animals.


Find out more about Simple on its website.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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