I was recently staying with a friend, and in the shower I noticed that the shampoo and conditioner they had for their guests proudly stated that it was vegan. I was thrilled (and surprised) as it was a brand you can buy in bulk at stores like Costco. I had always known they were not cruelty-free but seeing it display "vegan" I got excited and thought, "Wow! Brands that had never shown any inclination of changing their animal testing stance might be coming around!"
It didn't say anywhere that it was cruelty-free, but that doesn't mean it isn't...lots of cruelty-free brands do not have a cruelty-free label (certification programs are voluntary and not free). That's why you always have to some homework. Read more HERE.
Image Source: Ethical Elephant
Of course, stepping out of the shower, it only took a second to check the brand and see that, nope, not cruelty-free.
This brand probably never had any animal byproducts in it to begin with, most don't, but I realized that they were probably just trying to attract the recent growth in eco, social, ethically conscious consumers that want better products from more responsible companies.
This disappointed me (it shouldn't, that's what marketing is all about). But taking advantage of the consumer (on something that matters to a lot of lives)...jumping on the bandwagon to increase sales, but not enough to change any of their policies on their treatment of animals, made me sad.
The reality is that there are a lot of big companies out there that are only now starting to talk about cruelty-free and clean beauty...only now because they see it is getting popular. I don't want to undermine this, because it's great for the animals and it's great for our health - but it's only great if their policies also change. Big companies are the biggest offenders and have been for decades. They, therefore, are capable of making the biggest impact.
In an ideal world, cruelty-free wouldn't just be a side project or a niche for a company - it would be policy. We are an entirely cruelty-free company, and extremely proud of it. It's the way forward, and step-by-step we are all getting closer to it becoming the norm. (Unfortunately, big companies are also still the ones trying to lobby against cruelty-free change.)
What can you do? Do your best to make sure your products are cruelty-free AND vegan! Don't settle for the vegan label at first glance.
Written by Nicole Barton. Co-Founder of Good Cubed, wife to Zach, mom to rescue dogs Cato & Agnes, and soon-to-be mom to a little human. Always looking out for what I'm putting in my body and putting on my skin, now more than ever. Originally from LA, now a Miami girl (forever in the sun and by the sea).