Parsol gives you the tools to make better choices when you shop.
Choices that reflect your commitment to doing better for the planet, people and yourself. Choices that foster a more sustainable consumption model.
Our goal is to bring the spotlight on brands doing what they are supposed to do right: fulfill your needs by having an optimized impact.
There are 2 pre-requisite for brands to be listed on our website:
- Be a european brand (headquartered in Europe)
- Products must be made in Europe (at least partially)
1. We analyze and select brands to facilitate your shopping experience. If you think any criteria should be removed / changed / added, we are open to discussion.
2. Sometimes brands sell different product categories. To make it easily readable, we try to keep it simple.
We give a score based on the overall activity of the brand and provide the main outcomes.
If a product or product category differs from the rest we mention it (e.g. different material, different manufacturing location...).
Criteria & scoring
Each brand gets an overall weighted score based on 4 criteria:
- Supply Chain
- Materials / ingredients type and origin
- Social impact
- Environmental impact
We tried to keep those criteria accessible to everyone and measurable.
We basically look at the route from suppliers to your door.
- Manufacturing location (100% in Europe, Partially made in Europe (Europe & +/- 5000 km*)
- In-house or outsourced production (There is no incidence on the scoring)
- Other production-related information that might be relevant to you (pre-order model, limited series ...)
- Packaging/packing: Amount of packaging, plastic content, recyclability / upcyclability, ...
- Shipping methods: Standard shipping solution, use of the greenest available delivery option.
Materials / Ingredients
It consists of 2 components.
- Recycled / Upcycled / Organic
- Natural / Renewable / Sustainably sourced (FSC...)
- Industrial / Synthetic
We believe that, to be 100% consistent, brands should consider sourcing their materials locally (in Europe), when possible.
- 100% sourced in Europe
- Partially sourced in Europe (Europe + <5000 km*)
- Partially sourced in Europe (Europe + >5000 km*)
- 100% sourced outside Europe
By choosing European manufacturers, we believe that a brand already has a positive social impact because European laws apply, with minimum wages and fair working conditions.
In addition, we analyse whether the brand is involved in other social initiatives such as:
- Working with minorities
- Giving back a % of profit to charities
Having 100% of its production in Europe reduces the brand's environmental impact.
We also look at things like
- Use of upcycled / recycled materials to make the products
- Provision of products-end-of-life solutions / indications?
- Recyclability / Upcyclability of the products
- Recyclability / Upcyclability of the packing / packaging materials
We are currently investigating what is ACTUALLY being done in Europe for each material, which ones are really being recycled. We will update brands' pages once we have the data.
Involvement of the brand in other initiatives for the environment such as:
- Offsetting its CO2 emissions
- Using renewable energy
- Helping charities
Bonus points: /2
Some brands really make the effort to understand the impact they have by searching for the information and give it back to us, consumers.
They are not necessarily the most sustainable ones but at least they communicate about it, show their limits and try to find alternatve solutions.
Here is how we rate:
- Standard or less: 0
- More than average: 1
- Transparent: 2
We base those 2 bonus points on:
- Is it easy for us to find the information we look for when we investigate about them?
- Do they coommunicate about the origin of the materials?
- Do they coommunicate about their supply chain?
- Do they coommunicate about their environmental impact?
* Flying air distance from Gelnhausen, Germany (European Union's central geographical point).
Why do not we take into account certifications when rating the brands?
Certifications are very expensive and small brands often can't afford to apply. We base our selection on concrete and objective criteria, it should be enough for everyone to assess whether a brand is sustainable.
No information = information
When our research and contacts with a brand do not allow us to get any information on a given criterion, we consider that it is a potential risk, thus cannot give more than the average score.
Our key data sources are brands' websites and reporting as well as independent certifications, accreditations and other standards based systems (like Fair Trade, Cradle to Cradle, OEKO-TEX STeP and the Global Organic Textile Standard).
How to get 100 points?
In order to get the highest score, brands need to show true sustainable practices in all 4 areas.
Manufacturing location: 100% Made in Europe.
The brand uses an innovative production model such as Made to order, pre order, ...
The brand does not use unecessary packing material nor plastic.
The greenest delivery option is used when possible (partnership with bike delivery companies, logistics companies using green fleets of vehicles …
MATERIALS / INGREDIENTS
Materials characteristics: use of recycled and / or upcycled and / or organic materials.
Materials origin: 100% sourced in Europe.
100% made in Europe (Limits risks of unfair working conditions).
Minimum 2 additional social initiatives are undertaken by the brand.
100% Made in Europe (Reduces distance between manufacturing location and European customers)
Use of upcycled / recycled materials.
The brand provides products end of life measures / indications.
Products are 100% recyclable.
Packing materials are 100% recyclable.
Minimum 2 additional environmental initiatives are undertaken by the brand.
Brands can actually get a maximum of 102 points with transparency bonus points.