The past 10 years has seen a seismic shift in people's perceptions of animal testing and the importance of using animal cruelty free products and ingredients. The beauty industry has also become far more considerate towards vegan friendly products as more people turn towards veganism in the UK.
So why do we choose animal cruelty free products at The Boutik salon and what’s driving us, and the industry in general, in being far more considerate towards customers who practice veganism?
My name is Abigail James and I’m the owner and manager of The Boutik salon based in Plymouth, an award winning business. At its heart, the salon and I have always been against the testing of beauty & cosmetic products on animals. In the past three years the salon has made sure that its product offering is as Vegan friendly as possible.
In the past 16 years I have seen huge changes as suppliers of cosmetics and beauty products become vegan friendly and cruelty free. Legislation has certainly made a huge difference to animal testing in the UK and EU, but we also have to educate ourselves to make sure we continue to ask our suppliers the right questions when exploring new product and retail opportunities.
Testing of cosmetics and toiletry products on animals has been banned in the UK since 2013. The selling of cosmetics products containing ingredients that have been tested on animals has also been banned across the EU. These changes have had a positive impact but some of our well know UK and EU national companies and corporations still carry out testing to access certain overseas markets. Take China as a good example where it is mandatory in law for all international cosmetic and beauty products to be tested on animals before they can be sold within, so products won’t be tested on animals here in the UK however they may well be tested on animals before hitting other markets.
For me and my business, this is a big no and completely contradicts the commitment we have made locally. I am pleased to see some major brands pull out of these markets and maintain their commitment to a strong, progressive policy of banning testing on animals.
Look out for the following logos...
If a product has been recognised as completely Vegan then they should be registered with the Vegan society and you will see the vegan logo.
As a business owner I take great care and attention when exploring new products and opportunities with suppliers. I am always looking to engage with those who are completely cruelty free or vegan friendly, and I always make sure they carry the correct accreditation logos on the products they offer. We always communicate directly to check this with our suppliers. We also check the PETA list, which only contains companies that don’t test any products anywhere in the world. Feel free to check it out yourself.
As more people in UK turn to veganism, including the hair and beauty industry, expectations are becoming greater on businesses to understand their products and ingredients further. Here in Plymouth we have an ever growing vegan community as well as personally having family, friends and customers who are vegan. Far more customers are investigating our product range and the ingredients within to check that we are vegan friendly. One thing to remember, just because a product is vegan doesn’t necessarily make it cruelty free! Crazy right but we always ask our suppliers because it really does matter.
As a business the opportunity to market our vegan products to our customers is hugely positive. Statistics from the vegan society alone tell us that there is 350% more vegans living in the UK compared to 10 years ago, and sales of vegan foods have increased by 1,500% in the last year alone. UK sales of vegan beauty products have soared by 38% in the last 12 months, on social sites like Pinterest vegan beauty searches have increased by 50%.
As more people educate themselves about the brutality of animal testing and the benefits of vegan friendly products, we are having to be more considerate towards their needs. We have certainly done our work to make sure we are utilise product and suppliers across the industry who are able to support The Boutik in promoting the vegan and cruelty free messages. Vegan products are just as good as non vegan and even if the customer is not a vegan they still feel great that they are using them!
The suppliers we work with here at The Boutik not only provide us with the opportunity to promote cruelty free and vegan friendly products within the salon, but they are always very open, honest and able to support us with a wealth of information when needed. As a salon owner this gives me the assurance I need in the products my team use, and helps us to effectively and confidently communicate this to each and every one of you.
Remember these points...
Cruelty free’ refers solely to animal testing. For a product to be labelled cruelty free, neither the final product nor its ingredients can be tested on animals. Nor can the brand have paid a third party to do so, or sell the product in countries like mainland China where testing is required by law.
Vegan this means the product contains no animal ingredients such as beeswax, lanolin and carmine. A ‘vegetarian’ product may still include animal bi-products such as milk, eggs, beeswax, and honey. So always double check!
Free from - No toxins, Dybutyl phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin,Camphor,, Resin, Ethyl Tosylamide, Ethyl; Tosylamide Phosphate (THTP), Acetone, Parabens, Led. Lots of Nail and beauty companies are now either “5 FREE” or “10 FREE”
PETA Registrations - Companies who are Animal cruelty free will carry the Leaping bunny logo and will be registered on the PETA website. Most companies will have the leaping bunny on their products and website.
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