frequently asked questions
Keeping Customers Happy is our Number One Priority...
At So Organic we care passionately about customer service and will do everything we can to answer your questions and help you enjoy shopping with us. If you need any assistance in using our site, or if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions we really want to help. Some of the most commonly asked questions are listed below but if you have another question please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!
Index of Frequently Asked Questions:
About Shopping at So Organic:
About Organic Living and Organic Products:
So Organic helpful fact sheets:
About Shopping at So Organic:
Q: What is our So Organic Customer Promise?
A:The So Organic Customer Promise is quite simple. First, we do not stock any products that contain chemical nasties. This includes (but is not exclusive to) Parabens, SLS, Propylene Glycol, any products with petroleum (an unsustainable source) or that are tested on animals. Second, every product you see has been tested by a member of our team, and only if we like it do we sell it. Fact! Third, we only sell products we would recommend to our friends. If it isn;t any good, you will not see us selling it!
Q: If paying by debit or credit card, can I be sure that the system is secure?
A: Our Website uses a market leading secure payment system, Natwest Streamline through Sagepay. This offers all of the security measures you would expect in dealing with one of the world's major banks; it also incorporates the additional MasterCard "MasterCard Securecode" and Visa "Verified by Visa" additional security systems. At checkout you are asked to enter your credit card details. Your browser encrypts the information that you type and the server decodes it. Systems which encrypt potentially sensitive information by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology provide the best possible protection on the internet. You can identify that you are on a secure site when the padlock appears at the bottom of the screen.
All card details are encrypted using 128-bit encryption; they are not held in clear text on any Website. When you choose to pay online, your card details prior to, at the time or following the transaction are not available to So Organic staff. We do not have access to them at any time. Your card and address details are security checked and verified with the relevant card issuer and your payment is pre-authorised. You will receive a message in your internet browser window to tell you that payment has been authorised, and we will receive confirmation from the payment provider.
However, if you would prefer not to send your credit or debit card details over the internet, you are still able to choose the goods you require using our shopping cart facility. At checkout you simply choose your preferred payment option, payment by credit card, PayPal, cheque or telephone ordering. We would be delighted to take payment for your order by telephone. We are open, 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday on: 0208 465 5600 (+44 208 465 5600 if calling from outside UK).
Q: Can I pay by cheque if I so wish?
A: Of course! Payment may be made by personal cheque using our Shopping Cart facility. Following checkout simply write to us at So Organic (UK) Limited, Minster Lodge, 2-3 Church Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1QJ, UK, quoting your Order ID and enclosing a sterling pound cheque drawn on a UK bank account made payable to "So Organic (UK) Limited". Please ensure that you write your name, address and order ID on the reverse of the cheque. Please note that Goods will not be despatched until payment by personal cheque has cleared.
Q: Can I have a delivery address that differs to the invoice address?
A: It is no problem to provide an alternative delivery address, such as a work address. Please supply the full delivery address including the full postal code (PO Box addresses are not acceptable for delivery) and a contact telephone number by modifying the delivery address details in your profile or at checkout.
Q: Can I buy gift vouchers?
A: Yes you can, simply click here and you will be able to buy them on line from £5 up to £100.
Q: Do you send out samples?
A: If you are unsure about a product you wish to purchase you can call or email our customer service team who would be very happy to advise you. From time to time we do have samples available but this will vary from month to month and are available solely to customers who need to try before they buy a particular product, therefore it is not always possible to fulfil all sample requests. However will are always happy to talk through purchase decisions with customers and to recommend the best products for them.
Q: How much is postage and packing?
A: It depends on the service which you select. Please refer to our Delivery Policy for more information
Q: Do you ship outside the UK?
A: We currently ship to UK & EU addresses only.
Q: Do you refund VAT on goods sent to the Channel Islands?
A: By instruction from HM Revenue and Customs, we can no longer deduct the VAT at the point of the transaction, as proof of actual dispatch is required. However, we would be delighted to refund you if you call us on 0208 465 5600 or email us at help@SoOrganic.com after placing the order and we will refund any VAT that you have paid immediately.
