F&F is proudly 100% vegan and cruelty free. Every now and then we get asked why so we've written this article to help explain why as it isn't something we talk about much, it's something we just do!
There are many reasons and we talk about them in the article but one where we get universal head nodding is the impact to our planet. The amount of animals on the planet for livestock purposes is just too many and the resulting greenhouse gases are having a devastating effect on our planet.
We also disagree with testing on animals, it isn’t necessary in our opinion and it can happen in places you wouldn’t think about…more in the article. If we want to test let's test on humans!
If you have a store where you know everything is vegan and cruelty free that’s a good place to start and removes any ambiguity. I’ve spoken to plenty of non vegans about this too and both of these reasons resonate with them; generally I find people want to do the best they can but we all need more information to be able to make informed decisions. Something we are very focused on at F&F is transparency; we seek to arm you with information and educate so that you have the power, and knowledge, to choose what's right for you.
Why are we vegan
Flora & Fauna is a proud 100% vegan and cruelty free store so none of our products, or their ingredients, and we are very careful with that, are tested on animals and they don’t contain any animal products or by products. A few people over the years have asked why we made this decision so we thought we’d share our reasons with you.
Testing on animals
Firstly, and most importantly, we love our planet and we love animals. We sell beauty products and skin care and, in our opinion, there is absolutely no need to test on animals so refuse to stock anything that has been tested on animals. We’ve all seen the pictures of rabbits in cages; it is totally unnecessary and simply cruel. If we are buying a lipstick that is having to be tested on a rabbit for safety it raises the question of what's in it anyway.
You need to be very careful with what has and hasn’t been tested on animals and we do our research. As an example band aids are a medical device so they, or their parts, have to be tested on animals. There may be ‘cruelty free’ band aids out there but they aren’t truly as the ingredients have been tested on animals. One brand we spoke didn’t actually know this was the case until we did some digging with them. As an example the hypoallergenic adhesive is not cruelty free. We're not good at accepting first answers so we dig until we are 100% satisfied. Now of course you have to make your own decision on what you do and don’t use but at least you are informed. At F&F we don’t stock band aids for this reason.
Currently product that is sold physically in China can be subjected to testing on animals. If you sell online into China you can get around this. We have heard this is changing but we’ll wait and see.
We don’t believe that it is necessary that skin care and make up use animal parts or parts produced by animals. There are lots of great plant alternatives and we think let’s leave what animals produce to them.
There are ingredients such as Carmine, or Cochineal Dye, used in a lot of make up which is crushed beetles and you’ll find it frequently used in lipsticks and ‘cruelty free’ brands. Aside from the cruelty free factor do you really want to be putting crushed up beetles on your face? We certainly don't; when we've mentioned what carmine actually is most people are horrified but you won't find anything with carmine at Flora & Fauna. There are plenty of other natural pigments that are plant or mineral derived that we can use and that’s our choice at F&F. We go through a few other ingredients to watch out for below.
Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep used by sheep to waterproof their wool. We’re happy to leave it to the sheep.
Beeswax is the wax secreted by bees to make their hives and honeycomb. Beeswax is one of the hot topics when it comes to veganism. There can be unethical practices performed when it comes to producing beeswax and bees products and as far as we are concerned it’s an animal product so we don’t have any products with beeswax.There are other great alternatives like Candelila.
Propolis is another bee product and is the glue that bees produce to build their hives.
Honey, or Mel, is a substance regurgitated by bees and stored in the hive for the young larvae to eat. Again we’re happy to leave this for the bees.
Tallow is a common ingredient in many cosmetics including eye makeup, lipstick, makeup bases and foundations. It's an animal fat and is also frequently found in candles and soap.
Gelatin is often found in creams and is produced from animals as a fatty substance. To save your stomachs we’ll forego how it’s made.
Squalene is used in lotions, eye make ups and lipsticks. We only have products with olive squalene but often you’ll find it made from the liver of sharks. Sharks are a really important part of our ecosystem and we think this is completely unnecessary.
Goat’s Milk is often found in soaps but you won’t find it at Flora & Fauna.
Even if you don’t love animals quite as much as us, you probably like where we live and would love your kids and future generations to love it too so here is where we have a big impact.
We love our planet and using animal products increases livestock produced; a huge contributor to greenhouse gases; it is believed 51% of gas emissions are due to livestock production and a plant based lifestyle cuts your carbon footprint by 50%. The meat and dairy industry also uses one third of the World's fresh water. Just imagine the impact if everyone halved their meat intake. As a responsible society we need to make changes that are better for our environment and our future generations.
Watch Blue Planet for a great insight into what’s happening to the world and for beautiful inspiration to make a change. Currently the planet is heating up and we’re suffering from coral bleaching in our own Great Barrier Reef and habitat destruction to name a couple of impacts. I travelled to the GBR last year and saw first hand how much of the reef has been bleached and that is very, very difficult to reverse.
Some excellent videos to watch include Blue Planet, Cowspiracy and What The Health.
So as a retailer we want to do what we can and drive change; we're definitely not perfect and have lots more to do, but these are the reasons we are vegan and cruelty free. Whether you are vegan or not at least you know the skin care you use and products you buy have less impact.