Starting with a commitment to ingredient transparency
I founded Meliora Cleaning Products in 2013, shortly after (and inspired by) WVE’s successful campaign to reduce the amount of 1,4-dioxane in Tide detergent. The passion and commitment shown by volunteers in this campaign proved that there was a demand for safer cleaning products. Public pressure on large companies like P&G is one way to achieve change, but nothing catches corporate attention like business success, so I wanted to contribute to this effort by doing something better in the marketplace. My hope was that building a brand that was simultaneously financially successful, selective about ingredients, and transparent about safety standards would keep the entire cleaning products industry moving forward.
I’m proud to say that over the last 5 years, we have seen strides in the cleaning product industry towards greater ingredient transparency as we continue to grow as a company, and we continue to fully disclose ingredients and host tours of our Chicago, IL production facility.
A roadmap for making our ingredient screening process even better
Commitment to using safer ingredients is ingrained in our company, but we can still make improvements. That’s why we were so excited to learn about the Health First Roadmap. The experts at Women’s Voices have created a step-by-step guide for us to follow so we can continue to be a better company and improve our ingredient screening and reporting. With a roadmap so clearly laid out, WVE is easing the way for companies like ours that want to provide better products.
Starting from where we are today, we will be sharing our journey as we follow the roadmap. We are excited to finally measure our company’s chemical footprint using the Chemical Footprint Project – we have not yet participated in this cross-industry reporting system and we really appreciate the existence of efforts like this that use a common assessment. We expect that will bring a new challenge and identify some areas for us to improve. We’re also looking forward to sharing more information on our screening processes – we use a very restrictive third-party certification, MADE SAFE, to screen the ingredients in our products, and we’ll be sharing more information on that publicly so it’s clearer what we will and will not allow in our products.
image courtesy womensvoices.org
Health First and our triple bottom line
As a business with a triple bottom line (we consider people, planet, AND profit in our business decisions), Meliora uses business as a tool to solve social and environmental problems. WVE has been a natural nonprofit partner for us and the Health First Roadmap is the latest opportunity to show our organizations’ mutual commitment to getting safer products in the marketplace. Our hope is that other cleaning companies join us in adopting the Health First Roadmap so safer products are created.
What you can do
We don’t know exactly where this map will take us, but I hope you join us on our journey. We’ll be posting updates about our journey in our blog and social media pages.
If you buy other cleaning products from another company, please reach out to your favorite brands and ask them where they are on the roadmap.
If you are interested in this topic from your role within a cleaning products company, let’s work together. The safer chemicals programs in the cleaning product industry are likely to continue to be self-policing; we can create better standards together, such as developing a voluntary industry-wide restricted substance list (RSL) to lead the way towards a better focus on health. I can be reached on twitter @katejakubas to continue the conversation.
A version of this post can also be found on Women's Voices for the Earth's Blog.