Saturday, November 3, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Kristy from veggiebeauty posted a great video on this whole situation and the state of animal testing and cosmetics at the moment. She discusses some alternative brands and what we should be looking for. Hopefully this can provide some extra guidance.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Perhaps it is because I’ve spent the last three years researching and writing about everything under the sun for university, but I enjoy doing research and the rewarding feeling of empowerment and preparedness it brings. When I changed my lifestyle by purchasing only cruelty free products and then again by become vegan, I wanted to learn a lot of information quickly. It’s been five months since I’ve become vegan and I believe I’ve done a great job of finding a lot of information and have picked up a lot of skills that will serve me for the rest of my life.
Finding this helpful information was a lot harder than I anticipated. I still believe obtaining information about cruelty-free products is harder than finding vegan information simply because companies have an interest in keeping that information harder to find. Established vegans usually guide new vegans into a helpful, tip filled world making the change much easier and pleasant. However, it is harder to find a lot of vegan information with a quick Google search.
Therefore, I've created a guide below with some great resources I’ve discovered in the past five months. The more people you find, the more people they discuss, and the easier it is to find more vegan and cruelty free information/gurus/blogs. This online community is extremely important because for some people these may be the only other vegans/animals rights/cruelty free people they can converse with. I live in a large, thriving city, but I’ve only met two ex-vegans and no one who wants to actively work against animal testing.
I’ve organized the links into obvious categories and will break them up into multiple posts due to the volume. This first post will be about vegan and cruelty free products. I hope that these help you get the information you desire and allow you to make the changes you aim for.
Products & Misc. Lifestyle
If you only look up one resource from this entire list make sure its Kristy’s youtube (veggiebeauty), website, and facebook page! When I discovered her youtube channel, I was ecstatic because it was exactly what I had been hoping to find! She is both vegan and cruelty free and keeps up a standard for the products she manufactures (Pumpkin and Poppy Cosmetics) and buys that I completely agree with.
She has numerous videos about what she buys at the grocery store, what products she uses, and, as she’s on a budget like the rest of us, she talks about a lot of affordable products. Her facebook page is very interactive, and she has replied to every question and comment I’ve made there so far. Seriously, check her out!
Vegan Beauty Review
This one is pretty self explanatory! I prefer her website to her youtube channel (sunbundelicious) since it has a lot more information, but she has such a great personality I enjoy watching her videos. She is vegan, cruelty-free, and prefers products with natural ingredients.
Veg News’ youtube channel (VegNewsTV) and website have been the closest thin I’ve found to a (free) vegetarian/vegan/cruelty free news channel or magazine. Their articles and videos cover news in the community, recipes, and green/vegan travel. They also have a print magazine.
Temptalia Dupe List
Temptalia is a regular blog that does not cater to cruelty free or vegan products. However, they have an amazing dupe list that can be helpful when searching for a cruelty free or vegan alternative. If there is some product you are fond of hopefully you will be able to find a dupe that you can feel good about using.
The Discerning Brute
This great blog is for all you men out there. A majority of the information that I’ve found about veganism and cruelty free products often seems produced by and for a female audience regarding products that women would be more interested in. This blog discusses animal rights and veganism but focuses on ethical and green male fashion.
I’ll say it again and again, use the Leaping Bunny List as your guide to cruelty free shopping if you don’t want to make your own list. Every company listed does not have any animal testing of its ingredients or during any stage of production. The brand also can not hire another company to test their products at any stage of production. The CCIC also ensures that an independent, third party audits these companies to confirm their claims.
These products are all cruelty free, but you must personally review each product and company to determine if they are vegan. For more information, I have an entire post dedicated to this topic to the right under July 2011.
The Vegan Society
I’ve just started researching The Vegan Society (website), but so far I like what I see. Similar to The Leaping Bunny Program above, the Vegan Society has the vegan sunflower trademark in which products must meet standards similar to leaping bunny’s but in addition must be vegan. They have a great tool to find companies registered with them here and a more detailed description of their standards can be found here. I plan on writing a more in depth post about The Vegan Society soon.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
- Are your company’s finished products tested on animals?
- Are your products’ ingredients tested on animals?
- Does your company hire a third party to perform these tests on your behalf?
- Does X have a parent company? If so, what is the parent;s company's animal testing policy? (This can be omitted depending on your feeling toward animal testing parent companies.)
- Does your company sell products in China or any other country which requires or reserves the right to animal test products sold there?
Monday, January 23, 2012
One of the most popular youtube beauty items of 2011 was undoubtedly the Real Techniques brushes released by Samantha Chapman of pixiwoo. I have been watching Sam and Nic’s channel for a while, and they claim to be cruelty free. To make a long story short: They aren’t cruelty free.
When I first tried to be cruelty free, I only used products Nic and Sam applied since they claimed to be cruelty free. With a little research, I quickly realized almost every single brand they used in their videos was not cruelty free. Obviously they have no malicious intent, but it called into question their research and their dedication to being cruelty free.
So when Sam announced she was creating a cruelty free brush line I had reservations about the product. As I will discuss later, her brushes are undeniably cruelty free, but I was worried about the parent company Paris Presents Incorporated. Their most popular subsidiary is ecotools. A full list of Paris Presents Incorporated’s additional subsidiaries can be found here.
While it appears that Paris Presents sells mostly synthetic brushes (EDIT: some of their subsidiaries do sell animal hair brushes), I didn’t understand exactly what some of their subsidiaries sold so I wanted to make sure they are cruelty free. I sent off my usual email and received this response:
“Paris Presents, Inc. does not subscribe to any animal testing on our finished products or individual ingredients. With today’s huge bank of safety tested ingredients and several alternative methods to animal testing available, we find it unnecessary to conduct animal safety studies on our products or ingredients.
