Lush Bee’s

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Are Vegan’s happy to buy Lush Bee related products?

 

I recently attended a blogging event at the Lush store in Liverpool, it was a great night and the Lush staff are fantastic hosts. The event was aimed at promoting the upcoming festive season and next week after halloween I will publish a blog post with some festive gift buying inspiration. First though I want to share an interesting conversation I had with one of the skin expert staff members regarding the ingredients of honey and beeswax in their products. The lady I was speaking with wanted to make it completely clear that Lush source all of their animal derived products from the most ethical of suppliers and that one of her colleagues who is also a Vegan, was initially not happy to use any products that contained the ingredients honey, beeswax or egg’s but after learning more about where the ingredients came from felt confident enough that he wasn’t buying into cruelty.

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Many people often ask why honey and beeswax aren’t considered Vegan? 

Well a Vegan by definition is a person who refrains from using any kind of animal products or by products, in food, beauty products, clothing and for any other day to day purpose.

There are however many reasons as to why people these days are adopting a Vegan lifestyle. Some people are Vegan for the animals, some go Vegan for the environment and there are others that become plant based vegan for their health.

My personal motivation is for the animals and I want to ensure that I am not unconsciously buying into cruelty whenever I make a purchase.

Another question people often have is “what’s so cruel about using bee derived products”? 

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Sadly in any industry where there is profit to be made ethics are rarely considered.

No exception spared for the bee whose survival is integral to our very own survival and the survival of our Earth as we know it.

In manufactured Bee Keeping the Queen often has one of her wings cut or painted with nail varnish to stop them from leaving the hive and flying away, this also prevents swarming.

The culling of drone bees (male bees who don’t contribute to the production of honey).

Bee’s produce honey to feed the hive, many hives have been completely wiped out due to starvation over the winter months as a result of too much honey being removed from the hive and not leaving enough for the Bee’s to survive.

Many Bee’s are also killed during the process of obtaining honey from the hive.

 

That said I do believe that there are independent BeeKeepers who keep Bee’s ethically and do what they can to help increase their ever depleting numbers.

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(Pictured above) David is one of the Lush Bee related product suppliers, this is his take on ethical bee keeping.

https://uk.lush.com/article/sticky-profession

To summarise:

David prefers a hands off approach and does not cut the Queen Bee’s wing, or cull male drone bees. His hives are bigger than standard hives to minimise stress to the bees. He will not intervene with a hive unless he feels that the colony is struggling to survive. Over winter he leaves them with enough honey to sustain them, again only intervening in feeding them if there is a delayed summer.

There is no doubt that the reason why honey is used in so many beauty products is due to its incredible beneficial properties.

Of course there are other products out there that can substitute both honey and beeswax but none quite match their almost magic like qualities. So in some way it is understandable that beauty and cosmetic companies still use bee produce. In fact the usage of Bee related products dates as far back as ancient Egypt.

Going back to my original question “are Vegan’s happy to use Bee related products”?

I feel Lush genuinely aims to be ethical and profitable as possible, they have a reputation for being a great employer and generally seeking to have the best practises for animals, the environment and people. It’s easy to see this is why many Vegan’s love Lush, especially considering that they label their Vegan products and approximately 70% of their products are Vegan friendly.

As a Vegan I believe nature shouldn’t need human intervention, still I wonder have humans interfered so much with nature to the detriment of Bee’s and now like many other species they require our help for survival.

Considering this should it be necessary that we continue to take from them in order to care for them when our own survival is very much intertwined.

I would love to hear other people’s thoughts and knowledge on this topic so please feel free to leave a comment below and start a conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Labelling

 

 

Vegan Vs Cruelty Free

Are Vegan products necessarily Cruelty Free?

No but they  probably should be…..

Products can be labelled Vegan and still be tested on animals, which I guess kinda goes against the whole point of being Vegan.

Recently some make-up companies have responded to the rising Vegan movement by labelling their products Vegan when they don’t contain any animal derived ingredients yet they will still allow for their products to be tested on when sold to mainland China.

In china it is mandatory for cosmetics to be tested on animals.

Are Cruelty Free products always Vegan?

Cruelty free labelling just means that a product has not been tested on animals.

Here are some examples of labels that you can trust.

 

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It is worth noting that not all cruelty free / vegan brands use these labels and the reason for this is because there is application process and a charge to be registered with these organisations.

Lush have created their own label 

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Other companies such as Bayliss and Harding have created their own Cruelty Free labels.

Be aware though because some unofficial cruelty free labels are misleading, for example Batiste have their own Cruelty Free logo and they do sell to mainland China, allowing for their products to be tested on animals. Therefore they are not Cruelty Free!

 

 

 

How to go Cruelty Free

Firstly you don’t need to empty your make up and throw everything away, that’s just wasteful and doesn’t do anything to help the cause.

Before becoming a more conscious shopper I predominately used Benefit make up, because Benefit was founded in San Francisco I made the automatic assumption that they wouldn’t allow for their products to be used in animal testing and sadly they do.

So it’s important to do your research. We live in a time of information and ignorance is very much a choice, so you can make a start by researching the brands you currently use. If you cannot find any information regarding their stance on animal testing, email them and be sure to ask if the distribute their products to be sold in mainland China, if they do then they are not cruelty free.

