Optical Brighteners

Why we don’t use brighteners

Most of the washing powders and liquids you’ll find on supermarket shelves use optical brighteners to whiten your washing. As chemical agents, optical brighteners work by absorbing ultraviolet light and turning it into visible blue light, which masks any yellowing of your clothes that can occur over time. Your clothes appear whiter and brighter (but they’re not actually any cleaner).

By design, optical brighteners can only keep on working if they stick to the fabrics they’ve washed. The problem is, they’re not very discerning about what or who they stick to. If it’s in their nature to bond to fabrics, it’s also in their nature to bond to your skin, and they do so irreversibly. Often, it’s not fragrances and dyes that cause skin rashes and sensitivity, but optical brighteners.

And there’s worse news when it comes to the environment. Many of the chemicals classed as optical brighteners can be toxic to aquatic life, and they’ve been proven to cause mutations in bacteria. They’re slow to biodegrade, so once they’ve been washed away into our rivers and streams, they hang around, polluting waterways for a long time to come.

We’ve never been lovers of optical brighteners. While they’ve not yet been proven dangerous to humans, they’ve never been proven safe, either. One thing we do know is that they’re harmful to the environment, and this alone is enough of a reason to omit them from the products in our laundry range – or any of our products, full stop.

We’re confident our products clean so effectively that we don’t need to enhance the results with a trick of the light. We think your skin is dazzling enough without an extra coating of chemicals. And we believe the earth’s water life is more important than a whiter-than-white wash.