In those cases where chemicals may have never undergone safety screening, and we believe there is a reasonable basis to question the safety of such an ingredient, we take two paths. First and foremost, we try to avoid the use of such ingredient. Secondly, in some instances where the ingredient is vital to the performance of the product, we conduct other (they put this in bold) types of laboratory testing, but do not conduct testing on animals.”
Customer service satisfactorily answered whether their finished products and ingredients were animal tested but did not overtly address the possibility of third party testing. I believe the second paragraph was meant to address this and to reinforce the statement in the first paragraph that their products are not animal tested. I am always overly paranoid about these things so I took a look around their websites. Ecotools has a line with Alicia Silverstone, the ultimate ethical vegan celebrity, and this made me feel a lot better about the company.
I will continue to purchase from Paris Presents/Real Techniques.
The Real Techniques line of brushes are, as stated previously, definitely cruelty free. These brushes have Taklon bristles; Taklon is a synthetic material and therefore cruelty free, but it also has many other benefits.
· Cruelty free
· More Sanitary
· Provides better application
An article on Taklon makeup brushes is available here to provide more in depth information. With all the information just in this article I’m surprised that any company would still make brushes with animal hair.
I own a few of the Real Techniques brushes for face and eyes, and I thoroughly enjoy them. In the US, they are very affordable and available at Ulta. They are great quality, amazingly soft, and provide great makeup application. I recommend them to anyone who needs a great, affordable, and cruelty free brush!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
This is going to be a complicated post regarding Burt’s Bees and Clorox. Burt’s Bees is a company approved by Leaping Bunny. However, Leaping Bunny lists Burt’s Bees with a little purple square signaling that they are owned by a parent company that does animal test. Clorox is Burt’s Bees animal testing parent company.
For a full list of The Clorox Company’s other subsidiaries, click here.
Burt’s Bees is readily available across the US in places ranging from cosmetic shops to grocery stores and my own university’s book store. It is clearly labeled as cruelty free with both the Leaping Bunny image and an additional “We do not test on animals.”
In the FAQ section of their website they state:
“Burt’s Bees does NOT conduct product or ingredient tests of any kind on animals. A few of our products contain ingredients derived from animals such as beeswax, royal jelly, milk and carmine.”
I like how quickly they communicate their policies and let consumers know that they carry vegan products. I emailed their customer service to see what additional information they could provide me and received a lengthy reply:
“Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. Burt's Bees has never and will never test on animals. We respect animals and don't believe they should be used in this way. It isn't necessary for the development of our products, and it isn't in harmony with our commitment to The Greater Good. We also ask all of our suppliers to uphold our core beliefs, which include no animal cruelty and no animal testing. Additionally, we are certified under the Consumer Information on Cosmetics' (CCIC) Leaping Bunny program. One of the core requirements of the Leaping Bunny program is that the company and vendors are both investigated to achieve certification.
Please note that Burt's Bees operates as a semi-autonomous business unit of the Clorox Company and they are aware of, and fully support, our position on animal testing, as they are also committed to the welfare of animals. For Clorox, animal testing is a rare exception, used only when required by law or when all other efforts have been exhausted to establish a product's safety profile. If you would like to read Clorox's full policy on animal testing, please use the following url: http://www.cloroxcsr.com/products-safety/.”
Let me first say, I like that they were upfront about being a subsidiary of a company that animal tests. As you will see later in this post, the second paragraph essentially summarizes the animal testing statement on Clorox’s website. The information provided in the link basically says that they do test but apparently not finished products.
I emailed Clorox’s Customer Service because I was unable to find any information regarding their animal testing policy (I emailed Burt’s Bees and Clorox at the same time so I had not yet been sent the link with this information).
“At Clorox, we are committed to providing consumers with products they can trust when used as directed. Before reaching market, our products undergo rigorous safety testing and careful evaluations by highly qualified, skilled scientists. Except where mandated by law, using non-animal product safety evaluations is the norm at Clorox and animal testing is the exception. The vast majority of our products reach the market without testing on animals.
To further demonstrate our commitment not to use live animals, we recently updated our product safety testing policy to require senior management approval of any discretionary animal testing. Rare exceptions to the no animal testing policy, if any, will only be considered when all other efforts have been exhausted to establish a product's safety profile. The updated policy may be found on our Web site at www.TheCloroxCompany.com in the Corporate Social Responsibility section.
I do like that Clorox is upfront about the fact that they do animal test (even if it is “the exception”) because so many companies try to hide this information under paragraphs of misinformation. On the other hand there are two major issues for me. Why does this email specify that Clorox does “not want to use live animals?” I’m not any more alright with Clorox if they kill animals and then test on them. Secondly if they believe in “the efficacy of alternatives” why do they still animal test even when it is not “mandated by law?” (Simply because it is not “the norm” doesn’t mean that Clorox only tests for legal reasons.)
I no longer purchase Burt’s Bees products and will now stop purchasing from all of Clorox’s subsidiaries. Although Burt’s Bees is cruelty free, the money I give them goes to Clorox. I would rather spend my money supporting companies and brands that are 100% cruelty free on every level.
This is clearly a case of how comfortable you feel when buying cruelty free products, and I suggest that everyone seriously consider whether or not they believe giving money to Burt’s Bees funds Clorox’s animal testing.