Korres Brand Analysis: Are They Clean + Sustainable?
Korres is a Greek beauty brand founded in 1996. As of June 2015, the brand operates physical stores in ten European countries, along with Singapore and South Korea.
The brand is known for its natural and sustainable products. But are they as clean and sustainable as they claim to be?
Korres’ tagline is “Natural and Effective Skincare and Beauty Products,” and they heavily rely on natural and green imagery on both their social medial channels and websites.
The greenwashing alarms go off when looking at Korres, so it’s essential that we look closely at the brand to determine if they’re walking the walk when it comes to being a clean and sustainable brand.
At Better Goods, we rank brands on our three pillars: ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare.
Brands are rated on the three pillars as follows.
– This ranking is for the best of the best. Only exemplary brands will receive a ranking of best for any category.
– This ranking is for brands that are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.
– This ranking is for when we find something we find iffy. Not a good sign.
– This ranking is reserved for the worst of the worst.
Ingredients (Rating: Iffy)
We looked closely at the ingredients in Korres’ products to see if they’re clean or greenwashing.
Korres used to have a page online that listed all of the ingredients used in their products, but as of March 2022, this page appears to no longer exist.
In our analysis, we found the following ingredients that are on our list of ingredients to avoid.
Fragrance – Synthetic fragrance is used heavily in Korres’ formulations. At Better Goods, we always recommend avoiding products with synthetic fragrance, as they can contain a long list of mystery chemicals with unknown impacts on human health.
PEGs – Ingredients like PEG-100 are created with a process called ethylene oxide is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. This process can result in contamination with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both of which have been linked to carcinogenicity.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Found in Korres body washes, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is a surfactant and cleansing agent that is often contaminated with carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane.
Imidazolidinyl urea – A preservative that releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it shows that some of Korres’ ingredients may not be as clean as they claim to be.
There is also a lack of ingredient transparency. While some products on the website have the complete ingredient list shown, others don’t show the ingredients at all.
For these reasons, we give Korres a rating of iffy for their ingredients.
Sustainability (Rating: Iffy)
It’s hard to discern exactly what sustainability practices Kores has.
Their global website states:
“Our KORRES agriculturalists select the ideal cultivation region for each herb based on climate and soil criteria while at the same time working towards protecting endangered herbs and sustaining plant populations.”
As well as…
“Our certified plant [ISO 14001:2004], implements over 20 environmental management programs throughout production, packaging and storage – including water, energy and waste management – in a continuous effort to minimize its environmental impact.”
It does appear that Korres has many sustainability initiatives in place from the manufacturing side of the business. However, many of the claims are vague. It sounds good on paper, but it’s unclear how relevant it is.
The brand also has a “Recycle lab” in Greece to recycle empty packaging. Currently, customers can return empty product packaging to Korres retail stores for recycling. Unfortunately, there aren’t many such stores, and the only US store in New York seems to be permanently closed.
Many Korres products indeed use glass as opposed to plastic packaging. However, many products still use plastic.
For these reasons, we give Korres a rating of iffyfor their sustainability practices.
Animal Welfare (Rating: Good)
Korres is a 100% cruelty-free brand, meaning that they do not test on animals at any point in their supply chain.
While Korres happens to carry some vegan products, the brand is not 100% vegan. This means that some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients.
Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Bad” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Korres as follows.
|INGREDIENTS||Iffy – Korres uses several ingredients that we recommend avoiding.|
|SUSTAINABILITY||Iffy – While Korres has some sustainability practices in place, it’s unclear what they mean and many products are still housed in plastic.|
|ANIMAL WELFARE||Good – The brand is cruelty-free, but not vegan.|
Overall Rating: Iffy
Korres is a brand that is guilty of greenwashing. While they do have some sustainable initiatives in place, their ingredients are not nearly as clean as they would like you to believe.
In terms of sustainability, Korres falls a bit short. Their claims are vague, and it’s unclear how relevant their initiatives actually are.
Animal welfare is another area where Korres could improve. While they are a cruelty-free brand, they are not 100% vegan.
Overall, we give Korres a rating of iffy.
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