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The latest update to the ethical index rankings for soap brands is now available.

The update brings a number of changes. But the big news is Ecover’s fall from grace, receiving a bottom ranking 33 ECI. How could this be?


This notable result about Ecover serves as an important reminder. As a well known ethical brand, Ecover was taken over by SC Johnson and in doing so ranks near the bottom of the ethical rankings. There are many nuances when it comes to the research. For example, there is no overlooking the fact that a company like Ecover, which has always been against animal testing – and indeed has Leaping Bunny certification – is now owned by a company which test on animals.

We’ve seen these kind of results happen a lot over time, where small ‘sustainable’ businesses are taken over by big corporations. Of course being taken over by a corporation isn’t necessarily a bad thing; nor does it necessarily mean a drop in ethical standards. But in many cases such a drop is a clear, tangible result. There is also an argument (or point of view) that rather these smaller companies ‘selling out’ and becoming less ethical, they serve as a benchmark for the owning corporation in how to become more sustainable. In other words, the corporation or larger owning company can learn from the smaller business and its ethical principles, similar to how some existing major corporations might learn from other fellow corporations that are leading by example when it comes to business ethics. And there are cases in which this happens.

But as things stand, Ecover’s ethical ranking has plummeted. And we can only recommend that, if you were previously a consumer of Ecover products, you look to the brands that currently rank top of the ethical charts.

Ethical scores

At the top of the ethical index is several notable brands, including Living Naturally, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Odylique, Honesty, PHB Ethical Beauty and Caurnie Soaps (among others). All these brands that were just listed have Ethical Accreditation and are highly recommended by The Good Shopping Guide.

Joining Ecover at the bottom of the ethical index include Palmolive, Dove, Pears and Radox.

For more information and to review all of the latest brand rankings, see the soap section of The Good Shopping Guide.

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