Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm Moving to London!

I will be moving to London to earn a MA degree this year!  To prepare, I’ve been doing some research and will have some upcoming posts that discuss cruelty free standards in the UK and correspondence with brands there about their cruelty free status. 

The brands I have been researching sell mainly inexpensive makeup in case I ever need/want to pick up something new.  Since I already order the majority of my hygiene and household cruelty free products online to save money, I’m not too nervous about finding alternatives for these.  I checked with Vitacost, and they do ship to the UK.  Although some products can not be shipped into the country, I’m assuming this has to do with possibly harmful ingredients which wouldn’t be in my products anyways.

I’ve gotten some requests for information on foreign (to me) cruelty free brands before, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post this info.  As always, I recommend you email companies yourself using my guide here if there are brands specific to your area.

Stay tuned for UK-centric posts!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Does Tarte Test on Animals?

So Tarte… I’ve never actually purchased any of their products, but I was interested in picking up their vegan BB cream after swatching Too Faced’s orangey one that I had to pass on buying. While Tarte is not a 100% vegan company, they do have a section on their website for their vegan products.  Although it is not an extensive collection, it is enough to point out. So BB cream lust led to this email which I assumed would come back with a clean bill of health.  However, I became increasingly incredulous as I wrote this post.

April 11, 2013
“Could you please provide some more information about Tarte's animal testing policy.  Does Tarte animal test products or contract a third party to animal test on their behalf?  Does Tarte sell to China or any other country which requires animal testing of beauty products?  Is Tarte owned by a parent company?  Are any of Tarte's products free of animal ingredients and suitable for vegans?
Thank you for your help”

April 12, 2013
“Thank you for contacting tarte cosmetics customer service. tarte cosmetics is not owned by a parent company. We are a cruelty free brand recognized by PETA that does not support animal testing or work with companies that do. Also, our products are not sold in China. The only vegan products we offer are located on the vegan friendly cosmetics page offered on tarte.com. These products are free of beeswax, stearic acid, and carmine, this page will also be updated this summer. Please email me if you have any other questions. Thank you!”

Tarte did not respond to whether their ingredients or finished products were tested, instead simply stating that they are on PETA’s list which I find to be a bad judge of cruelty free status.  To get on this list a company must state that they do not test ingredients or finished products nor have a third party test on their behalf.  However there is no independent audit or proof of these claims as with Leaping Bunny certification.

I emailed back to get clarification:

April 25, 2013
“Thank you for responding to my original animal testing questions.  However, I find being on PETA's cruelty free list rather inadequate.  Does Tarte animal test ingredient and/or finished products or contract them out to a third party?  I would appreciate if you could clearly answer all parts of this question.  I recommend that Tarte look into getting free Leaping Bunny certification.”

April 26, 2013
“Tarte does not test any ingredients or finished products on animals nor do our suppliers or manufacturers. Please email me if you have any other questions. Thank you.”

Whenever I have encountered this type of response in the past, trouble usually follows or claims are quickly proven false.  Even in my follow up email they did not answer my question about contracting out to a third party to animal test on their behalf.  Why would a company that offers a vegan selection of items not have their animal testing policy response in order?  To me, the whole response and approach is purposely misleading.

While I obviously have no proof that Tarte is animal testing, the parallels between their incomplete responses and those of companies who have recently decided to revert to testing are too similar for me.  I very clearly asked questions, and to disregard them shows, at minimum, a lack of respect for consumers.  

I will not be purchasing anything from Tarte.