In 2013, the law which made it illegal to sell any products that were tested on animals inside and outside of Europe was finally implemented. What a triumphant and historic moment; however, with many companies and their umbrella brands continuing to sell to China where they still impose strict regulations that all products must undergo animal testing – it is evident that there is still some way to go.
A change which is particularly in sync with the incredible rise of veganism is how more and more of us are making the switch and using more ethical products. Animal testing is clearly on our radar and choosing products from companies that don’t do this is important in many ways. On visiting The Body Shop headquarters for a brilliant Bloggers Discovery Day, some astounding facts about our world and its wildlife came to light as they gave us an insight on how to save the earth with them. This highlighted the fact that what we need to realise, is how ethical beauty goes beyond animal testing.
Earth Friendly Beauty
In addition to protecting animals from physical products, we also need to nurture areas of the planet where key ingredients are being sourced. Amid the search for the most natural and effective ingredients – areas of the world can become victim to over cultivating. Not only can this push some wonderful species into endangerment or even to the brink of extinction, but it can also have a negative impact on local communities if they, for example, are not getting a fair rate for their crop.
There is more to the typical beauty product than we think, and there is more that we can do to reduce the impact that our beauty regimes and global vanity have upon our planet. We’re not saying it’s easy to change the world, but small steps make all the difference and here’s how you can join the fight.
How to Become an Activist
The definition of an activist is “someone who is an advocate for social or environmental change”. You can also be an animal rights activist and campaign for their welfare and conservation, what matters is your passion.
To be an activist you have to get informed, get enraged and make a difference.
Dame Anita Roddick, the late and fantastic founder of The Body Shop was an inspiring role model to all and the first to break the barriers surrounding animal testing at a time when it was the norm. What she truly was was an activist; here are some quick-fire facts that are sure to inform and outrage you:
As much as one-fifth of today’s animal species will become extinct within the next 30 years.
Elephants will be extinct in 2020 due to deforestation and continual poaching for ivory despite its prohibition.
The tiger population has diminished by 60% due to poaching and the invasion of their habitat.
The mountain gorilla could be extinct by 2025 due to poaching.
We are in an accelerated world where 1 billion people are malnourished yet we are continuously wasteful.
This is just the start, but it’s enough to spur you on to try make a difference and change these horrid facts. Investing rather in brands that source from sustainable crops, who support smaller communities, think about their packaging and don’t test on animals do exist and they have some amazing products too which will do more than make you look good.
Ethical Beauty Brands – Hero Products
Hero products in all senses of the word, not only do they work wonders for your skin, but they can also give back and provide for the world in many wonderful ways. In choosing them you could be getting behind some revolutionary projects to help conserve animals and protect people. Here are a few of our favourites:
The Body Shop
What’s wonderful about The Body Shop is that they look to not only protect the planet with both its animal and human inhabitants – but they also know that nurturing nature itself is what will greatly impact everyone’s welfare around the globe now and in the long run. This is something which has echoed in The Body Shop’s ethos through and through as they try to save the world.
Shea Body Butter
Shea has been used for hundreds of years in northern Ghana to protect skin from the harsh winds of the Sahara. The nourishing formulation of this body cream will leave your skin silky smooth and completely hydrated. Perfect for dry and very dry skin types – this Body Butter is filled with Community Trade shea from Ghana as well as organic babassu oil from Brazil.
The Body Shop uses Shea butter in many of their products due to its powerful properties, with Anita Roddick placing the first order back in 1994. By working with the Tungteiya Women’s Shea Butter Association, The Body Shop can ensure that 528 women of this association get a fair wage whilst also providing a premium that the women can then use toto invest in other community projects. This is one powerful nut!
The nourishing babassu oil is extracted from wild babassu palm trees which are an essential resource for more than 300,000 families who harvest the nuts found on the fringes of the Amazonian rainforest in the Maranhao state. Buying beautiful babassu from here helps to keep this community thriving.
The Hand Cream with Heart
The Soft Hands Kind Heart hand cream from The Body Shop moisturizes with angelica extract and with every purchase made, £1.50 goes towards The Body Shop Foundation which has some brilliant projects on the go which have a great impact around the world.
‘Project Roar’ is one of The Body Shop’s current challenges which calls for campaigners to support endangered big cats like tigers, around the world. Now you can get behind it, hands on!
L’Occitaine en Provance
This French brand prides themselves on using organic ingredients which are sustainable and close to nature, with no animal testing either. The VC favourite here is:
The Precious Cleansing foam
This delicate foam from L’Occitaine helps bring a youthful radiance to the skin by eliminating impurities. The organic and sustainable immortelle flower from Corsica is the secret ingredient here; rich in active molecules which make it a potent anti-ageing ingredient.
These guys believe that the perfect mix of ingredients from the earth is what you need to keep your skin nourished and revitalized. They have high standards too when it comes to the world’s welfare. From them, you can expect 99% natural products (the 1% is for natural preservatives), no animal testing, a zero waste policy with highly recyclable packaging too.
They also have strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with their suppliers and always strive to maintain the environment from where they source their ingredients, paying particular attention to protecting the bees through The Greater Good Foundation!
This lip shimmer is full of antioxidant-rich fruit oils to nourish and hydrate whilst give you that beautiful burst of colour. Free from nasties with no sulphates, phthalates, petrochemicals or parabens – this one and more is available at M&S.
Smile and Support the Earth
When you support a beauty brand goes that extra mile, you can be confident in your investment which will no doubt give you a beautiful glow, outside and in. This is just the beginning of helping our planet, by taking baby steps with hero brands like The Body Shop – we will all be heading in the right direction.
Choosing to go cruelty-free in all senses will make a bigger difference than you may think. Anita Roddick was fearless in the fight to help conserve wildlife, the earth and to support and provide for people from all cultures. Now it’s time to be fearless in your choices when it comes to makeup and beauty.