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Our Standards


Bettersoul focuses on sustainable brands that bring a positive impact to our health, community and the environment. We use the terms "conscious", "impact", "sustainable", "sustainability" to refer to brand or business activities that brings positive impact to create better value to serve our humanity and living environment. Today, there are definitions related to "sustainability" and the related values. Thus, sustainability considerations that are material and immaterial still varies by values, style, and industry. We are less concerned with focusing on what it means and which definitions are correct and wrong. Our role is to play a part to help consumers understand easily which brands are putting the effort to do things better. As sustainability professionals who have been in this space for over a decade, we acknowledge there are still long way to go, many ongoing discussions on controversial issues (such as second-hand), and still many grey areas. In managing this issue, we continuously educate ourselves of current sustainability standards and discuss with our Bettersoul network of sustainability professionals around the world.

Brands we pick to feature are the ones that meet at least 1 out of 7 value categories: 1. Zero Waste, 2. Gives Back, 3. Healthy Living, 4. Empower Others, 5. Sustainable Practice, 6. Vegan/Cruelty Free, and 7. Third-Party Verified. For each value area, we consider material issues and focus on reviewing brands more about their intentions (purpose, mission) of business, core products and services, and of their expected and implemented positive impact.  As a team of sustainability professionals with extensive work experience, we incorporate sustainability insights and information into our research and analysis. Our standards are primarily intended for a easier and better communications with the consumers.

We research various reliable information sources and input to review a brand. Key information sources are from publicly available information including certifications, standards systems, independent third party reports and ratings, brand or parent company websites, and corporate sustainability reports. Additionally, sometimes companies are asked to provide supporting evidence and we are willing to hear their side of the stories as well.

At Bettersoul, we focus on analyzing the brand's core products and services instead of the operation side of the business, so that we do not rely too much on the scope of disclosure and quality of reporting. This is also because many brands we feature may be small businesses which might not have the resources to report all parts of their supply chain and management. We are on their side to support their businesses that demonstrate kindness to our wider community and our living nature.

Zero Waste

Zero waste refers to effort to reduce waste through responsible production, consumption, reuse, upcycle, recycle, recovery of products, packaging and material used so that less trash is sent to landfill, incinerators or the ocean.

+ Standards and Certifications 

Cradle to Cradle,
Global Recycle Standard,
Recycled Claim Standard

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Gives Back

Gives back focuses on brands that demonstrate a philanthropic attitude and effort that gives back to society by supporting social and environmental causes. This may be through business models, partnerships with non-profit organizations and foundations, in-kind donations, allocating a percentage of profits to a charity or non-profit organization, or supporting volunteering initiatives among employees.

+ Standards and Certifications 

1% for the Planet
Certified B Corp

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Healthy Living

To make sure you can have a healthy lifestyle, we look at the ingredients in beauty, food and household items to ensure that what you consume and use is safer and effective. We feature brands and products that not only use safer ingredients, but ingredients that promote your well-being. We also want to ensure products are also good for the environment and communities by promoting the use of Organic, Non-GMO, and Fair Trade ingredients.

+ Standards and Certifications 

USDA Organic,
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic,
EPA Safer Choice,
USDA Certified Biobased Product,
Fair for Life,
Fair Trade International,
Fair Trade USA,
Fair Trade Federation Member,
Non-GMO Project Verified, 
EWG Verified

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Empower Others

We look for brands that empower others, providing opportunities for women, marginalized or under-served communities to help them live a better life. Today, we are seeing more brands that help to empower specific communities contributing positive impacts to local and wider communities rather than providing a handout. A brand should put effort meet high-quality standards based on, but not limited to, human and labor rights legislation and best practice guidelines. As sustainability professionals, we acknowledge that it is a difficult task to examine the entire complex supply chain of a business and brand, thus we would need to rely on brand's effort to be transparent about the issue.

+ Standards and Certifications 

International Labour Organisation Core Conventions,
UN Framework for Human Rights and Guiding Principles,
Business Social Compliance Initiative
UN Global Compact

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Sustainable Practice

Companies that focus on sustainable practice look at ways to not only reduce their negative environmental and social impact, but also find ways to continually innovate to better the environment and our life. Areas of sustainable practice that we value are: responsible production and manufacturing, GHG emission reduction, water management, waste reduction (waste to landfill, plastic pollution, hazardous material management), resource conservation (water, land, energy), biodiversity, and responsible sourcing (organic farming, regenerative agricultural production)

+ Standards and Certifications 

EWG Verified,
UN Global Compact,
1% for the Planet,
Certified Carbon Neutral Company,
Certified B Corporation,
Forest Stewardship Council Certification,
Cradle to Cradle

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Vegan/Cruelty Free

Vegan items are not made with any animal by products and not tested on animals and cruelty free ensures no animal testing was conducted.

+ Standards and Certifications 

PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies,
Leaping Bunny

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Verified

One of the best ways to ensure product and brand integrity is through third-party verifications that certify products, brands and companies meet the highest standards. These third-party verifications are some industry specific and some more general. We review whether reliable verification standards are applied to ingredients, business practices and brands.

+ Standards and Certifications 

PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies,
EWG Verified,
UN Global Compact,
1% for the Planet,
USDA Organic,
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic,
Forest Stewardship Council Certification,
Certified Carbon Neutral Company,
Certified B Corporation,
Leaping Bunny,
Cradle to Cradle,
EPA Safer Choice,
USDA Certified Biobased Product,
Fair for Life,
Fair Trade International,
Fair Trade USA,
Fair Trade Federation Member,
Non-GMO Project Verified

Read Definitions




Updated as of Feb 2020

Standard Updates: Bettersoul Standard may be revised and updated time to time, as we align ourselves to changing industry and sustainability standards. We are committed to consider incorporating updated issues and reference in our application of review of brands in different industries.