Beauty & Cosmetics, Lifestyle

Is Method Cruelty-Free?

Is Method Cruelty-Free?

I am writing this post and feeling so discouraged about this change. It is with a heavy heart that I have to let you know that Method, a brand that many of us have used and trusted for years, is no longer cruelty-free. Method is well known for making a variety of household and cleaning products that, for years, have been cruelty-free and all vegan.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that Ecover had changed their stance on animal testing and was no longer cruelty-free. After years or not testing, the brand had decided to begin testing on daphnia, a small kind of water flea. Ecover is the parent company of Method, and I was assured by US and UK teams that Method was staying cruelty-free and this change was happening only with Ecover line. Sadly, this has now changed.

Readers from the UK had been emailing me to let me know that the UK Method office was telling consumers that they were testing on daphnia as well. When I brought this up with both the US and UK Method teams, I was told that it was being stated only because Ecover was testing on daphnia but that Method was not. After discussions with both teams, I felt confident that Method was still cruelty-free and continued to promote them as such and to purchase their products.

Sadly, the Method UK team has now let me know that this has changed. They have decided to start testing Method products on daphnia as well. This testing is happening only in the UK and not in the US, but that doesn’t change how I feel about it. It’s very very sad to see brands change their ways and start to take part in these sorts of tests. Especially when it’s a brand that you have known to be one you can trust.

According to Cornell University

Daphnia, popularly known as water fleas, are small crustaceans that live in fresh water such as ponds, lakes, and streams. They serve as an important source of food for fish and other aquatic organisms. Daphnia are excellent organisms to use in bioassays because they are sensitive to changes in water chemistry and are simple and inexpensive to raise in an aquarium. They mature in just a few days, so it does not take long to grow a culture of test organisms.

Because Daphnia are transparent, it is possible to conduct bioassays using endpoints other than death. For example, through a microscope you can measure their heart rate or observe whether they have been eating. (Both of these signs are used to measure stress). If you are worried about killing Daphnia in your experiments, you could choose to measure one of these other endpoints instead. It is worth keeping in mind, though, that even under the best conditions these organisms live only a month or two, and in nature most of them get eaten within their first few days or weeks of life.

Daphnia testing is done to check aquatic toxicity and the impact that products may have on the environment and animals when they go down the drain. This sort of testing was very common in the late 1970’s and 1980’s but is not commonly used anymore. I have talked to government groups in the US, UK, and EU and while these tests do still happen, they are not common. Neither the US, UK, or EU requires that brands do these tests to assure or to demonstrate product safety or aquatic toxicity of formulations or ingredients that have already been proven safe. Most brands use ingredients and formulations that were proven safe decades ago and this testing is no longer happening.

Where it is required in the UK is on new ingredients and formulations that have not yet been proven safe. This is the case with Method who is using new formulations that have not yet been proven safe for waterways. For these tests, the UK government requires that they be done on daphnia, fish, or other aquatic life. That being said, using new ingredients and formulations that would require such testing is completely optional and is a choice the brand made knowing that it would mean testing on living animals.

Because daphnia are invertebrates, they are not covered by all cruelty-free definitions out there as invertebrates are often not considered to be animals in the same sense that others are. It’s viewed that testing on invertebrates is different than testing on a vertebrate such as a fish, water mammal, or water bird. This is very unfortunate. I don’t see the need to test on animals, invertebrate or not.

I also reached out to other cruelty-free brands who make the same or similar household products as Method and Ecover (dish detergents, laundry detergents, soaps, etc), and they assured me that they do not use daphnia testing and it is not needed to determine the impact a product may have on the environment.

Both Ecover and Method had been cruelty-free, and not testing on daphnia, until recently. I hope that they change their mind on these tests and return to being cruelty-free.

As far as previous posts on Logical Harmony where I have mentioned either brand, they will either be removed from the posts completely or have a notation added (in the instance of video content). I will no longer continue to purchase Method products and have let them know this, and the reason why.

Looking for alternatives to some popular Method products? I recently replaced all of our Method products with ones from different brands. Below are my suggestions on what to pick up instead. If you would be interested in seeing a post or video on the specific products I swap out, please let me know.

You can purchase a lot of these alternatives through Grove (use this referral link and get $10 off your first order) and through Vitacost (use this referral link and get $10 off your first order). Get 10% off your first order from Root with code TASHINA.

Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that Logical Harmony will receive a commission from items purchased through these links. This helps keep Logical Harmony running, and we appreciate your support. 

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  • Reply Jennifer Flores Tuesday - December 11, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Is it true that method is cruelty free? I heard they no longer test on water fleas.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Monday - December 17, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Based on what they have told me in follow up, I’m not comfortable calling them cruelty-free. I was told that they may test again in the future if required.

