For more than 27 years our global Mission at Norwex® has been “Improving quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes.” We also have an unwavering passion for sustainability and a deep-seated commitment to offering truly clean products.
One of the ways we help ensure that our products are delivering on the Norwex product promise is to seek certification from prestigious and trusted programs that require third-party testing to meet their demanding certification standards.
A great example is the recent and ongoing STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification of our microfibre products. Because these products meet the strict OEKO-TEX testing criteria, our Customers can be confident that every component of certified Norwex Microfibre products—from yarn and dyes to trim, thread, labels, buttons and elastic—has been rigorously tested and found to be free of harmful substances.
An additional certification we’ve earned is from the USDA’s Bio preferred Program. Many of our plant- or enzyme-based household cleaning products display the USDA Certified Biobased Product logo, containing the percentage of each individual product’s biobased content.
We proudly include these labels on our biobased certified products to help our customers make informed purchasing decisions. When you see this label, you know the USDA and the federal government stands behind the accuracy of the percentage of biobased ingredients as stated on the label.
So, what exactly is a biobased product?
The USDA defines biobased products as “Products derived from plants and other renewable agriculture, marine and forestry materials.” And according to the USDA, the increased development, purchase and use of biobased products offer several benefits, such as:
• Reducing our reliance on petroleum.
• Increasing the use of renewable agricultural resources.
• Contributing to the reduction of adverse environmental and health impacts.
In fact, according to the USDA, “Biobased products displace around 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.”
What goes into achieving biobased certification?
A company applies to earn the right to display this label, which includes putting its products through strict, third-party testing, a complex process. Since different products have different functions and different ingredient profiles, the USDA analyzes each of the 139 categories of product in the context of industry-wide supply chain availability, as well as the essential ingredients required to achieve the function of that category.
For example, laundry products need surfactants to achieve a cleaning function, while a typical spray cleaner may need an effective solvent. Therefore, each category of products in the program has a specific minimum requirement of biobased content it must contain in order to receive certification. The categories of bathroom and spa cleaners for instance must meet a minimum biobased content of 74% to receive the certification, while carpet and upholstery cleaners - spot removers are required to have only 7%.
The Biobased Big Six
Norwex currently offers six products with biobased certification, each one exceeding the minimum biobased content required for certification. Additionally, all Norwex products are extremely effective and free from harmful chemicals.
Fresh Produce Wash Certified at 99% biobased content, this plant-based concentrate is made with biodegradable ingredients to clean fresh fruits and vegetables naturally. Free from phosphates, sulfates and parabens.
Liquid Laundry Detergent With 97% biobased content from plants and other renewable sources (and one of the highest ratings on the market), this unique formula harnesses the power of enzymes to deliver potent effectiveness against your toughest odours and stains. Over ten times more concentrated than most leading brands, it effectively helps reduce all kinds of odours and stains with just a few pre-measured pumps. Free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), phosphates, chlorine, dyes, fragrances, fillers, phthalates, ammonia, bleach and optical brighteners.
Descaler Certified at 86% biobased content, this formula safely removes and cleans soap scum, heavy calcium, lime and rust deposits from glass, shower doors, bathtubs, taps, drains and more. Free from SLS, SLES, triclosan, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances and gluten.
Mattress Cleaner Containing 54% biobased content, including enzymes and biodegradable ingredients, it helps remove organic material, allergens from nonliving sources and contaminants. Just a light spritz provides a deep clean for mattresses and other soft surfaces. Free from SLS, SLES, phosphates and parabens.
Microfibre Cleaner Laundry Booster Certified at 53% biobased content, this enzyme-based product restores dingy, smelly laundry to bright, clean and fresh, eliminating all kinds of laundry stains and odours, including grass, urine, blood, grease, grime and more, even in hard water. Free from bleach, synthetic fragrances, SLS/SLES, phosphates, fillers, sulfates, chlorine, dyes, phthalates, ammonia and optical brighteners.
Carpet Stain Remover With 8% biobased content, our enzyme-based carpet cleaning solution breaks down and eliminates even the toughest stains, while neutralizing odours. Great for shampooing too. Free from colour brighteners and bleach.
As a bonus, four of these products come in our 12-ounce OceanBound Plastic bottles, made of plastic waste that was at risk of entering the world’s oceans—just one more way we’re improving our environmental impact.
At Norwex, increasing our biobased content is a part of our continuous improvement program, and we’re constantly researching the feasibility of incorporating more biobased ingredients in our formulas as improved technologies become available.
Do the Twist!
The USDA BioPreferred Program has launched a Do the Twist campaign. It refers to turning (“twisting”) the bottle in your hand to read the ingredients on the back. The campaign’s goal is to educate consumers about how the biobased label identifies products that are better for people and the environment as well as to help protect consumers from false claims, aka “greenwashing.”
United States Department of Agriculture.
The USDA Bio preferred Program.
Retrieved January 3 and January 10, 2021.