You may remember some time ago I posted a blog expressing my shock at the amount of products in my home which were manufactured by companies who still test on animals. I made a rather extensive list of the items in my home and vowed that from now on I would only be purchasing cruelty free products. So I thought it was around time for an update on how I’ve been getting on.
Researching has been extensive. There’s a surprising amount of decision making involved in choosing to become cruelty free. By this I don’t mean the decision to actually buy cruelty free products as that’s a no brainer. No what I’m talking about is the complicated process of ‘parent companies’ and ‘fixed cut of dates’ and deciding how you are going to operate.
Now we live in a world where unfortunately we cannot become 100% cruelty free unless we become Vegan. Only buy products with a fixed cut off date from 30 odd years ago and ensure that nothing we own has leather/fur etc. in it. Despite the ban on animal testing for beauty and cleaning products we have to face the reality of the situation that some of the food we consume is tested on animals and I’m not talking about taste testing. Now as a separate point being someone with a nut allergy kind of restricts me from becoming Vegan but hats off to those that are able and do become 100% cruelty free.
So it might be sensible here to provide a definition of some of the terms I’ve used here in regards to cruelty free products as some of you may not know what they mean.
Fixed cut off date. – This is where a company agrees that their products have not and will not be tested on animals after a certain date e.g. July 1980. This guarantees that any products you buy from them have not been tested on animals in the last 36 years. Some of these dates are closer to the present such as 2010. Some people believe this date is too close to the present and that you should only buy products tested before a date further in the past such as 1980.
Parent Company – Another tricky one. This is where a company sells cruelty free products but their parent company tests on animals. For example, The Body Shop is a cruelty free company but they are owned by the parent company L’Oreal who do test their products on animals. Again there is the moral argument that if you purchase from The Body Shop, although your products wouldn’t have been tested on animals, some of the proceeds from your purchase are going to be going to a company who does still test.
Myself and my best friend had a long conversation about this. We realised that (particularly in my case with my allergy) following the moral rules of the fixed cut off date and the parent companies we would be extremely restricted in what products we would be able to use. We therefore concluded that we would where possible avoid late fixed cut off dates and parent companies but where this is not really plausible we would understand that we are still buying products not tested on animals.
Household products are another issue. Things like bleach, washing up liquid and bathroom cleaner are nigh on impossible to find cruelty free cleaning and household products. I found that own brand products seemed to be more reliable than the big names so I investigated a few. Wilkinson’s was my first choice but unfortunately their response was very vague and they were unable to really confirm whether they tested on animals or not. When I emailed back asking for a breakdown of exactly what they meant by ‘when completely necessary’ I got no response. I therefore decided on Morrisons as my choice for household products. They have a statement on their website which confirms that their home brand beauty products including shampoos, shower gels and toothpaste are not tested on animals and are in the process of being printed with the leaping bunny logo. They are also in the process of obtaining certification for their household products from the Humane Household Products Standard.
So I’ve tried now to compile a (hopefully) useful list of products I’ve swapped out for including whether they have a cut off date or parent company.
I’ve changed all the household products such as bleach, disinfectant wipes and sprays, toothpaste, make up wipes and deodorants to either Morrisons or Tesco’s own brand. Tesco profess that they operate a fixed cut off date of 2007.
Makeup wise I’ve replaced my old L’Oreal, Avon and MAC products with Barry M, GOSH and Bare Minerals. Please be aware that Bare Minerals do have a parent company who test on animals due to supplying to China.
Nail varnish has remained Barry M as it was previously. Avon creams like anti-ageing, foot and hand creams have been replaced with Bbeauty from superdrug. Facewash and deodorant is also superdrug own brand.
Pz Cussons have recently released a new statement confirming that neither their products or ingredients are tested on animals, therefore their shower gels (Imperial Leather, Original Source) are now cruelty free products as is Carex handsoap and Fudge deep conditioning treatments. John Frieda shampoo and conditioner remains as this was already cruelty free.
To the best of my ability I’ve now managed to replace almost all of the products in my house with cruelty free products and in all honesty regardless of the fact these products are cheaper and often better quality it also gives you a warm feeling to know you are doing what is right.
What initially seemed like a mammoth task to completely rebrand my entire home has been a lot easier than I would have initially thought.
Any questions on products which are cruelty free please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. Or you can visit the PETA website for more information on which brands carry the cruelty free logo.