Q: Are there any customs implications of having my goods shipped overseas?
A: Generally, because we currently do not ship outside the EU, any duty due on the goods we sell has been accounted for. However, please be aware that we cannot be held responsible for any import taxes or duties levied by authorities in the destination country. If you have any queries as regards duty on imports we suggest you contact your local customs office.
Q: Do you ensure that packaging is undertaken in an environmentally sound way?
A: At So Organic we are concerned about the environment, and adopt policies that minimise the impact of our business upon the world around us. As far as possible we recycle the packaging that we receive from our suppliers when sending out our parcels. Sometimes you'll receive your goods in a cardboard box that is being reused. All packaging that cannot be reused is recycled.
Q: How long will my order take to arrive?
A: This depends on the service you have selected. If you would like to track the processing and despatch of your order please email us at help@SoOrganic.com or telephone +44 (0) 208 465 5600. For more information please see the Despatch section of our Terms & Conditions
Q: Are the products I buy insured if they are lost or damaged in the post?
A: Yes, if items are lost or damaged in the post they are insured. If any item arrives damaged or defective, please contact us in accordance with the Damaged Goods Policy. You should inspect the Goods when you receive them for damage or defects. In the event that your order is incorrectly shipped or found to be damaged or defective, please contact us within 2 working days of receipt of Goods. The Goods should be promptly returned to us including the original invoice and packaging. We will then offer you a full refund or replacement including postage. We will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to Goods returned in this way until they are received at our address (Returns Dept. Minster Lodge, 2-3 Church Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1QJ, UK). We strongly recommend that returns are sent by 'insured registered delivery' and the original proof of posting is kept.
Q: What if I change my mind about a purchase?
A: We do hope you will be delighted with your purchases. If for any reason you are not pleased with your purchase, please return the Goods, unused and in their original packaging together with the return form supplied with the delivery, within 15 working days from receipt of the Goods to Returns Dept. So Organic (UK) Limited, Minster Lodge, 2-3 Church Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1QJ, UK for a refund or an exchange. Please note that, for reasons of hygiene, we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges on any opened or used product. Additionally, we cannot offer any refunds for customised or bespoke Goods which are not damaged or defective. Please note that we are not responsible for return postage other than for incorrectly supplied, defective or damaged Goods. For more information please see the Cancellation, Returns and Exchanges section of our Terms & Conditions.
Q: What is the returns process?
A: Please see the Cancellation, Returns and Exchanges section of our Terms & Conditions.
Q: Can I have the choice not to have any direct marketing sent to me?
Q: Can I be assured that my details won't be passed on to anyone else?
Q: Do you sell wholesale?
A: So Organic products are not currently available for trade sales, but may be in future. Please email help@SoOrganic.com to register your interest. We do not currently operate as a wholesaler / distributor for any of our other suppliers.
Q: Do you offer discounts to frequent or bulk purchasers?
Q: Have any of the products you sell been tested on animals?
A: None of the products we sell has been tested on animals.
Q: Are your products suitable for Vegans & Vegetarians?
A: Almost everything we sell is suitable for vegetarians except for a few cosmetics that contain carmine (rather than synthetic colour). Very many of our products are also suitable for vegans. We include a full ingredients list for every product that we sell in order that you can check the ingredients before you buy to make absolutely sure.
About Organic Living and Organic Products:
Q: Why should I want natural or organic cosmetics?
A: Many people now choose to eat organic foods because they wish to avoid ingesting the pesticide residues present in foods farmed in the conventional way. Many of the chemicals used have been linked to cancer and certain chemicals cannot be washed off food before eating. Research has shown that up to 60% of what we apply to our skin may be absorbed into the bloodstream. So if we are concerned about the food that we eat and strive to eat more organic products due to a concern over pesticides and other chemicals, then we should also be concerned about the ingredients that go in to our cosmetics and toiletries. Many of the ingredients in conventional health and beauty products are very toxic chemicals. For More information visit the Women’s Environmental Network.
Q: What’s wrong with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil & Synthetic Fragrance?
