Welcome to the vegan beauty section, you beautiful people! What’s this vegan beauty thing about, I hear you ask. Well, this category will encompass all things glamourous, and that are intended to make you that bit more beautiful. So primarily, it will be looking at cosmetics from make-up brushes to perfumes to more general stuff, such as toothpaste, as well as cruelty-free and vegan companies. There is also a sub-category for vegan-friendly fashion, where we will post our latest fashion finds, vegan designers, or simply the latest cool vegan info from the fashion world.
If you are confused at this point and don’t get what veganism has to do with cosmetics and fashion, let me explain briefly.
Firstly, fashion. Animal issues and fashion have been interlinked for many decades now (and, unfortunately, not usually in a positive way). The most obvious example of this somewhat negative relationship is the use of fur by the fashion industry. Fortunately, the cruel and unnecessary use of fur has been brought to the public’s attention and the majority of people (not necessarily just vegetarians and vegans) oppose its use for fashion. We now rarely see real fur exhibited by the fashion industry, despite attempts from fashion superpowers such as Chanel and DKNY. This is obviously a very positive thing, but ethical vegetarians and vegans see further difficulties. Key examples of materials that are used extensively in fashion but are derived from suffering or slaughtered animals are leather, silk and wool. Fortunately, there are two growing trends. Firstly, there is a growing trend for ethically sourced materials. Whilst leather cannot ever be ethically sourced (all leather will be from a slaughtered animal), silk and wool fortunately can. If you are confused as to why silk and wool are unethical in the first place, then please look out for future posts where we will talk about the difficulties behind both materials, and the positive trends developing in their production. The second trend in the fashion industry is the growing number of vegan designers. There is now a large range of shoes, bags, and other clothing which are free from leather and are 100% vegan. Look out for future posts detailing these companies and products.
Now, onto cosmetics. I’m sure we can all agree that testing cosmetics on animals is wrong. A common misconception (at least one that I have heard a few times) is that testing cosmetics on animals is a thing of the past, and no companies continue to do it. Sadly, the situation is quite the opposite. In the US, the majority of companies do test their products on animals. In the UK, whilst the testing of the final product was actually outlawed, many companies test every ingredient individually on animals to see the effects. On top of this, many companies make brash claims about not testing on animals, but are actually owned by companies which do (for example, The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal, who are notorious for their animal testing policies). On top of this, the EU recently put into effect the REACH initiative, which proposes that all ingredients (including those which have been in use for thousands of years) should be independently tested to examine their effects on human health. This means a massive hike in animal testing across Europe. It’s not all bad news though – there are companies which are going out of their way to do their bit in protection of animals. There are also many cruelty-free initiatives by charities such as Uncaged and BUAV. We shall be discussing some of these companies and charities, their availability and their products in the future on this site. We shall also be discussing key issues in animal testing, companies that should be avoided, and some of the difficulties involved in avoiding cosmetics, as this is arguably one of these most confusing and least concrete areas of following veganism.