Recently I started substituting all of our cosmetic and cleaning products to cruelty free versions. I don't know why some animal tested products had found their way back in but they had. Maybe I just got lazy over the years or to be honest I think I just stopped checking products after a while as I thought I knew who tested and who didn't.
Also AVON started testing on animals again. Which screwed up my whole system as ALL of my cosmetics were from them!! So I had to restart the whole process of finding cruelty free cosmetics, and I thought I might as well redo the cleaning products while I was at it. Seriously AVON wtf, like wt actual f. Anyway...
It is so much easier nowadays as you can check in store on your phone if a company tests on animals (when I went veggie in the olden days it was if in doubt don't buy it, go home and look it up or ring them on the landline and ask...then go back and buy it if it was ok). I also use facebook groups and this website or this one, and the BUAV leaping bunny logo is on approved products.
I tend to operate on the assumption that if something doesn't have it on the label that it doesn't test on animals then they probably do...some beauty brands I have found that are cruelty free:
- Superdrug - All own brand products are cruelty free and most are vegan (If I'm giving up cheese I damn well won't ruin my efforts with non vegan shampoo!). This includes make up, sun creams, all dental products, ladies sanitary items etc. Superdrug is my first choice now to be honest, it's like a one stop cruelty free shop :) Their vitamin E Oatmeal range is really nice the face scrub leaves my skin really nice and soft and the day cream has spf in it and it's not too heavy or greasy.
- Body Shop - All body shop products are cruelty free. However, their parent company L'oreal tests on animals. Depending on your opinion this may be an issue or not, in this day and age most companies on my list will have a parent company or partner that is not up to my ethical standards somehow I am just not aware of it, realistically as long as the actual product I'm using was not animal tested I'm reasonably happy to use it if there's not an alternative, but I do try to find alternatives to these if I can and don't buy at the Body Shop so much now.
- Lush - Lots of vegan products too and the bath bombs are just awesome aren't they?! I've not tried much of their 'proper' beauty stuff just soaps and fizzy bath things but I hear good things about moisturisers and face masks.
- Own brand Sainsbury's - Other big supermarkets own brands are also meant to be good (I hear Asda and Tesco and Morrisons have similar ranges) but I have only tried Sainbury's so far. The own brands beauty products are all BUAV approved, I use their own brand deodorant, soap and cleaning products.
- Co-Op - Their cosmetics and toiletries are BUAV approved. I have used some of their range before but mainly it's little things like hand soap and washing up liquid that you might just pop to the local shop for.
So far these few brands have been plenty, they are all easily available on the local high street and have everything I need. I'm not a great make up wearer, I don't wear it day to day only if I'm dressing up...but I had a skim over the BUAV approved list and recognised these brands from local shops ELF, Barefaced Beauty, Marks & Spencer, Liz Earle, Molton Brown, Pukka, Urban Decay. The list is massive I'm just make up challenged so don't recognise a lot!
Cleaning products were actually more difficult, I've not found as much of a range of places but the few I have found and use are:
- Astonish - I LOVE Astonish! It's UK produced, cruelty free and mostly Vegan, the washing liquid smells lush and most of all it is CHEAP! Most of the items in the range are £1 or thereabouts. They also do everything. I use their washing liquid, bathroom cleaner, mould spray, carpet shampoo, oven cleaner, hob cleaner, multi surface spray, pot & pan cleaner, liquid soap...I keep finding new things! I get it in The Range, Poundland or Savers.
- Own brand - Again own brand Sainbury's or Co-Op I have used but I hear others have a range. Before I discovered the joys of the Astonish range (I am not even being sarcastic there I literally love them) I used mostly own brand stuff. I still use own brand washing up liquid as I've not seen Astonish locally, either Sainbury's or Co-op.
- Ecover - Seems to be getting more available, it is certainly stocked in 2 of my local shops. This range appears more expensive but I hear good things about the washing up liquid.
- Method - Non toxic and natural products, I've heard people rave about them but so far not actually seen them in a local shop.
- Marks and Spencer, Wholefoods or Waitrose - These are the more up market supermarkets and their ranges are meant to be good, I just don't regularly shop there (I'm not very posh I'm afraid) so haven't had a look. I do go to whole foods occasionally to stock up on what Tom calls my 'weird foods' like smoked tofu, quinoa in bulk and when I just want to browse the new vegan offerings but I tend to just go there for food. and then run away before my bank account realises where I am and starts to cry.
- Vegetarian shoes that are stylish and affordable do exist! Do not be put off by what comes up when you google vegan shoes. New Look shoes are my best friends, the non leather ones of course, I hear they are approved by PETA. Also goes for wallets, bags, belts and other accessories.
- I got my wedding shoes from Mels Shoes, they are beautiful and smell like my little ponies. Enough said. I got the heart glittered but it was originally red.
- Trainers can be an issue as a lot of them have leather in them somewhere, shop around for your preferred style. New Look again if non leather for casual trainers, for actual training trainers I have some Karrimor ones.
- Fake leather is pretty abundant nowadays, I have a jacket from Primark that I love but beware that fake leather does not breathe well.
That's my brain dump on my experience recently, feel free to comment and let me know any of your tips or brands!