Shopping Vegan & Cruelty Free
Vegan & Cruelty Free are terms usually used together as they hold the same moral standards. One of the main reasons people choose a Vegan lifestyle is because of the ethical issues surrounding animal welfare. As we see an increase in Veganism, it can push certain companies to create and promote a product as Vegan without actually being cruelty free and vice-versa, this can make it even more difficult to see whether your product is actually supporting the welfare of animals.
What is the difference?
Cruelty Free is where a product has been made without any harm or testing carried out on animals. Veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of animal products, it is common in diets but has become more popular with other products like skincare and makeup. True Veganism is also a way of living which seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals. The sad part is, is that there is no requirement for a product to be cruelty free if certified vegan and there can be blurred lines between the two. not all Vegan products are cruelty free and not all cruelty free products are Vegan.
At The Plastic Free Life, we are proud to work with some incredible brands that are certified as Vegan and Cruelty Free. We would never stock a product that tests of animals as this is something important to us. a lot of suppliers actually support amazing causes to help protect the welfare of animals which we just love. For transparency we use value icons on all of our products so you can easily see what is Cruelty Free & Vegan.
Tips for Choosing Cruelty Free & Vegan Products
Check the Label
Products that are certified as cruelty free & Vegan will state this on the packaging. If a product is Vegan they may use the Vegan sunflower trademark or the V trademark or it may even be their own logo. For a company to use the Vegan sunflower trademark, they must apply and pay a fee, a trademark officer will then check the ingredients in the product and approve the application if the ingredients are Vegan. (find more information on the Vegan Trademark here) A company doesn't necessarily have to use the Vegan trademark to state their products are Vegan, however companies cannot provide information which can mislead, confuse customers or be ambiguous. If a company incorrectly states their product as vegan when it's not then they could risk the following:
- a claim under the Consumer Rights Act or the Sale of Goods Act for misdescription;
- an investigation by Trading Standards in relation to any descriptions applied to product packaging;
- an investigation by the Food Standards Agency or the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in respect of food products;
- an investigation by the Advertising Standards Agency in relation to any promotional material used to promote the product.
Some of the above could result in a financial penalty or payment of damages or compensation. An unfavourable result might also necessitate an expensive product recall or the redesign of marketing materials and packaging.
Concerns with Vegan labelling is that a product may state "no animal ingredients" Unfortunately it is up to the company what "no animal ingredients" actually means. Some companies may consider this to mean that no animals were slaughtered for the use of these products and not see products like honey, beeswax or Lanolin as animal ingredients.
When a product is Cruelty Free, it may use the Peta Beaty without bunnies logo. This logo means that companies and brands have verified that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and that they will never do so in the future.
Search the company on Peta
Not all companies that are vegan and cruelty free might be registered with Peta but this is a good place to start. Peta will also name companies that do test on animals so there is loads of information on these companies. It is also important to research parent companies. For example Ordinary skincare is cruelty free and vegan, however their parent company is Estee Lauder which uses animal testing in their products. Click Here to search for the company on the Peta website.
Check the companies Cruelty Free and Vegan Polices online
If the products are vegan and cruelty free, this will usually be stated on their website. if you cannot find this information, you could always contact the brand for clarification. See below the links to our skincare and makeup brands Vegan and Cruelty Free information: