10 February 2014

Going Cruelty-Free.

To those who know me well I have always been passionate about animals and the environment.
I find it tricky because when you feel strongly about a subject, you know that you can make enough of a change to feel satisfied that you are reducing your own global environmental impact, but it will never be enough unless others change too... but how do you positively influence others without coming across with a preachy agenda?

I have made a lot of changes in my life in the past year, which started with me cutting down on meat, then cutting it out altogether. Reducing the cosmetics and toiletries I buy and being vigilant with making sure they are not tested on animals. To make sure I do not buy animal clothing because I simply can't trust the source - leather, silk, angora etc. Trying my best to think about how my actions may make someone or something else inadvertently suffer. I find the best route to change is little steps, it's temping to jump in feet first but you cannot sustain real change that way.  I do not feel hard done by with cutting out these pleasures and it has not made me any less happy, so I question how much I really needed it anyway, or what else I could do without. However, I still had a sinking feeling in my stomach that it wasn't enough, that I want to encourage others in a positive way to think about their environmental impact.
So I thought I would just start with the first change I made a few years back in the beginning of 2011. In the UK there is a law against animal testing on cosmetics and cleaning products. However, loop holes mean companies can and do test their products and ingredients on animals in other countries - even Boots who say they don't test their final products, were found to have their ingredients tested by other companies for them.

It's a really easy change to make by switching the cosmetics you buy and only buying from non-animal tested companies. You simply need to check the back of the packaging for the leaping bunny logo, this means it has been approved by BUAV. The British Association Against Vivisection (http://www.buav.org/) is an amazing charity and comprehensive website, they campaign tirelessly to end animal cruelty and they are the reason a lot of these changes happen, not just in the UK but abroad too!

When I first made the switch in cosmetics and cleaning products, I found it hard to find, but more and more companies are starting to put the logo on the back of their products. I have made a simple list below for anyone who is interested in making a change. There are lots more, but this is from my own researched based on products I like to use and places I shop. If you have a brand you would like me to research, let me know and I will find out. I have also emailed a few companies in the past to get written statements.

Superdrug - They have been against animal testing for a long time, I buy everything from tooth paste, deodorant, shampoo and hair die from them and all their products have the bunny logo.

Ecover - Eco friendly, safe for the environment and no animal tested cleaning products, I buy all my cleaning products from them. 

Sainsburys - Cosmetics approved by BUAV, good for tooth paste, soap, shampoo, etc. However I am not sure their cleaning product are so keep an eye for the bunny logo on the back.

M&S - approved by BUAV

Co-op - Fair trade & animal friendly, approved by BUAV

Barry M makeup - http://nottested.co.uk/Cosmetics.html

Body Shop - http://nottested.co.uk/Cosmetics.html

Pure - Makeup Remover, states on back of the packet

Original Source Shower Gel - Approved by BUAV

Nivea - http://www.nivea.co.uk/about-us/beiersdorf/animal-testing-uk

Collection 2000 - http://www.collectioncosmetics.co.uk/footer-menu/animal-testing-policy.aspx

Tesco -  http://www.tesco.com/csr/g/g4.html

MEMEME - http://www.mememecosmetics.co.uk/faq

VO5 (Labelled on back on bottle)

Rimmel - http://uk.rimmellondon.com/coty-page/animal-testing

Waitross, Asda - http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/experiments/ALL/303/

Not Safe:
Companies that from general research seem to test, but if someone can find solid information they don’t then I will update the list.
Proctor & Gamble or P&G; Herbal Essences, Max Factor, Lenor, Daz, Fairy, Ariel etc
GSK; Sensodyne etc
Lever Brothers
S.C. Johnson; Mr Muscle etc
Reckitt & Colman 
Colgate-Palmolive; Colgate etc
Pantene Pro v

Both Chanel, Mac & Garnier used to have statements on their websites against animal testing, however those statements have now disappeared. Unfortunately, companies start testing on animals when they want to sell cosmetics in China, as there you legally must test on animals.

Other websites I found useful: