Today, individuals are extra careful with the products they use. As such, brands have been forced to adapt to ethical consumerism. But, because of marketing purposes, some brands tend to lie or exaggerate ingredients on their products. It’s why you should research an item before buying it. Let’s look at some popular ethical terms.
Organic- it describes a product that doesn’t have chemicals like insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. People prefer organic farming as it is eco-friendly. Products labeled organic should have at least 70% of organic ingredients. However, bear in mind that some brands term themselves organic even when they are not. Therefore, you may want to look for organic certification.
Cruelty-Free- it means that the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals. As such, they’re not necessarily vegan. Note that this term isn’t regulated. Therefore, a company can claim that it is cruelty-free even when it is not.
Natural Beauty– in theory, natural products contain only natural ingredients. But just because a product is labeled natural, it doesn’t mean that it is organic, cruelty-free, or safe for your skin.
Vegan- it’s used on products that don’t contain anything derived from animals, meaning it doesn’t use honey from bees or lanolin from sheep, etc. A brand that does not entirely use animal-derived ingredients in its product is 100% vegan. It’s rare for a brand to claim that their product is vegan when it’s not. So most times, you can trust them. However, to be specific, make sure that you read their ingredient list.
Fair Trade- these products are made by workers working in a safe environment who are paid fairly. This means that the company didn’t use child or slave labor. But, as all brands can’t be trusted, look for those that have credible certifications. Fairtrade is a great practice, but some companies may not follow its rules and regulations.
Clean beauty– clean beauty products are on the rise. They’re meant to be safe products free of toxins. They’re said to be more sustainable, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free. But, some products may not meet all these standards. Some brands even formulate their products without certain ingredients that make a product to be considered clean beauty.
Green Beauty- green beauty was famous before clean beauty. It referred to brands that use safe, chemical-free ingredients while conserving the environment. But this term has been replaced by pure beauty.
Sustainable beauty– used with brands that strictly focus on the environment. That means they use plastic-free and eco-friendly packaging, as well as ingredients that are sort sustainably. However, before buying from a brand, examine why they’re calling themselves sustainable first.
Ethical beauty- this focuses on three pillars; sustainability, fair trade, and cruelty-free/vegan. Some brands may pay more attention to specific posts than others, and some don’t focus on any of these. It’s hard to find a company that is 100% ethical. But, you can research and choose those that match your values. Note that many of us have been forced to reflect on how animals are treated with sustainable movements. There are even animal rights movements to protect animals. You’ll be surprised that the marketing phrase animal marketing may mean something different than what you think.
What Is Cruelty-Free?
The FDA doesn’t offer a standard legal definition for this term. As such, brands often use it in the manner they want to attract customers who are willing to spend on products that meet ethical consumerism. However, cruelty-free products aren’t vegan. Companies use this term to imply that they test products on animals without harming them. No regulations are governing the term cruelty-free. Therefore, companies use it for marketing purposes.
Many people think that cosmetic and beauty products are mandated to be tested on animals first. However, the FDA doesn’t require testing of these products for safety on animals in the USA. But, in China, this is a requirement. Its why brands are claiming to be cruelty-free change their branding when selling to the Chinese market.
As the term cruelty-free does not have a standard definition, different companies accord it different meanings, including:
Ingredients were tested on animals, but the final product wasn’t.
- The brand hired a third party to conducts tests.
- The brand used testing results from another organization.
- There was no animal testing, but an animal(s) was injured or killed and used for making the ingredients (animal products)
- The brand has not tested the ingredients on animals hence hasn’t killed any animal.
- Testing was done in a different country than the one the brand manufacturer is in
- Animal testing is only done when required by law as a rule to enter a foreign market.
- The brands involved have only relied on past tests and haven’t conducted the tests themselves. Hence have harmed no animal and don’t use products derived from animals.
- The company has a cruelty-free certification. Although not a legal requirement, it shows the accountability of a brand.
When Did Cruelty-Free Trend Start?
When this trend started, the idea wasn’t to test products on animals instead of providing alternatives that didn’t involve slaughtering or harming them. As such, it was more appealing to vegans and vegetarians more than individuals who didn’t want animals to be in pain or trauma. These concerns are similar but apply to different categories of people. How? Some consumers eat meat, but they don’t care about cruelty-free. And some people are vegan/vegetarian, but they don’t care about cruelty-free shopping.
The first cruelty-free movement was in 1959 after Muriel Dowding started a charity called Beauty without Cruelty. He discouraged animal cruelty and motivated apparel brands to use fur rather than slaughtering animals for their fur.
Fashion with Compassion was then founded ten years later by Marcia Pearson. But, this movement became more prevalent during the 1980s and 1990s. Individuals started using this term to refer to animal testing, especially in personal care products. PETA, in 1987, launched a program that regulated non-animal testing to manufacturers of unique care products.
From then, activists started targeting companies that lied about testing their products on animals. Five women filed a suit in 2012 that sued Mary Kay and the other two companies for their cruelty-free products’ false claims. It was determined that these brands had comprised their values to expand to Chinese markets where brand testing was required.
According to Google Trends data, the most significant rise in the cruelty-free movement was witnessed in 2012-2017. Many companies then banned animal testing due to endless efforts from Cruelty-Free International and PETA. Today, individuals buying beauty products favor companies that haven’t tested them on animals. Animal-friendly products were among the top interest, according to a survey conducted by Nielsen in 2015.
What Lies Ahead for Cruelty-Free Products?
Market Research Future says that the cruelty-free market is predicted to grow by at least 6% by 2023. Many organizations and consumers are trying to create a standard definition of cruelty-free, to mean products that don’t involve harming/killing animals.
Due to the pain, suffering, and even death caused on animals during product testing, some people are against brands that still practice that. The Nielsen survey revealed that many consumers are now focused on products that have been labeled ‘not tested on animals.
More than 8.3 million people have joined the cruelty-free movement, proving how society can be harnessed to support responsible production and consumption. People have been sensitized to realize that they can look or feel beautiful without harming animals in any way. Animal testing is considered cruel, unnecessary, and outdated.
Therefore, while some companies have already taken this step, many brands are still considered non-animal alternatives when testing and manufacturing their products.
What Do Non-Animals Cruelty Certifications Imply?
The term cruelty-free isn’t defined formally or legally. Therefore, understanding labels, logos, and certification can be pretty tricky. But don’t trust brands easily, as some may claim that they are cruelty-free even when they do animal testing. Therefore, it can be misleading to the customers, especially those who want to use cruelty-free products.
Always check if a company has certifications as it shows that it has complied with the formal and official criteria. However, not all companies with this certificate are reputable. Wikipedia defines cruelty-free as products from a brand that doesn’t involve harming or killing any animals. A company is cruelty-free if its products and ingredients haven’t been tested on animals in any part of the world. While this sounds simple, it cannot be obvious.
The problem is that brands have different labels that are all for marketing purposes. You’ll often find a brand claiming “our products aren’t tested on animals.” The keyword is products. What about the ingredients? The outcome might not have undergone animal testing, but the elements in it might have. Which therefore means that an animal(s) has suffered from the testing.
Also, some companies may say, “we don’t test our products on animals.” The emphasis is on we, which means that third parties might be doing the testing for them. Additionally, note those who say “we don’t test on animals except,” maybe when required by law or when they don’t have alternatives for animal testing. This is especially common for companies that label themselves as cruelty-free, but they sell their products in China, where products must undergo animal testing.
Another vague sentence is “we are against animal testing.” The fact that they are against it doesn’t mean that they are not doing it.
Additionally, take note of the term “we are cruelty-free,” especially if a company doesn’t have an official bunny logo on their product packaging. We’ve already mentioned that there is no standard definition of the term cruelty-free. So, even if a brand claims they are, if it isn’t certified, these could be false claims. Look for proof that what the company is claiming is the truth.
Thankfully, some certifications help protect consumers from such claims from companies. Each is regulated by a different company and has its standards and rules. Therefore, one brand may even be certified as cruelty-free but may not be considered that way by another. Nevertheless, here are some cruelty certifications;
Leaping Bunny– it’s a well-known and well-respected cruelty free certification company. It was established by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) and Cruelty-Free International in 1996. Today, there are more than two thousand companies that have this certification. Leaping Bunny has strict rules and regulations before certifying a company. Here is why this organization is popular;
They perform independent audits before certifying a brand. They require a company to provide evidence, and they’ll review its supply chain and other processes to ensure that it conducts no animal testing.
