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: http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient_details.php?ingredient_id=296.
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?
- Starbucks to Eliminate Uncertified Palm Oil by 2015 (environmentalleader.com)
- Starbucks Will Source Only Sustainable Palm Oil By 2015 (triplepundit.com)