  • Reply Steve Toms Friday - January 20, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Tashina, I have been vegan since 1983 and I am sure that at some time in history Ecover were considered cruelty free and most products were also vegan. Then it became known that they did these tests on water fleas or similar creatures (which for whatever reason are not included in the animal kingdom by the UK gov or the EU Gov) and they lost their cruelty free status, I have to say I am sure at the time this status was endorsed by the leaping bunny logo or a similar scheme. So I have avoided their products because of this, so I am surprised that somehow they managed to regain their cruelty free status and now its looks like they have lost it again.
    None of this makes any difference to the current status as such but I saw this story and felt I needed to mention it because at some point either leaping bunny scheme has changed its criteria or maybe its was the status of water fleas that changed.
    I am pleased that you and others are keeping people informed and up to date, thank you.

  • Reply Leah Wednesday - October 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Method does test on daphnia in the UK due to the regulations there. May I ask if any of the products you mention are sold in the UK as well? I was just wondering, since they would also be subjected to the same testing methods (even if they don’t say so). If they are I would like to avoid those as well, since they would also test on daphnia.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - October 20, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Hi Leah,

      The testing is only required for new ingredients and new formulations, but not for those that have already been proven safe. There are many cruelty-free brands available in the UK that do not take part in these tests because they do not need to.

  • Reply Kimberly Wednesday - October 19, 2016 at 7:18 am

    I stopped buying Method after I saw this post and commented on their Facebook about how disappointed I was and so many people commented and were SO rude and attacked me because daphnia is water fleas. I’m curious is anyone has done that to you before for not purchasing anything that harms insects. Its very discouraging. ?

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - October 20, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Hi Kimberly,

      I sent you an email about this but wanted to let you know that I have definitely received a lot of rude comments about this thread. We all have to decide what’s right for ourselves. Attacking others with a different opinion doesn’t get anyone anywhere. 🙁

    • Reply Shannon Monday - December 12, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Kimberly. Me too. Once I heard they started testing on water fleas, I stopped buying their products too. I saw a picture of a water flea. They are beautiful creatures that deserve to be free from evil people.

  • Reply Georgina Sweeting Sunday - October 16, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I really appreciate your research into this. I used to work for a PR company who worked with Method and they were great. My family really enjoy using their products. After this, it has forced me to look for alternative, I love searching for new brands!

  • Reply Seventh Generation to be Bought by Unilever - Logical Harmony Monday - September 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    […] few weeks ago, Logical Harmony reported that Method was no longer cruelty-free based on our standards. For consumers like myself who do not purchase from brands with a parent […]

  • Reply Sasha Tarabanova Sunday - September 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Seems like a lot of people really enjoyed Method brand. I guess they will lose a number of customers now, unless they change their policy. Thank you for providing the info about alternative brands!

  • Reply Nela Sunday - September 4, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Are the replacement products vegan as well or only cruelty free?

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - September 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      All the brands mentioned are cruelty-free with vegan options and any specific products mentioned are also vegan. 🙂

  • Reply Florence Tuesday - August 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I am so depress. How can anyone do this to another creature?! Thank you for the update.

  • Reply BONNIE SWANSON Sunday - August 7, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I’ve waited a few days to comment on this, because Method has been my holy grail for over 7yrs! Not only was it so incredibly awesome they were vegan and CF, their products were so very effective without all the toxins and chemicals!
    I am truly going to miss them…hoping some miracle could happen and they
    change their minds
    Thanks Tashina for the alternative list, will need to replace Everything , as I only used Method.

    ps…this is for you Method, if you happen to read this true story.
    About 5 yrs ago very good friend was having first baby. She talked to me about
    replacing her cleaning and soap products to all CF and vegan, plus she wanted to
    rid her home of the toxic chemicals due to her new baby!! I was excited to tell
    her about Method products, went over all you offered. She was certainly on board. Next week was her baby shower, and instead of baby clothes, ect which she received tons of, I bought her all Method products! OM Gosh, she was thrilled. And all the others at the shower were very interested, many had never heard of Method. So not only did my good friend make the switch, so did many of the other Moms.
    With great sadness, now I will tell all of them what has happened. And it really is tremendously ironic, that a brand hike Method, so natural, green, and so effective is now no longer CF..just seems that being “green, toxic free, but not Cruelty free does not belong in the same sentence.

    Please reconsider and come back to where you belong!
    Thank you.
    Bonnie Swanson

    • Reply Monica Monday - September 12, 2016 at 4:36 am

      Bonnie. Method is very responsive on their Facebook page. So you should post your comment there. I asked them about testing on daphnia and they gave me the generic response. But other people chimed in to back me up and they were very active in their replies.

      • Reply Kimberly Wednesday - October 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

        I posted on their page and people were very rude and attacked me for defending testing on daphnia. 🙁 not a single person backed me up.

  • Reply Natalie Lozano Sunday - August 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you so much! For keeping us informed. I was thinking of making the switch to Method. It’s not happening, I will keep your alternative choices in mind. Such a shame this company decided to test.

  • Reply Francis Sunday - August 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    This is such a bummer! Why would they do that? I guess no more cucumber hand soap in my house!

  • Reply Shannon Friday - August 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    This is so distressing! I loved Method products because they were one of the most affordable and easily available cruelty-free cleaning products around, but this is a serious step back. What’s the best way to express our dissatisfaction, besides no longer purchasing their products? Is there a petition or a person we can contact?

