Hey loves, Allison here! For those who don't know me, I am the head fragrance engineer and all-around boss lady here at SoCo Fragrance. Nice to meet ya! Here are five facts about me, just for funsies: I moonlight as a PhD student in Human Geography with a Food Studies minor, and I teach undergraduates about the modern food system; I live in Bloomington IN with three dogs and Moonpie, the world's best cat (seriously, if you don't already follow @southern.comforts on IG, it's worth it just for Moonpie pics); I have over 50 tattoos, including a big ol cartoon portrait of Dolly Parton; I can't live without tacos, especially if they involve sweet potatoes; and I love animals and believe strongly in animal rights!
Because I love animals so much, keeping SoCo vegan and cruelty free is the most important thing to me (along with awesome scents, of course). So let's chat about what that really means!
First of all, vegan =/= cruelty free.
Vegan means no animal byproducts whatsoever are in the products or packaging. That means no beeswax, honey, carmine, and a ton of other sneaky ingredients like lanolin, which comes from sheep's wool. However, even though vegan products protect animals by not exploiting them for ingredients, it doesn't mean that the company (or the corporation that owns the company) doesn't use animal testing in their product development.
Cruelty-free cosmetics, when done right, don't use any animal testing. Because it isn't currently a regulated term, meaning there's no official agency that ensures products are actually cruelty-free, it sometimes gets thrown around casually. Sometimes companies say "cruelty-free" and mean "I didn't put any on my pets" or "I don't know if my ingredients are tested on animals, so they must not be". To each their own, but for me and for SoCo the term cruelty-free means that certain specific requirements are met.
Here are some important questions to ask when looking into whether a big name or indie makeup brand is truly cruelty-free:
Are the products tested on animals during production by your company/brand, a parent company, a third party, an affiliate, or anyone else?
Are any ingredients used in the products tested on animals by your company, a parent company, a third party, an affiliate, or anyone else?
Are any ingredients used in the products required to be tested on animals, by law or otherwise?
Does this brand sell any products in areas where animal testing is required, by law or otherwise?
Are any of the products sold in areas where animal testing is required, by law or otherwise, such as China?