Sustainability should be beautiful, lively and appealing

The mission statement of Method reads ‘To inspire a happy and healthy home revolution’, while the personnel calls itself ‘People against dirty’. So yes, they like a tad of humour every now and then. Nevertheless, they are very serious about the sustainability of both the ingredients and the packaging they use for their products.

Method is a San Francisco based company, founded by two childhood friends. They offer eco-friendly, safe and effective home and body cleaning products, like floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, dishwater soaps, air refreshers, foaming hand wash, gel body wash and so on. In 2012, Method was acquired by Belgian based company Ecover to jointly become to world’s biggest manufacturer of ecological cleaning products.

Authenticity requires transparency

The company only uses sustainable ingredients that biodegrade easily. As Method believes that authenticity requires transparency, they publish all the ingredients they use on their website. The list includes components such as aloe barbadensis extract, amylase, benzyl alcohol, calcium chloride, glycol distearate and so on. The list goes on for twelve pages (!) and describes for each individual ingredient what its function is in the product and what the environmental and health consequences are. Ingredients that are on Method’s ‘dirty ingredients ist’ however, such as phosphates or bleach, will be never be used in the company’s products. And as Method strongly believes that sustainability should be beautiful, lively and appealing, they also use safe, environmentally compatible colourants and fragrances that are non-toxic and effective at ultra-low concentrations.

Bottles made from… bottles

Method’s packaging is not only remarkably stylish, it also carries a conscience. All of the PET plastic bottles that are used for hand wash, dish soap and spray cleaners are made from 100% post-consumer resin (PCR). Compared to virgin plastic, PCR has a 70% lower carbon footprint. The HDPE (high density polyethylene) bottles, that Method uses for other products, have a PCR ranging from 25% to 50%.

Ocean plastics

Method markets 2-in-1 dish/hand soap, which is packed in a sleek looking bottle, made from a blend of recovered ocean plastic and PCR. The ocean plastic is collected by Method’s recycling partner Envision Plastics, with the help of local beach clean-up groups and volunteers who collect plastic debris from the beaches of Hawaii. It’s estimated that several million tons of plastics make their way to the oceans every year. Method cannot clean the ocean all by itself, but the company wants to create awareness about the issue. They also want to demonstrate smart ways of using and reusing these plastics. 

Last but not least Method’s San Francisco headquarters is a LEED certified green building. It was retrofit from an old office, and over 96% of the materials where reused or recycled. The company also opened divisions in the United Kingdom and in Australia.