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A cruelty free and vegan fragrance line for the discerning adventurer. 5% of all profits go to charity.

13 Apr '17

Let's Talk Cruelty Free and Vegan Cosmetics!!

Posted by Allison Solomon-Wales

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 any of the finished products tested on animals by your company/brand, a parent company, a third party, an affiliate, or anyone else?

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?
Do your ingredient suppliers test ingredients on animals that are used for other brands they also supply, even if these ingredients are not used for your company/brand?
Does your company/brand test or allow for parties to test your products on animals, at any stage pre or post market, to comply with various legal requirements? 

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?
Are any of your products shipping via ecommerce sales into regions where animal testing is required, such as China?

We can proudly say that SoCo meets all the criteria for being both vegan and cruelty free! Absolutely no animals are harmed in any way to make your smell goods when you order from us. That means you can smell amazing and feel amazing about doing the right thing for our non-human friends! 
While there are no official agencies who regulate cruelty-free status, there are several groups and blogs that are trusted to varying degrees. We are certified by both PETA and Leaping Bunny, and many individual bloggers, such as XoLoveLeti and WifeLife, have ensured that we meet their CF (cruelty free) criteria. Logical Harmony, commonly referred to as LH, also has a trusted list of CF brands, and we are on their pending list. However, they prefer to work with big-name brands, so it's taken over a year just to get to pending. 
There's a ton more info out there, but hopefully this was a helpful overview of vegan and cruelty-free, and of what that means to SoCo and to me! 
Have questions? Suggestions for people looking to go cruelty-free? Just want to say hi? Leave us a comment below or on the FB page! Let's chat cruelty free cosmetics. 

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