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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is VO5?

VO5 is a brand of hair care products which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Shampoo & Conditioner Ratings Table. Although VO5 has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in VO5 if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Ethical Shampoo & Conditioner sector.

What does VO5 do?

VO5 is a personal care brand owned by Unilever. It was developed in the 1950s by a chemist as a rejuvenating treatment for Hollywood movie stars.

In which areas does VO5 perform poorly?

VO5 was marked down under our criteria for Organic due to a lack of certification. It was also marked down for GMOs as its parent company, Unilever, believes that GM ingredients are safe to use. Unilever also states that it does use Animal Testing where required by law.

VO5 also scored poorly under our Irresponsible Marketing criteria. Its parent company, Unilever, had to rename ‘Fair & Lovely’, its skin-lightening cream, after petitions attracted almost 20,000 signatures of people shocked by its promotion of negative stereotypes around dark skin tones. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of VO5’s record

Unilever, VO5’s parent company, has come under fire for failing to deliver on its promise to scale back its presence in Russia. Unilever has also been named as one of the companies sourcing palm oil from mills controlled by the Harita Group, who are responsible for the destruction of indigenous communities in Borneo.

In which areas does VO5 score well for its ethics?

VO5’s parent company, Unilever, has an Annual Report and Accounts 2022, which contains a wide range of environmental targets across different areas giving them a good score for Environmental Report.

We found no criticisms relating to Nuclear Power, Fossil Fuels or Armaments so VO5 scores well for these criteria.

How can VO5 improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that VO5 is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Shampoo & Conditioner Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, VO5 has some issues to resolve, including its use of animal testing and GMOs. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give VO5 some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our ethical mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

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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