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Our Process, methodology and sources

WHAT WE RATE

Zoobop’s brand score, simply put, is a numerical measure on how a brand performs on its ethics, policies, sustainability and eco-footprint. The score is based on a wide range of criteria namely the usage of possible carcinogens, environmental footprint, cruelty-free practices, labelling transparency, ethics in sourcing & community impact.

We have created the zoobop brand Score to help consumers make better, safer, more informed choices while buying personal & household products. We have scored more than 3500 brands globally and our platform has taken over 4 years of research to build.

The zoobop score provides transparent information on a brand ethos and its footprint following these four key metrics of concern to consumers:

  • personal safety
  • the environment
  • transparency
  • Animals

Zoobop scores each of these criteria, so users can see how a brand fares on each independently and see the collective aggregate score of the brand. We are transparent about what we find. Each source and process is listed below in detail.

It is important to note that the Zoobop score gives negative marks to brands that greenwash or make false claims and we give positive points to brands that contribute to society in both small & big ways.

Personal Safety
  • Ingredient check - We check the risk of published ingredients in products (across all SKUs) of a brand. Each ingredient is cross checked against documented evidence of toxicity, health implications or allergen factors. These are highlighted in Red, Yellow and Green for users to easily see if they are High, Moderate or low hazard levels. For the curious user, a simple tap on the ingredient will explain its usage/ harm in layman terms.
  • Sources for global standards on ingredient toxicity is taken from the EUs ECHA program, California Safe Cosmetics Program, Proposition 65, Safe Cosmetics EWG, The David Suzuki Foundation, Women’s Voice for the Earth, BCPP
  • Certification - If brand is certified Natural or Organic - and if they are accredited by the certifier to carry their logo.
Environment
  • Ingredient & disposal - Types of ingredients in products (across all Skus) used and how these translate as grey waste. For the curious user, a simple tap on the ingredient will explain its usage/ harm in layman terms. Types of packaging used, management of micro plastics, deforestation impacts and disposal.
  • Sources for global standards on ingredient eco toxicity is taken from the EU's ECHA program, California Safe Cosmetics Program, Proposition 65, EWG, The David Suzuki Foundation, Plastic Soup Foundation
  • Supply chain - Certain ingredients like Palm Oil and derivatives can be dirty if they are not sourced sustainably. We check for transparency in the supply chain for these. Certification if claimed are checked with their certifiers, such as Responsible Supply Palm Oil (RSPO)
  • Energy use - If a brand uses alternate sources of energy in their manufacturing, offices or any production facility
  • Certification - If a brand is BCORP or if the brand carries any eco certification, it is checked and verified with the accreditor.
Transparency
  • Labelling - Many brands tend to reveal only “key” ingredients and do not practice a 100% labelling transparency with full ingredients mentioned on the product label and their website. Zoobop scores a brand based on how transparent it is.
    In addition, some brands are evasive and non-responsive even when asked simple questions about ingredients in products. It is important for brands to let consumers know what's in the products they are using. This must be the core of any Brand ethos and cannot be used as an excuse to not reveal what's inside.
  • Human rights - the implementation of policies to protect workers' rights throughout the supply chain, for example, child labour, forced labour, gender equality, and fair trade. The publication of supplier lists and tracking of subcontractors. Many ingredients in personal care can have issues of child labour (example Mica) or unfair pay (example Shea).
  • Certification - We check for certifications in supply chain for ingredients like Mica and Shea which have issues of child labour and fair trade and can be sourced unethically. Certification if claimed are checked with their certifiers, such as Responsible Mica Initiative, Global Shea Alliance.
Animals & Ethics
  • Testing Policy - Implementation of policies to ensure animal welfare. Brand ethics vis a vis cruelty free/ animal testing by 1st, 2nd or 3rd parties. Lack of cruelty free policies or vague policies are highlighted too.
  • Marketing - A brand’s commitment to sell products in countries where testing is not required as per law.
  • Animal derived ingredients - We mention all possible animal derived ingredients used by a brand (across all SKUs). And mention use of cruelly procured / derived ingredients. For the curious user, a simple tap on the ingredient will explain its usage/ harm in layman terms.
  • Certification - False use of accreditor logos is seen widely now a days. And zoobop brings that information to users. Certification if claimed are checked with their certifiers, such as The Leaping Bunny, PETA, CCF (now now Cruelty Free International)

HOW WE RATE

In the Zoobop brand rating system, public information is collected and compared with the criteria listed above. Additional information on each finding appears under the following icons, which can be explored in depth under Why this Score? on each brand's page.

We gather our data primarily from leading industry standards, third-party certifications, additional publicly available reports by brands and their parent companies.