A: This is a really big question and there are different reasons for avoiding each of these ingredients some of them are because they are harsh and best avoided by those with sensitive skins others because they damage the environment as we manufacture them or they enter the water supply, we advocate doing a bit of research and making up your own mind. We have created a detailed answer for each ingredient. Click on the ingredient name to read more about that particular one. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil & Synthetic Fragrance .
Q: What is the definition of organic?
A: Something that has been grown or raised without the routine use of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This is monitored by organic certification bodies that inspect production methods, and audit the supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic genuinely are. This is regulated by European Law, but current legal standards only apply to food and farming. For non food products suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement.
Q: What is an “Organic Lifestyle”?
A: In describing an "Organic Lifestyle" we mean one that is simple, healthful, close to nature and takes care of the environment. By choosing to live an Organic lifestyle you will be seeking to use natural and organic products throughout all aspects of your life; eating organic food, choosing natural and organic cosmetic products, eco friendly cleaning products and textiles made from organic fibres. You may also wish to take care of the environment in other ways such as recycling, using less energy and thinking about your carbon footprint. At So Organic our aim is to stock the products that help you do those things.
Q: What is “Organic Certification”?
A: As described above organic food products are regulated by European Law and must be certified to be called organic. This certification involves regular audit and inspection of the entire supply chain to ensure that products that claim to be organic really are. But current legal standards only apply to food and farming. There is no legislation around the use of the word organic in relation to non-food products. For non food products, suppliers may choose to opt in to organic certification but this is not a legal requirement. A number of countries have developed separate standards against which to certify organic non food products. In the UK, the Soil Association, the most well known UK organic certification body has established its own standards to cover health and beauty products and textiles. Learn more about organic certification symbols...
The Soil Association is the most well known organic certification body in the UK, but there are a large number of other well respected bodies throughout the UK, EU and Rest of the World. In the UK the other main ones are Organic Food Federation and Organic Farmers & Growers, in Europe EcoCert certifies organic cosmetics and BDIH operates a standard of “Controlled Natural Cosmetics” which is not the same as an organic standard but still exerts very strict control over the ingredients allowed into cosmetic products to make sure that they deserve to be called natural. For textiles IMO and SKAL are widely respected.
Q: What do the standards mean?
A: Because all of these organic certification standard have developed at different times and in different countries the exact detail of what is and is not allowed in products tends to vary. But in general they all seek to ensure that the agricultural ingredients in the products are produced organically produced and place controls over the non organic functional ingredients that are permitted. The textile standards cover the processing and manufacture of all natural fibres and assess the production methods for effects on human health, wildlife and biodegradability. (source: Soil Association)
It is difficult to make completely (100%) organic beauty products because of the job we expect them to do. If you kept yoghurt out of the fridge, opened and closed its container several times a day and dipped into it with unwashed hands, sometimes not even properly closing the pot again afterwards, you wouldn’t expect it to keep for very long. But, this is exactly what we expect to be able to do with cosmetic products and we also want them to keep for months or even years! Therefore the organic beauty standards do allow a very limited range of additives and preservatives for efficacy, safety and hygiene reasons. They ensure that products contain a maximum proportion of organic ingredients, minimum processing and clear labelling. According to the Soil Association products containing at least 95% organic ingredients can be labelled "organic" and products with no less than 70% organic ingredients may be labelled "made with XX% organic ingredients". Learn more about organic certification standards...
Q: Is everything you sell 100% organic?