If the cosmetic brands that you are using are not cruelty free begin to look at alternative brands.

My top cruelty free stores on the High Street are Lush, The Body ShopSuperdrug’s own brand and Holland and Barrett.

Online Love LulaAmazonBody Kind , Cocktail Cosmetics and Naturisimo.

My favourite brands are Pacifica (sold in some Tesco’s), The Body ShopLush, Aromi Beauty and Beauty Without Cruelty (bwc).

It can be tricky at first to find suitable alternatives, especially if like me your use wearing particular products, so don’t be put off if you don’t get it right the first time you purchase a Cruelty Free product.

There isn’t many high street brands that are cruelty free and so initially I would take the chance making online purchases and still do now. I find it helpful to read reviews on the brand and the products I was particularly interested in.

In My Make-up Bag

The Body Shop’s Vitamin C primer, BB Foundation, Mascara and Perfumes.

Aromi Beauty (fromCocktail Cosmetics or Etsy) and Beauty Without Cruelty (bwc)(fromAmazon) Lipsticks

Another brand of perfume I usually wear is Pacifica, I usually purchase from Body Kind .

 

Why Go Cruelty Free

For the most part people tend to make unconscious decisions when it comes to purchasing cosmetics. Society is often seduced by clever marketing campaigns that use powerful slogans such as;

“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline”

“Because your worth it”

Often people buy into these advertisements without any real consideration for the values of the company, buying into the latest trends without much concern for the companies ethics.

Companies through marketing influence consumers and yet consumers have so much power to influence companies. Every time you purchase from a cosmetic company that allows their products to be tested on animals you are buying into those ethics. By boycotting these kind of cosmetic companies allows you become a voice for the voiceless. Your letting companies know with your money that it’s not okay with you that they endorse such cruelty.

Some might say “Oh well the it’s not the cosmetic company testing on animals, it’s the Chinese government”. Quite frankly this isn’t an acceptable excuse for the animals suffering due to cosmetic testing.  If consumers can influence companies with their purchases then cosmetic companies can help influence governments to change laws by withdrawing their products from sale until laws are changed. Imagine if massive companies decided to pull out of the Chinese market, China would be forced to reconsider their stance on animal testing. Under Chinese laws these companies would still be able to make online sales, therefore they wouldn’t necessarily lose all Chinese trade.

By purchasing from cruelty free cosmetic companies you are sending are clear message that you do not endorse cruelty.

 

 

Worldwide Animal Testing Laws in Cosmetics

Progress over the last couple of decades has been made in the fight against testing on animals in cosmetics.

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The following countries have banned animal testing in cosmetics:-

EU Countries, India, New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Israel and Australia are set to ban animals testing in cosmetics in July 2017.

 

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(Map image taken from The Body Shop’s Fighting Against Animal Testing campaign)

Still there is a lot more to be done to stop animals testing in cosmetics worldwide.

Even in the EU the laws to protect animals being tested on for cosmetics are far from perfect as the ban is specifically aimed at consumer safety only. Testing can still be carried out in what is known as ecotox testing, this kind of testing determines if there is a risk to the environment and it only applies to ingredients used in cosmetics and the ban does not apply to worker safety tests.

Below is a quote from Cruelty Free International

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“Cruelty Free International does not agree with the narrow interpretation put by the Commission and we are seeking to challenge it. However, that is how the bans are being operated at present – for example, by the European Chemicals Agency, which is in charge of important EU legislation on the safety of chemicals.”

China

All cosmetic companies that sell on mainland China are required by law to subject their products for animal testing.

Online cosmetics purchases are not subjected to testing due to it being to difficult to enforce.

Companies that have their products made in China but are not sold in China do not require testing because they are not being sold there.

Cosmetics sold in airports in China are subjected to random product testing.

(When Body Shop was owned by cosmetic giant Loreal, they tried selling The Body Shop products in airports, this did not go down very well with ethical Body Shop customers and quickly ended.)

Cosmetic companies who state that they do not test their products on animals but sell in mainland China are not considered to be cruelty free because they are knowingly allowing their products to be tested on animals.

 

 

Testing On Animals Ain’t Pretty

Up to 1400 animals can be used to test 1 cosmetic ingredient, these tests are carried out on rabbit’s, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters and rats.

Animals that are born in laboratories will never see the light of day, they will never breathe fresh air and they will never have a day free of fear, pain or suffering.

 

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(Image by Teigh used in a Peta advertisement)

 

The tests that they are subjected to are carried out over a period of weeks and sometimes even months. Typically these tests for cosmetic purposes are for skin and eye irritation, so these little defenceless animals have their fur shaven so that chemicals can be rubbed into their skin and the chemicals will also be dripped into their eyes. They will even be forcefully given these chemicals orally to determine how much of a dosage they can swallow before it kills them.

As you can imagine these tests cause horrendous pain and these little animals are never provided with any pain relief.  They will often suffer from blindness, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding and organ damage. If they survive all this their ending is no less cruel and so when they have served their purpose without mercy these animals will be asphyxiated, have their neck broken or be decapitated.