Our process

1. Zoobop Identifies personal & household brands to rate globally, with priority given to user requests, to brands with the largest market share, brands that are likely to rate highly, and those that cater for diversity.

2. We segregate the brand depending on its size, popularity and global presence.

3. Public company information is gathered from a brand's own website and from labels on its products. These findings are then run through our various checkers.

4. Information that is lacking, unclear or that which is not found is clarified through a round of Q&A with the brand. Here we check on the brand’s response to customer queries and their eagerness to give honest and transparent answers when asked.

5. Our team validates the collected data through internal automated validation and analyst review, including cross-checking with certifiers and verifying all claims.

6. Our trademarked bop tool calculates each brand's score in relation to the following four key categories: toxicity, environment, animals, and honesty. For each rating, we present a text summary, an analysed verdict is delivered after checking all the data.

7. Our ratings are reviewed periodically, including when a brand changes its public disclosure, policies, formulation, etc. A brand’s score can always increase and decrease as it improves or worsens its footprint. Please refer to our FAQs for additional information.

The score

Brands are rated from 0 (terrible) to 5 (excellent). Overall ratings are derived from an average of the brand’s scores for each key area (personal safety, the environment, ethics and transparency)

• 4.6 TO 5 = excellent

These brands demonstrate excellence in all criteria. They are typically very transparent, and have both strong policies and fair practices and are determined to only sell sustainable products.

• 4 TO 4.5 = very Good

These brands adopt policies and practices to manage multiple material issues across their supply chain and are often demonstrating leadership in one or more areas.

• 3.6 TO 3.9 = Good

These brands are largely good, with the exception of some SKUs which may have questionable ingredients. They may not have a certified fair trade supply chain for all ingredients.

• 3.0 TO 3.5 = Fair

These brands are doing well on one or more criteria, but they are lacking in other criteria.

• 2.0 TO 2.9 = Poor

These brands may not be doing enough to have a clean footprint, and may be performing poorly in most criteria.

• 0 TO 1.9 = V.poor to terrible

These brands score extremely badly on all criteria, human eco and ethics. And should be clearly avoided.

Data Sources

Key data sources of the zoobop rating system are:

1. Brand and parent company reporting (including Q&A)

2. Third party reports and indices

3. Certifications, accreditations and other standards systems

Brand and Parent brand

Brands and parent companies' publications such as their websites, annual reports, and sustainability reports are taken into account in the rating system. Only data that is cross checked used in the rating system.

Some parent brands provide certifications to their umbrella brands, such as cruelty free policies, but some umbrella brands may follow different ethical practices than the parent group. These findings are noted in our data.

Data collected on global brands that tend to have different sustainable practices in different parts of the world are reported accordingly. These may include formulation, packaging, disposal and greenwashing practices.

Govt & Non - Govt Third-party reports

Our ratings are based on credible independent rankings of brands that address a significant subset of the material issues we consider, including the accuracy of information they publish and what we discover.

The ratings also take into account reports of significant issues following investigations by organisations both Govt and Non- govt such as Transparency Act, Fair Trade, WVE, The Eco Forum , Greenpeace, & EPR Mandate violations.

Certifications and standards systems

A variety of certifications, accreditations, voluntary standards, and code of conducts (standards systems) have emerged to address the issues relevant to personal care and household brands.

Each standard system works in a different way. Some apply to products, some to manufacturing or other facilities and some are designed to be adopted by a brand and applied to all or part of their supply chain. Zoobop reviews each of the standards systems to identify their scope and assurance methodology in order to assess how that affects the score of a brand that is certified by or complies with, their standard system.

When rating brands, we check the following certifications, accreditations, standards, programs and guidelines.

  • LEAPING BUNNY
  • PETA
  • CCF ( now Cruelty Free International)
  • RSPO
  • CSPO
  • RMI
  • ECOCERT COSMOS ORGANIC
  • ECOCERT COSMOS NATURAL
  • NATRUE
  • BDIH
  • INDO CERT
  • UK CERT
  • USDA
  • 360 BIO CERT
  • SOIL ASSOCIATION ORGANIC
  • ACO
  • NOP
  • EWG
  • MADE SAFE
  • GLOBAL SHEA ALLIANCE
  • FAIRTRADE
  • B CORP
  • FSC
  • PLASTIC SOUP
  • TERRACYCLE
Our Development

zoobop aims to partner and affiliate with all major stakeholders in sustainable beauty. The idea is to create one platform as a global resource for users to conveniently check and find better alternatives.

Further, we want to make brands think about formulating better, safer, cleaner products as more customers will demand them.

“Bop it before you shop it is our mantra”, for you to make informed purchases for a better you and a better earth.

zoobop video tutorials

Thease videos will show you how to use all bop features. And check some insights on how we score, our standards and sources

Why Bop?

What we check

See why people love Zoobop