It can be hard! You are aware of greenwashing and know that companies can be incredibly manipulative and sneaky. When it comes to your purchasing power you want to make sure that you are supporting brands and products that are in line with your personal values and that means those who care about animals just as much as you! Ensuring your purchases are cruelty free has become increasingly important and popular and while many brands are putting in extra effort to ensure they use cruelty free methods others are finding ways to be vague and misleading about their practices.
There are steps that you can take to make sure that you are always purchasing from companies and makers that do their part in protecting animals.
First you’ll want to clarify what exactly you are looking for. Cruelty free means that the products have not been tested on animals. Cruelty free products are not always vegan. Vegan products are not made from animal derived ingredients.
Next here are a few simple steps you can take to check if brands are cruelty free:
1. Check for certifications
This will be especially easy for larger brands. They should have some form of certification label at the bottom of their website and on their packaging. These can be certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA. However getting certified costs money and can be a long process so smaller brands may not be able to have the stamp of approval in their first few years of business. So if they don't have a certification it may just be in the works!
Make sure to fully read product descriptions sometimes a brand may not fully be cruelty free but a percentage of their products will be. Read product descriptions carefully and read their ‘About’ section in detail as well. Look for vague wording or wording such as ‘We do not test any of our finished products on animals’ which may mean the individual ingredients could have been tested on animals.
Companies love launching ‘new formulas’ and ‘new ingredients’ instead of relying on tried and tested ingredients people already know. These new ingredients usually have to be tested and often this means tested on animals.
If you are still unsure and aren't convinced then reach out to the company! Email in or use their website chat function. Ask them specific questions about their ingredients, raw materials, suppliers and vetting processes. The more people that ask them these questions the more pressure they will feel to comply with ethical standards.
5. Let others do the work for you!
On a marketplace like SAM & LANCE you can be sure that you are purchasing products that have already been researched and vetted. You can shop confidently knowing that your purchases won't harm animals and it takes the pressure off!
This may seem like lots of work but with time you’ll become a pro and be able to scan websites and labels quickly and find exactly what you’re looking for! And it’s worth it to help protect our furry friends!