  • Reply beansandmushrooms Friday - August 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I got really upset when I read this, and sent Method a letter. If anyone wants to re-use it, please go ahead.

  • Reply Jenny Friday - August 5, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Astonish is a BRILLIANT vegan friendly brand in the UK. Really cheap, easy to find and they make every kind of cleaning/household product you can think of.

  • Reply Paola Castano Thursday - August 4, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Wow, thanks again for not relenting in your research and with your follow ups with these companies! Glad that there are alternatives to Method and for making it easy for us by providing these alternatives.

  • Reply Julie Tuesday - August 2, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I am so sad, I loved Method but I’ll have to change.

  • Reply Kp Tuesday - August 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Thank you so much for giving some alternatives. My husband and I really loved a lot of their products but now we won’t purchase anymore.

  • Reply Jodey Monday - August 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    You can go to Method’s website and send them an email, which I have done, telling them I will no longer purchase their products and how disappointing it is to learn they are testing on animals, no matter how *seemingly* small and insignificant.

  • Reply Camille Stough Monday - August 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for this article! I am a big Method fan so this is disappointing. Is Meyer’s cruelty free? (It’s a popular line at Target as well).

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - September 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      They are cruelty-free, but their parent company is not.

  • Reply Melissa Gandarinho Monday - August 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Such a sad and unfortunate occurrence. I often bought their hand soap at Marshall’s or Target. I have Seventh Generation as backup, but I’m really bummed a company like this, is going the opposite direction. Sigh.

  • Reply J L Monday - August 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I’m so so devastated. I didn’t know about Ecover either. It’s so so so so disappointing because it’s so hard to find affordable, fairly ethical companies for household products apart from Ecover and Method. Extremely disgusting of these brands.

  • Reply Rebecca Monday - August 1, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Oh I hate to hear this as I have been buying some Method products in an effort to buy cruelty-free. Looks like I’ll be sticking with Seventh Generation from now on. Thanks for the info!

  • Reply Danna Monday - August 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I am devastated after supporting Method (and paying more for their products) in an effort to support their vegan and cruelty-free ideology. No more. I’m also sharing this lost in the vegan groups in Facebook. Unacceptable.

  • Reply Rebecca Monday - August 1, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Thank you for posting this and for being so thorough! It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to some people to test on these little creatures but it’s a slippery slope Method is stepping on to and I don’t want to support a brand anymore that is moving backward like this and is not committed to their values. Too bad, I really liked their grapefruit spray. Will check out the alternatives you recommended. Thanks again.

  • Reply Doris Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    And I’m going to stop buying Method.

  • Reply Doris Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I thought Seventh Generation tests on animals. About 15 years ago, they announced that they were going to test certain products (not all) on animals, after many years of being cruelty-free.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Doris,

      Seventh Generation is cruelty-free!! 🙂 They do not test on animals and haven’t tested on animals in the history of their company. I’ve had a couple online chats with their CEO about it and they are very committed to being cruelty-free.

  • Reply Elizabeth Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I shal be sending them an email.

  • Reply Kim Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I appreciate this information, but people may not want to support Seventh Generation either, as they support animal testing (even if they are not doing it themselves).

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Kim,

      Seventh Generation doesn’t support animal testing. That article is misleading and something I actually talked to the CEO of Seventh Generation about in depth. You can read more about that here if you wish.

  • Reply Tricia Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    This is very upsetting. I have been a loyal Method customer for years.
    I really hope they wake up and have a change of heart and policy. So disappointing!

  • Reply Brittney Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    This is so heartbreaking. I just moved into my first home and was so excited to finally be able to purchase and use cruelty free products. I stocked my home with nearly all method products- candles, glass cleaner, all purpose cleaners, and more. I’m happy these purchases were under the cruelty free stance but saddened by this change.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on these changes, Tashina!

  • Reply Stacey Ann Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    OMG!! I am a DEDICATED customer of Method, it is our go to brand for every room in the house! I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Why suddenly do they need to do this? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m in shock unbelievable.

  • Reply Clare K. R. Miller Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    That’s really disappointing! I really like Method’s soap (the one for hands and dishes), but I guess I’ll have to look for an alternative when I run out.

  • Reply Nancy Ahern Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I am stunned at the news that Method is no longer cruelty free. I have gone out if my way to patronize the company for years, willing to pay a higher price for the products, as I respect a company that is cruelty free, and I become a loyal customer. Sadly, I have Method products packed on my shelves, and will have to use them up….but will no longer purchase. I will refer to your list of alternatives to move on to. THANK YOU Tashina for such thorough investigating on your part. Animals appreciate your dedication to this cause as much as people!

  • Reply Marianne P. Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Puracy makes some great products as well.

  • Reply Danielle Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Awe! Method is my go to brand for household cleaning products because it’s so readily available. This is the worst news. I would love a video or post about more options and alternatives to method products!

  • Reply Katey Sunday - July 31, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Wow, that is sad, especially since they were one of the more widely available and recognisable cruelty-free and vegan brands out there. They recently opened a factory in Chicago that was more environmental-friendly, but it’s disheartening to see them take a step backwards. I didn’t exclusively use Method products, but I’ll just stick with the Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly/Ecos products from now on.

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