Welcome back to the Independent Third-Party Verification Spotlight Series, where we’re giving a deep dive on the different sources of independent third-party testing for clean sustainable beauty products. In this post, we’ll go over MADE SAFE®’s verification criteria, ethics, and whether or not you can trust them as a consumer.
What is the MADE SAFE® Verification?
MADE SAFE® is an offshoot of Nontoxic Certified, a nonprofit organization that advocates for product safety and pushes companies to adopt safer ingredients and more eco-friendly processes in their business practices. MADE SAFE® provides “comprehensive human health and ecosystem-focused certification for nontoxic products.”
Their databases and helpful information resources include baby care, personal care, household supplies, and more.
MADE SAFE®’s goals are to:
- Change how products are made in the United States, with the end objective to eliminate the use of toxic ingredients nationwide.
- Help people find and buy products made without toxic chemicals.
- Help companies make safer products.
- Help retailers stock their businesses with products that don’t cause harm to their customers.
What Does it Mean for a Product to be MADE SAFE® Certified?
MADE SAFE®’s MADE SAFE®(Made With Safe Ingredients) seal indicates that a product is made with safe ingredients, including no toxic chemicals known to harm people’s health.
To determine this, MADE SAFE® maintains an ingredients database of known harmful chemicals. It includes not just chemicals deemed harmful by the United States government, but around the world and from a variety of agencies and organizations. This will be comforting for people who prefer their products to meet a worldwide standard, not just a national one.
MADE SAFE® examines ingredients for bioaccumulation, persistence, and toxicity (both as-is and in water). Their scientists and analysts examine the materials, chemicals, and ingredients of products. In order to earn a MADE SAFE® seal, companies must undergo a paper screening process.
If a product earns the MADE SAFE®® certification, that means it’s passed screening for a long list of qualifications, including:
- Behavioral, developmental, and reproductive toxins
- Endocrine disruptors
- Fire retardants
- Heavy metals
- High-risk pesticides
- Toxic solvents
- Harmful VOCs
Is MADE SAFE® Trustworthy?
Power in Numbers
As a smaller organization, MADE SAFE® is under less scrutiny than some of its larger counterparts like EWG. While this is a boon, it can also translate to less reputability in some people’s opinions.
Erring on the Side of Caution
MADE SAFE®’s founder and executive director has been quoted as saying they “operate on a ‘everything is guilty until research can prove its innocence’ ethic.” Their ingredients database includes not only ingredients proven to cause harm, but also ones that are suspected to cause harm.
While this is a breath of fresh air for some people, it could also be seen as more rigorous than necessary. This can rub some consumers the wrong way and diminish trust. While some people don’t mind excluding ingredients just to be on the safe side, others prefer to stick to only avoiding ones consistently proven to be unsafe in scientific studies. Ultimately, this comes down to a personal preference.
The Human Factor
Another of MADE SAFE®’s benefits is unrelated to their certifications: their workplace ethic. MADE SAFE® is dedicated to safe, ethical, and nontoxic workplace and prides themselves on treating their employees fairly. For many people, this adds an extra layer of trustworthiness.
How Does a MADE SAFE® Verification Benefit You?
In conjunction with other measures to guide your buying decisions, MADE SAFE®’s verification helps you find safe products. They make this extra easy by providing buy guides and gift guides right on their website header.
But they don’t stop there. They also serve the public by providing educational materials on their site to help you advocate for yourself and make your own decisions. Their blog highlights brands, gives helpful information about chemicals to watch out for, and sometimes even advertises sales for their approved brands. They also have an excellent FAQ for specific ingredient questions.
All in all, MADE SAFE® positions itself as a valuable resource for consumers. They don’t stop at simply maintaining an ingredient database and approving products. They go out of their way to make that information accessible and usable for you in your daily life.
By providing an ingredient database, informational resources, and rigorously testing every product they approve, MADE SAFE® is another fantastic resource to help you make educated decisions about what products to introduce into your life.
As always, refrain from relying on a single third-party verification source for all your decisions. But MADE SAFE® is an excellent one to know about and refer back to.