Toilet paper is an everyday necessity for most of us, but the human and environmental cost of the humble loo roll has been too high, for too long. At Naked Sprout we’re making the UK’s most sustainable toilet roll, but are we making the most ethical toilet roll?
In this article we’ve answered common questions about the standard way that toilet paper is produced, and signs to look out for if you want an ethical alternative.
Which is the most ethical toilet paper?
If we ask which is the most sustainable toilet roll, we’re generally asking about the environment. Asking about ethical toilet paper means switching our focus to people.
It has to come from the top. An ethical company is a company founded and run with a commitment to putting people before profits. We can’t put it any better than the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence, which states that ethical businesses must “act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
We apply this principle all the way through our production chain, from root to roll. All of the bamboo we use is FSC certified, ensuring that this sustainable resource is managed and harvested fairly, safely, and with good wages for workers. FSC certification also takes into account the people who live in and around forests, ensuring their land and resource rights are respected.
Our FSC certification covers the growing, harvesting, and pulping of the bamboo, and from there we pick up the baton at our factory. All of the people involved in the manufacture of Naked Sprout have good, safe jobs that are paid a living wage. We know exactly who is making our rolls and what their pay and working conditions are. And you don’t have to just take our word for it. Because of their commitment to ethical working, our factory in Spain is the only tissue mill in the world to have achieved B Corp status.
What is the best sustainable toilet paper UK?
We’re very proud of our credentials as the most sustainable toilet paper in the UK, and we want to be completely open about it. Manufacturing without fossil fuels; using on-site solar, hydro, and wind power at our factory, means that our toilet rolls do not require the fossil-fuel intensive process of other rolls.
Our openness about what’s in our toilet rolls, how they are made, and who makes them is part of our ethical commitment to our customers. We know how much greenwashing is out there, and the damage that is being done by brands who add to the confusion about what sustainability actually looks like, at a time when accurate information is critical. We want to make sure our customers know exactly what impact our products are having on the environment, and the people who make them.
What sustainable toilet paper is made in the UK?
There are various toilet roll brands in the UK claiming eco credentials, some more green than others. Most bamboo rolls (other than Naked Sprout) are manufactured in China, but some more environmentally conscious brands manufacture using recycled material in the UK. Although recycled paper is not quite as green as bamboo, it is still much better than using virgin trees.
But in order to really feel the benefit of using a more sustainable material you need to move away from the old, polluting forms of manufacture. Sadly there are no factories in the UK that are set up with renewable energy on-site, and so many brands will manufacture using fossil fuels and then “offset” the resulting emissions. We decided to break with this standard and change to truly fossil-fuel free manufacture at our factory in Spain. This move has allowed us to safeguard our processes and our manufacturing environment for the challenges of the future.
Which toilet paper is environmentally friendly?
We believe the most environmentally friendly toilet paper is one that uses renewable materials, manufactured in a sustainable way, and upholds the pay and welfare of people involved in every stage of production. We also believe that transparency about all of these issues is vital - it’s why you can see pictures of our factory, our materials, and even diagrams of our production processes on our website.
Our friendliness to the environment goes beyond the processes that we are directly responsible for. Naked Sprout, along with our customers, are investing in water and hygiene infrastructure around the world through our partnership with the fantastic team at Just a Drop. We structure our charitable giving as a proportion of our revenue, rather than our profits, so our customers know that every box they buy from us benefits community-led ventures to improve access to water and good sanitation around the world.
We’re going to extreme lengths to ensure Naked Sprout is as sustainable in environmental and human terms as it can possibly be. This has been reflected in the results of our 2021 B Corp assessment. This rigorous assessment takes a holistic view of the social and environmental impact of a company, on the basis that good businesses should seek to do no harm, and bring benefit, through their practices, products, and profits. An 80 is a passing score, and in 2021 were given a score of 124.8. This is the highest in our sector and it’s only going to climb higher.
Shop Naked Sprout Toilet Roll here