Cruelty-Free - Getting behind the soundbites

At Cosy Cottage, we’re all huge animal lovers. Our picture shows one of our very newest friends, Cosmo the cockerpoo, beloved companion to Kerstin who works in our workshop and Simon, our illustrator friend.

We were concerned to learn, that a recent study from PETA suggests not all cosmetic brands are as caring as they might appear. Animal testing is still prevalent in the industry and PETA names a surprising number of much-loved and respected household names throughout their report.

In the face of this, here are a few of our top tips for a cruelty-free future:

  1. Do Your Homework

The world of ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics can be baffling, we totally get it. You may think your favourite product was made with the kindest of intentions, to later find out that animals have been poisoned or killed in the process. Something to consider is that brands may proudly claim to be cruelty-free in one country, while paying for testing to be undertaken somewhere entirely different. Furthermore, not all countries regulate their ‘not tested on animals’ packaging labels carefully, so companies can pay for the privilege of bearing a ‘cruelty free’ label with minimal checking-up on the validity of the claim. If you’re buying from an international company, check out that the WHOLE brand is committed to not testing on animals.

  1. Research Alternatives

You’ve done your homework and come to terms with the realisation that a lot of your bathroom cupboard items are hiding wicked secrets. While nursing a large goblet of gin/wine (delete as applicable), it’s time to move into research mode. Think you’ll never find love quite like that specific make of moisturiser? Or you’ll always long for the definitive curl a certain mascara gifted you? Fear not, for there are plenty of truly cruelty free alternatives across the board, often that sit within a similar price bracket and deliver like-for-like (or, indeed, better!) results.

  1. Shop Local

The phrase ‘shop local’ seems to be the ‘in thing’ to say at the moment; but it really can be worthwhile. In the UK, locally-sourced products, from small, ethical producers, rather than large corporations, are often better for the environment, unlikely to be tested on animals and come from companies that care about their ethical standards. Moreover these companies frequently employ local people, create diverse workforces and support social enterprise and charity initiatives. We are certainly biased, but a great place to start on your cruelty-free journey could be with our range of goodies, all lovingly made in Malton with no animals harmed in the process!  Shop from our range.

  1. Make The Commitment

Choosing products that haven’t been tested on animals is not just a fad; it’s a life choice. Once you’re in the know, you can chose to vote with your wallet and opt for cruelty-free finds. It might not be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it. Whenever you’re buying a new product, be it make up, cleaning products or that delicious cake you’ve been thinking about all day, ask yourself – is it ethically sourced? Am I aware of how it’s made? Does the whole brand have a history of protecting animals? If you’re unsure of the answers, swot up before parting with your hard-earned cash.

  1. Spread The Word!

Committing to cruelty-free products doesn’t end at purchasing either, remember. Spread the word amongst friends and family, educate others about the best (and worst) codes of practice you come across and continuously strive for a kinder lifestyle for all. Social media is great for connecting with loved ones, but be sure you’re sharing material from reliable, trusted sources – we recommend information shared directly from companies’ own pages, with regards to their animal testing commitments (big brownie points for you, too). With a little courage and willpower, we believe we can do it together!

Fact Box – Small-Print Terms To Consider

  • ‘Cruelty-free except when required by law’
    • If a company or group of companies are exporting to China (for example), their products are required to be tested on animals before being put on sale there! 
  • ‘An exception could be made if authorities required it for human safety or regulatory purposes’
    • The brand may claim to be cruelty-free, and might even go as far to say that they also don’t delegate animal testing to third parties. However, if products are sold within countries where animal testing is mandatory by law for foreign cosmetics, there’s a huge loophole!
  • Just because a brand doesn’t test on animals, it doesn’t mean that their parent company doesn’t.
    • It’s worth checking this, as many seemingly small, ethical brands are owned by larger corporations whose policies are counter to their subsidiaries’ claims. 
  • ‘Committed to the elimination of animal testing’
    • A roundabout way of saying they’re perhaps trying, or thinking about, cruelty-free codes of practice, but they’re not necessarily doing anything about it!

Relevant links/further reading:

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