Why should you look for organic cotton wool products for your body care? We asked the experts from Macdonald and Taylor Healthcare to explain
Who are Macdonald and Taylor Healthcare and what are your products?
We are manufacturers and suppliers of Simply Gentle organic cotton wool and PittaPatta baby and children’s body care products.
Why is Simply Gentle Cotton Wool organic?
We support organic cotton agriculture because, although cotton is a natural fibre and has a good environmental image, conventional cotton farming actually causes considerable ecological damage. Cotton is the largest non-food crop and artificial fertilisers, herbicides, and insecticides are used on conventional cotton crops in enormous quantities, much in excess of their use on other crops.
This results in the contamination of water courses and the transfer of poisons into the food chain, thereby affecting the health of farm workers, their families, and the local population, as well as greatly reducing the numbers of wildlife and pollinating insects. In addition, the growth of conventional cotton destroys soil fertility with cotton crops often being grown until the land is no longer usable, and It can take many years for this land to recover and be suitable for agricultural use.
In contrast, organic cotton farmers use cattle manure to replace chemical fertilisers, ox driven weeding instead of herbicides, and crop rotation, which has been virtually abandoned in conventional cotton cultivation. Insects are one of the biggest problems in cotton farming and, in place of chemical insecticides, organic cotton farmers use trap plants, such as sunflowers and pigeon peas, to attract the beneficial insects which counter crop pests. Also much cotton is now genetically modified to make it pest resistant, and it is impossible to identify. Organic cotton is not genetically modified.
How does this affect the user of cotton wool?
Some of the chemicals used in growing conventional cotton can remain in the crop, and so be contained in the cotton wool that is made from it. There is the danger that these absorbed chemicals will leech out when conventional cotton wool is used with creams, lotions, and other body care products. Anyone caring for their skin, and particularly those who spend a lot on premium pure face and body care products, will not want their skin or their children’s skin to be contaminated by the cotton wool that they use. Organically grown cotton wool products give complete protection against these problems.
How can the user be certain that your products are really organic?
We think that it is really important to uphold world class standards and have a third party confirm those standards, and Simply Gentle organic products have been certified by the Soil Association for nearly 20 years.
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The Soil Association is the UK’s leading organic certifier, offering a huge range of organic and sustainable certification schemes across food, farming, catering, health and beauty, textiles, and forestry, as well as participation in GOTS – the Global Organic Textile Standard. Certification with the Soil Association involves an intensive annual audit of our products to ensure the reliability of our supply chain and the standards to which we work, so that all our customers can be assured of the purity and quality of our products.
What about your PittaPatta range and your other products which aren’t just dry cotton wool?
All of our dry Simply Gentle products are made with 100% organic cotton wool, and all our other products meet the Soil Association’s standards to be certified as organic. But it is not currently possible to make most lotions and other formulated products 100% natural and organic, so we undertake to use natural and organic ingredients wherever they are available to make our formulations as natural and organic as is possible at present.
We also think that it is very important to be completely transparent, and we are working to declare the composition of all our products and this is shown at present on our PittaPatta range. For example, our PittaPatta Shampoo and Bodywash is currently 97% natural and 72% organic, and our PittaPatta Chest Stick is 100% natural and 99% organic. But we are working continuously to improve these formulations as new natural or organic ingredients become available.
Are there any harmful ingredients in your products?
We never add any harmful ingredients to our products and, in particular, they are parabens and sulphate free.
Are your products suitable for use on babies?
We have products for all the family, shown by icons for baby, children, teenagers, parents, and even grandparents on all our packaging. However, we are particularly aware of the effect that body care products can have on babies and children, due to their developing skin which is more porous than adult skin, making it much more delicate and sensitive, and so we have developed ranges of products specifically for babies and children.
We have Baby Wipes, Baby Cleansing Pads, and Baby Safety Buds in our Simply Gentle Baby Range, the whole PittaPatta range is specially formulated for sensitive baby skin with the gentlest healing essential oils and, of course, all our dry Cotton Wool products are suitable for use on baby skin.
Which of your products are most suitable for skin care?
The simple answer is – all of them. Whether you use our dry Cotton Wool products with plain water or a skin product such as a cream or a cleanser, there is a Simply Gentle product to help. We also have Wipes and Cleansing Pads, impregnated with specially formulated active ingredients to soothe and moisturise the skin.
Is your packaging recyclable?
In addition to reducing the use of traditional single use plastics by introducing recyclable bio-plastics in our PittaPatta range, our Simply Gentle Cotton Wool range is packed in bags made from recyclable plastic, and our Wipes and Cotton Cloths are packed in a new recyclable laminate.
What are bio-plastics, and how are they used in your packaging?
A bio-plastic is a plastic that is made partly or wholly from materials derived from biological sources, such as sugar cane, potato starch, or the cellulose from trees and straw, rather than from petroleum. Bio-plastics can generally be directly substituted for their petroleum-based equivalents, as they have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic but bio-plastics generate far fewer carbon emissions during production. The use of bio-plastics is still niche, but the market is growing and we have already seen a number of companies like us at Macdonald and Taylor Healthcare begin to switch to more environmentally friendly bio-plastics.
Our bio-plastics are sourced from sugar cane and used for all the PittaPatta packaging, both the tubes and even the labels.
What environmental considerations do you take into account?
Our approach to our environmental responsibilities goes way beyond packaging, and here at Macdonald and Taylor Healthcare we are constantly monitoring and working to improve our environmental standards. We take pride in our actions to reduce our carbon footprint, and our efforts cover all the following areas:
• Never using ingredients tested on animals
• Minimising our waste by reusing and recycling all our materials
• Reducing any impact from our operations on the environment and local community by continuously reducing air, water, noise, and light pollution from our premises
• Minimising our consumption of natural resources, especially where they are non-renewable
• Minimising energy and water usage in our buildings, vehicles, and processes
• As far as possible purchasing products and services that do the least damage to the environment and encouraging others to do the same
• Understanding, supporting, and exceeding in all environmental legislations
• Ensuring that all of our product ranges and packaging are recyclable and environmentally friendly by monitoring the increasing developments in both the recycling industry and also in manufacturing.
• In particular, continuously exploring, finding, and sourcing new plastic options for us and our customers
By selecting our products you are doing more than just looking after your family, you are also looking after the environment which we all share.
What products are in the Simply Gentle Organic range?
Simply Gentle have a portfolio of Cotton Wool products, Wipes, and Baby and Children’s Body Care products
Cotton Wool Range: Pads, Balls, Pleats
Care Range: Cosmetic Pads and Wipes, Cotton Cloths, Ear Buds
Baby Range Wipes, Cleansing Pads, Safety Ear Buds
Shampoo & Bodywash, Bubble Bath, Moisturising Lotion, Barrier Cream, and Chest Stick
Where can I find out more about M&T and its products?
There ls lots of useful information on our website www.simplygentle.co.uk where you can read about our products and our ethics. If you can’t find what you are looking for, then one of our team is always on hand to answer any question.