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. 

(47) Comments

  1. I see method is back on the cruelty free list… Does that mean they no longer test on daphnia?

  2. Jennifer Flores says:

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

    1. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.