Strict requirements include the “company”
- Must agree to be audited.
- Mustn’t use ingredients from manufacturers who conduct animal testing.
- Must recommit annually.
- Mustn’t conduct or be part of any animal testing process.
- Must implement a supplier monitoring system to ensure that their suppliers don’t test on animals.
- Must allow its products to be sold in zones where animal testing is mandatory.
However, note that Leaping Bunny can also approve some brands whose parent company is not cruelty-free. But they must promise that their supply chain is independent of that of the parent company to be certified.
Beauty without Bunnies– it’s PETA’s most popular cruelty-free program established in 1987. It has so far certified more than 4500 companies. Brands usually fill out questionnaires and sign an assurance statement acknowledging that their final product and ingredients have not undergone animal testing. Some important things you should know about PETA include;
- They certify brands that claim not to do animal testing when required by law, like that selling in China.
- They don’t audit to prove that a brand doesn’t test on animals.
- Reassessments aren’t performed periodically, which means a brand can change their policy to test animals and still be cruelty-free on PETA’s list.
This thus means that you can’t trust all the brands that have PETA’s certification. Research a product before deciding to buy it.
Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF)- apart from forbidding animal testing, it also has a list of ingredients that they accept and another list containing ingredients cruelly acquired from animals. They also list vegan, vegetarian, and pail oil-free brands. This company promises that they’re going to be vegan by 2021. That means that they will not certify companies that use non-vegetarian ingredients (blood products).
Blood products are ingredients derived from an animal such that they caused the death of the animal directly and indirectly. That includes elements from a slaughterhouse. Additionally, CCF doesn’t approve brands whose parent companies conduct animal testing.
Products to Focus on
Zion health is a leaping bunny certified company. you can use all their products without feeling guilty. From hair care to oral care Zion Health got you cover.
- Zion Health Apple Vinegar Foaming Scalp Detox 7oz– You can use this product to restore your scalp as it contains various nourishing oils. The serum locks in moisture while restoring balance without feeling heavy on your head. It removes all impurities and supplies your scalp with circulating nutrients. The apple cider helps balance the scalp pH levels while reducing your vulnerability to dandruff, hair loss, and toxins build up. Zion Health is an animal-friendly company, which tries to reduce plastic waste and uses eco-friendly ways.
- Deep Conditioning Intense Repair Hair Mask with Argan Oil– for repairing and adding shine to your hair, trust this product. It is designed to treat dry, brittle, and colored hair. The featured ingredient is argan oil that helps soften your hair and makes it shiner. The product also contains ionic minerals, vitamin E, shea butter, lemon essential oil, etc.
- Hydrating Moisturizing Day Cream– aging is unavoidable. However, having this wrinkle defense cream in your skincare routine is essential. It has elite ingredients like hyaluronic acid, clay minerals, and plant extracts that help moisturize, soothe and rebuild your skin. The cream contains cloudberry seed oil, lime oil, Fagus sylvatica extract, and others that give you youthful and radiant skin.
- Banish Hyperpigmentation Kit– it contains vitamin c that helps brighten your skin by fading discoloration. It also helps reduce wrinkles and boost the production of collagen. Additionally, it repairs damages from the sun.
- Clay Dry Bold – want to smell fresh all day? Consider purchasing this product. It contains ingredients that can absorb odor, giving you long-lasting protection. The featured ingredient is Yuzu China, which is known for its sweet aroma that calms anxiety. Other components include green tea extract, vitamin C, ionic cay minerals, arnica extract, etc.
If you’re in support of the cruelty-free movement, you should always research brands before buying their products. Note that just because a company claims that they are cruelty-free doesn’t mean that they don’t conduct animal testing.
Rest Assured that You are Getting Great Beauty and Skin Products that are also Cruelty Free When You Shop Zion Health Products
We love animals and the environment as much as you do; therefore, all our health and skincare products are vegan, organic, contain no parabens, are made with all-natural ingredients, and most importantly, are cruelty-free.
At Zion Health and we have always taken our commitment to the safety of our customers seriously. A critical part of this promise is our adherence to socially conscious practices that would make each one of our customers proud. That is why we have undergone the process to be considered a Leaping Bunny-approved company, so you can rest assured that you are buying products that have never been tested on animals during any stage of their development.
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