Boycott Bath and Body Works Products That Contain Retinyl Palmitate (Palm Oil)

bath-and-boBath & Body Works  Kiss Me I'm Iris...

bath-and-boBath & Body Works Kiss Me I’m Irish anti-bacterial hand geldyworks-saint-patricks-hand gel (Photo credit: BeautyAlmanac)

I stumbled into a Bath and Body Works store (or whatever it’s called…Bed, Bath and Body?)  in a mall this past weekend.  Bored to tears while my girlfriend shopped I read labels.  To my disgust I found retinyl palmitate in many products — code for palm oil.  I spoke to a very nice clerk, who seemed interested in my anti-palm oil spiel, and fired off an email quickly.

Here’s their response I received just now:

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us in regards to our policies, services and products. We value your inquiry and your interest in Bath and Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co.

Thank you for your inquiry. Many food and personal care products, including several Bath & Body Works products, contain palm oil. As a company, we are increasingly integrating the protection and preservation of global resources into our everyday business practices, and we are evaluating our suppliers’ practices in these areas. Our track record demonstrates our commitment to environmental responsibility but, we know that there remains much more to do. Again, we appreciate you reaching out. We are committed to continuous improvement and value your feedback as we move ahead.”

*For more information about personal care product uses of palm oil:

If we can be of any further assistance, please reply to this email or contact us at 1-800-395-1001, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Make you feel all cozy and comfortable that your hand soap is probably helping to destroy rainforest, kill orangutans, elephants and tigers, displace humans and exacerbate global warming?

The implication is that they know full well that they’re part of the problem but haven’t solved it by sourcing palm oil sustainably.  That’s horrible.

I’m telling my girlfriend to boycott these products.  To be safe, I made her purchase only those products that seemingly didn’t have any palm oil code words, though we should have boycotted the whole stinking store.  Sickening choices we have to make — between environmental destruction and First World problems (hand soap choice).

I mean even mega corporations like Starbucks (see below) and Unilever are changing their ways and sourcing sustainably.  Why can’t this company?

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6 Responses to Boycott Bath and Body Works Products That Contain Retinyl Palmitate (Palm Oil)

  1. Brooklin says:

    Good jobb!! #saynotopalmoil 🙂

  2. Jonathon says:

    The letter said that they are working to obtain and incorporate a higher percent of responsibly sourced Palm oil. Meaning not all of their Palm oil is “bad oil” and they are working to fix it.

    YOU are trying to demonize them by making it sound like they don’t give a shit about the environment in anyway and don’t care at all about fixing it.

    I hope you fall off your soapbox and break your face.

    You’re like the Westboro Baptist Church or Palm Oil.

    • Thanks for reading my blog. And for your input. There are many environmentalists and people on the ground around the world who maintain there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil. I tend to live in that camp. Palm oil is destroying the last rainforests of this planet. And Sumatra’s deforestation has doubled in recent years even in PROTECTED areas. When I was in Borneo last year, everywhere I went smelled like burning rainforest because it was being cleared for palm oil plantations. Maybe you can live with that but I can’t. This blog is here for informational purposes, take from it what you will, or nothing at all. Thanks for reading!

    • Also, I don’t know about you but, ” …(W)e are increasingly integrating the protection and preservation of global resources into our everyday business practices, and we are evaluating our suppliers’ practices in these areas” is not good enough for me. Corporations are all about returning profits to the shareholders. They care nothing about the environment. This is all doubletalk and subterfuge. I will write them again and see what their response is now, lo these many years later. I will post a response when I get it. Again thank you so much for your input; it’s nice to get a dissenting opinion every once in a while because it challenges us and makes us solidify our arguments. You were successful at presenting that dissenting opinion, which we welcome on this site, when we rarely get them. Thank you.

      • Merisha says:

        What was their response now? I’m curious and feel there are so many terms that are used to cover up the use of palm oil on ingredient labels, I feel like its a lost cause but it can’t be… I want a good source to easily identify what contains palm oil or not. Why can’t there be some sort of mandate passed that says companies have to disclose it easier!

      • I’ll have to write them again and look at their website.

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