CHOICE membership

Ethical considerations

Hi all. We’ve pilot partnered with Shop Ethical to give ethical grades based on their research through 3rd party sources. I’ve put together one on an update of laundry detergents (not a new test, just an update to an existing test - removed all the detergents that have reformulated).

Feel free to feedback on the presentation of findings, there are plenty of ways I’d like to improve it but we’ve got limitations based on our content management system and developer time.

If it goes well, and Shop Ethical are happy too, we’ll roll it out further.

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There’s an explanation for the absence of Coles products, but why are there 2 brands shown with (0) detergents tested? I was hoping to see where Earth Choice sat in the list, as this is what we have used for a few years, and are happy with it.

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ditto

There are good reasons many of us choose lower environmental impact products. Their powder laundry detergent offers good value and works fine. I only use a half scoop in a cleans load and no more than a 3/4 scoop in the outdoor work wear. Albeit the wash is often run on a warm cycle, or hot if the work gear has been around anything unsavoury.

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Hi gordon, We tested Earth Choice whenwe first conducted the test last year, but we’ve had to put them in discontinued since they changed the formula. If you click on Related in filters and tick discontinued, it’ll show up Earth Choice.

We’ll be restesting mid-year, where we’ll add in their new products.

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Hi Matt

The issue I see is that the ratings are for the company, and not for the product. For example, Aldi was downgrade by Shop Ethical for having high free range stocking rates. That may be relevant to the eggs they sell, but not to their detergents.

The ethical ratings give no indication as to whether the specific detergent product is ethically produced and/or has a low environmental impact or not.

I think that this is a misleading and can give a false sense of security to people who think they are buying low environmental impact goods, but the manufacturer/retailer is highly rated because they have joined a number of organisations, not because the product is environmentally friendlier than another.

Reminds me of confusion with the heart tick.

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Nice, I use Shop Ethical already. Presentation of the rating is good. Despite not having a perfect methodology and only covering certain supply chain issues, I’m not sure what else is available right now. If some system has a better methodology then perhaps it can be adopted when available. Not a reason not to have this imho.

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I guess that’s why Woolworths gets an ‘F’. They have huge investments in gambling and alcohol businesses currently.

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Aldi brands

I am not following you, what about Aldi brands?

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They sell green cleaning and laundry products.

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Yep, you’re right it could be said to be misleading.

I might add some clarity in there around the company being graded, not the product.

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I am not sure what is so ‘green’ about Aldi products, I guess it depends on what you mean by the term. In your view why is Aldi stuff green?

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Only Aldi products for top loader recommended. Now most products on the shelf say top/front

Can always wash with bicarb and rinse with vinegar

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I would prefer the vinegar flies didn’t follow me about quite that much. Also messing with the pH of my water treatment plant is not a good idea.

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I don’t use this water for plants

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I am talking about my aerated wastewater treatment plant where all my used household water goes. It has its own microbiome that resents major changes in pH. The treated water is reused on green growing plants.

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I live in an apartment. So as nice as it would be to be this sustainable, it’s impossible

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This is great to have.
We have a reed bed grey water system with treated effluent going to gardens, so any washing products have to work for that.
And I prefer not to buy in plastic.

I am looking into Euca washing powder (online and at some car parts shops(!) like SuperCheap). They have good reviews, and some sizes come in cardboard so I might give them a try.

I’d love to see their products reviewed at some stage as I would also consider their dishwasher powder and some cleaning products as well.

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Why not grade the environmental sustainability of the products? Surely this is a key criteria for many now. But we need this confirmed independently free of “green wash”.

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I have been wondering for a while why Choice doesn’t include ethical considerations in its reviews. I also use Shop Ethical and it would be great if Choice could partner with Shop Ethical on more reviews so I don’t have to check against both! I agree there might be issues with scope/methodology and understand why it would be preferable to use an ethical grade for the product, but appreciate there is a lot of complexity there. I really hope this pilot grows into something bigger, as ethics should be a larger part of our purchasing decisions.

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