No longer considered just a trend, buying “cruelty-free” items is becoming a sought-after lifestyle. More and more consumers are focusing on purchasing products that are designated as “cruelty-free.” This classification for cosmetics, apparel or other commercial products signifies that the item is manufactured and/or developed by methods that do not involve experimentation on animals.
From toothpaste to mascara, common daily items are frequently tested on rabbits and guinea pigs. Despite bans on animal testing for cosmetics in several countries, many still allow testing to occur and Canada, United States, and Australia are among them.
The good news is that an increasing number of companies are responding to the cries of consumers and turning to more humane testing alternatives.
Regretfully, there is no “official” or government-sanctioned cruelty-free label. However, organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Leaping Bunny provide searchable databases to empower consumers to assure that a brand or specific item is not tested on animals.
An entire generation has embraced the idea of going “fur free.” But responsible shopping doesn’t stop there. Finding cruelty-free clothing and accessories has actually never been easier. Whether you’re looking for a cozy wool-free sweater or a pair of non-leather waterproof boots, you’re sure to be able to find it at your local mall.
For example, you can easily join this movement and check out the all-cotton collection at Kohl’s for animal-friendly scarves, linens, handbags, summertime shorts and all types of clothing.
[Use one of our Kohl's coupon codes to save big on your animal-friendly purchase!]
Here are four more ways you can focus on keeping animal tested items out of your shopping cart:
1. Do the Research
You may be surprised and even a bit saddened by how many popular and widely used brands participate in animal testing. The Humane Society International estimates that approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world
Don’t hesitate to contact cosmetic brands yourself and ask them questions. Large online retailers like Amazon.com do some of the work for you. They have a category filtered by “cruelty-free” making it a simple way to shop for make-up, cosmetics, and other items that do not exploit animals.
2. Make the Change
Transitioning to cruelty-free make-up and cosmetics may seem daunting at first, but it does not have to be an “all or nothing” process. Once you discover which cosmetic brands are not cruelty-free, you do not have rush to your bathroom cabinet or make-up drawer and throw everything out. Instead, when you finish a product, replace it with a cruelty-free alternative.
Sally Beauty sells a private brand line that is cruelty-free. Their private label Icon which offers nail color and Silk Elements are just two labels which are never tested on animals.
3. Read the Label
When buying clothing, search for cruelty-free fabrics such as cotton, polyester, pleather, faux fur or synthetic shearling. Stay away from items made with leather, wool, angora, rabbit hair, cashmere, pashmina, mohair, and camel hair.
What’s wrong with wool, you may ask. Sheep need the wool that they naturally produce to protect themselves from extreme temperatures, and too often the shearing process of collecting their wool is not done in a humane manner.
And if you want to switch up your scent, there are even cruelty-free vegan perfumes for every budget. More and more companies are becoming socially conscious and realizing that their research and development practices are important to their customers.
4. Stamp of Approval
Look for the PETA or The Leaping Bunny Program insignia on the products you purchase, whether it be nail polish, eye liner or footwear. These symbols guarantee that the brand is safe to buy as a truly cruelty-free item.
But remember, cruelty-free cosmetics differ from vegan cosmetics. Vegan cosmetics don’t contain anything that comes from an animal or is produced by an animal, but it doesn’t mean that they’re automatically cruelty-free.
The Leaping Bunny logo is especially desirable as it ensures that a product and its ingredients are 100% free of animal testing. There's an emphasis on ingredients because a brand may call itself cruelty-free, but still contract other companies to test its ingredients on animals. However, companies certified by the Leaping Bunny Program must be cruelty-free from ingredients through finished products.
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There is an App for That
Leaping Bunny's Compassionate Shopping Guide makes it ultra-easy to buy cruelty-free! The have an app to download so you can always know which companies they have certified.
The More You Know….
The more informed you become about the products you're buying, the more responsibility you can take to protect the welfare and health of an almost endless variety of animals.
Once you find your favorite cruelty-free brands, filling your closet or your make-up bag will become a snap! Best of all, you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel when you practice a more animal-friendly lifestyle.