We are more conscious of looking for ethical beauty products than ever before. Sadly, fashion and beauty are historically some of the worst offenders, whether that’s from a cruelty-free perspective, a environmental one or one that’s concerned with fair pay to suppliers and workers. An ethical beauty product should pass all of these checks to be thought of as ‘ethical’.
Make Sure No Animals are Harmed
Cruelty to animals is something that’s a major concern in the beauty world, but is thankfully improving. The definition of ‘cruelty-free’ is frequently argued in the beauty industry. Obviously it should me no animal lab-testing in the creation of the products and no ingredients taken from the harm of animals; but many believe it should also include not selling in countries which harm animals in the testing of products there – such as China. Many brands which are cruelty-free in their own country of origin, sell in China, and China tests those products on animals to allow them to be sold there. I think it should include all of these in it’s definition. Many major brands such as Lush, and basically all new and independent ones such as Cellular Goods are 100% cruelty-free beauty brands, with no animal harm or animal testing at all. A product cannot be an ethical one, if there is animal testing at any point in it’s lab to consumer journey.
Check for Organisation Stamps on the Beauty Products
It can be a bit of work to know if a brand is cruelty-free and ethical. Fortunately, there are some organisations that brands can sign up to that verify their claims and if verified, the brand gets an official of approval to put on their beauty product. Some of the most widely known logos you can look for on your brands include Fair Trade and the Leaping Bunny Program. All of these charities and organisations offer guidelines that brands must meet to be officially recognised in their claims as ethical. These are good indicators of quality and awareness. Fair Trade Foundation means that all suppliers of ingredients in the beauty products have been paid fairly for their labour and produce; and the Leaping Bunny Program verifies whether a brand is cruelty-free… and as such, kind to bunnies! These logos are a fast and easy way to identify an ethical beauty product and will appear on the product itself and on its website. A new logo that’s increasingly appearing on products is one for the Soil Association, which indicates a beauty product is organic.
Similarly, simply look for the vegan “VG” symbol. Although a specific organisation might not recognise a brand, vegan manufacturing methods are typically highly ethical. In the past, this was usually reserved for food items. But it is now also used on all products that could be considered vegan. Vegan products use absolutely no animals or animal by-products in their entire manufacturing or consumer process. And any ingredients are usually sourced sustainability, without damaging anything or anyone. They are entirely cruelty-free.
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Ethically Made Beauty Products are Eco-Friendly
It’s the hottest topic in the beauty industry, that’s known for excessive single-use plastic waste. We know have a huge amount of beauty brands striving to be ethical from an environmental standpoint. Look out for recycling logos on the products, and read up on a beauty brand’s environmental efforts on their website – many have special recycling schemes in place to return packaging, for example. Packaging should be recyclable if it’s an ethical beauty product.
Also, many beauty brands utilise local ingredients and by-product ingredients from other industries to minimise that carbon footprint. However, the organic beauty market still only accounts for a small percentage of the market. Fortunately, it is growing, with over 30% of women surveyed stating they buy organic cosmetics. This is good because organic products are typically made in a way that minimises or eradicates harm to the environment and use sustainable practices and are non-polluting. Checking packaging to see whether a product is organic is a great way to find out if a product is environmentally-friendly. Check out my recommendations of ethical and sustainable beauty brands you need to know!
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Check a Brand’s Website or Google Them
Of course, we live in an age where all the information throughout our entire history is available at the touch of a button. You can simply check a brand’s website if you aren’t sure about their practices. Most will proudly display any organisational affiliations, and a mission statement that should outline their commitment to ethical, cruelty-free and environmentally-kind practices. However, just be careful as some can embellish it a little to make themselves look better. Check independent websites such as Cruelty-Free Kitty to verify a brand’s declarations as they do a lot of independent checking and research into their claims.
It can be a challenge if you want to begin using ethical products. However, you can check a brand’s practices by Googling them, checking for official approval logos or looking for the vegan symbol, for example. Ethical beauty products should be cruelty-free, fair to all involved and environmentally-kind.
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