A: As described above, it is very difficult to make a product that is 100% organic because of the way we expect products to perform. If no water is included in a formulation there is no need for a preservative system as the water is what allows the bacteria to grow. In this case it is possible to make a product that is 100% organic, such as the Badger range of products. Unless you are making an entirely oil based product such as a massage oil or balm it is necessary to use additional non agricultural ingredients such as certain emulsifiers and preservatives in the production of cosmetic products to make them work properly. That is why you see ingredients such as phenoxyethanol (to keep the formulation safe and free from bacteria) and decyl glycoside (to make the shampoos and body washes clean properly) in the ingredients lists. Even the Soil Association standards recognise this and allow such ingredients to be used even though technically you could not say that those products were “100%” organic. At So Organic we think very highly of the Soil Association standards and choose to stock as many products certified by them as possible. However it is very difficult to achieve Soil Association certification of a product, as their standards are considered to be among the strictest in the world. This means that some products just cannot be made to the Soil Association standard because of the types of ingredients that it is necessary to use to make the product work. For example in the case of make up, natural brands use minerals to give colour rather than synthetic ingredients but since earth minerals cannot be classed as organic (even though they are natural ingredients) these products can not be certified as organic because they cannot achieve the necessary levels of organic ingredients to pass the standard. Learn more about organic certification...
Q: Why do you sell some things that are not certified organic?
A: At So Organic it is our aim to help our customers adopt an organic and more eco friendly lifestyle simply and easily by offering all of the natural alternatives they require in one convenient shopping experience. As described above it is not possible to make all of the products that our customers wish to use everyday under organic certification. Our customers are looking for everything from Shampoo & Conditioner, toothpaste and moisturizer to washable nappies and eco friendly cleaning products. Some of these things can be certified as organic and others just cannot. This area is extremely complicated and it is difficult for customers to understand whether products claiming to be natural really are and therefore what they should buy. Our customers are looking for excellent quality products that are as natural as they can be, contain organic ingredients where possible and don’t contain the array of undesirable chemicals that we hear so much about in the press these days such as SLS, and Parabens. Our aim is to help our customers by doing the research for them. We have a strict ingredients policy and never sell anything that contains SLS, Parabens, Mineral Oil / Petroleum Derivatives, or Propylene Glycol which are widely considered to be ingredients of greatest concern. We always consider ingredients carefully, & where possible look for products certified organic by bodies such as the Soil Association, & their worldwide equivalents. We also think very highly of BDIH & stock many of their “Certified Natural Cosmetics”. We understand that individual requirements & budgets vary, so we stock as wide a range of products as possible, but we don’t compromise on our principles. We provide detailed product information, full ingredients lists and if products are certified organic we specify with which certification body. Furthermore at So Organic we know whether the products work, & what they feel like or smell like because they don’t go on sale before the team have tested & enjoyed using them. Our philosophy is that if we would recommend a product to our friends then we stock it, if we wouldn’t then we don’t! Our product specialists are always happy to answer your queries by email at help@SoOrganic.com or on free phone 0208 465 5600. Learn more about organic certification...
Q: What does a Soil Association certificate mean?
A: Certification means suppliers must provide detailed information about the ingredients of their products, and list exactly which are and are not organic. Where products are certified organic we ask our suppliers to provide us with a copy of the relevant certificate. The Soil Association logo is a mark of trust, with stringent standards to ensure products that are called organic are genuinely so.
Q: How do you choose the brands you sell?
A: At So Organic we work very closely with all those brands we stock to ensure they meet a strict buying policy; most of them are certified organic and as such must meet high standards of ethical business practice. Our policy is constantly evolving, for example Fairtrade cosmetics are now coming to the fore and we are keen to add such objectives to our policy. The brands we choose reflect us and most of them are small independent companies trying hard to make a difference in what can be a tough and competitive environment of massive conglomerates. If you are a new and exciting brand producing natural or organic products contact us to get our policy before sending in products, we do not like to waste your or our time and products.
Q: Are any of the products you sell Fairtrade?
A: Some of the products we sell use Fairtrade ingredients but we are looking for more brands to fulfil this part of our range as we really believe this is vital to a sustainable and fair future.
Q: What is Biodynamic?
A: Biodynamic ingredients are a bit like organic in that they are grown without chemical but biodynamic is a holistic practice where all things are considered living inter-related systems - animals, plants, and the solar system. Biodynamic practices create healthier plants and heal the earth by replenishing the soil and adding vitality to the plant, soil and/or livestock.
Q: What is the shelf life of your products?
A: They really depend on the individual products, you need to check the use by date on the packaging but as a rule use within 6 months of opening and try to keep the products away from heat source and in a cool place.