The Rise of Cruelty Free Products

The rise of cruelty-free cosmetics has been a significant shift in the beauty industry over the past few decades. This movement is driven by increased consumer awareness, ethical considerations, and regulatory changes.

When Organically Epic’s toothpaste was launched in 2021 one of our non negotiable pillars was that we had to be Cruelty Free. Ethically all our products need to be cruelty free. We chose to certify with Cruelty Free International / Leaping Bunny because this is the most stringent of certifications that is recognised internationally.

Consumer Awareness and Demand

  1. Ethical Concerns: Consumers are increasingly aware of the ethical implications of their purchases. Many are opposed to animal testing, which has historically been a standard practice in the cosmetics industry. The suffering of animals for beauty products is rightly a major concern for many, leading to a preference for cruelty-free alternatives. Being safe in the knowledge that no animal has been harmed in the making of cosmetics.
  2. Social Media and Advocacy: Social media platforms have played a crucial role in spreading awareness about animal cruelty in the cosmetics industry. Influencers, celebrities, and advocacy groups regularly highlight the importance of cruelty-free products, encouraging their followers to make ethical choices.
  3. Transparency and Trust: Brands that are transparent about their cruelty-free status tend to build greater trust with consumers. Certification from reputable organizations such as Leaping Bunny aka Cruelty Free International, PETA, and Choose Cruelty-Free provides assurance to consumers that the products they are buying are truly cruelty-free.  Organically Epic are certified Cruelty Free/Leaping bunny and accredited by PETA.  These are so important to us as a heart felt, open, honest and ethical brand.

Regulatory Changes

  1. Legislation: Several countries have enacted laws banning animal testing for cosmetics. The UK, The European Union, India, Israel, and Norway, among others, have implemented such bans. These regulations push brands to adopt cruelty-free practices not only in these regions but globally, to maintain consistency in their product lines. However, many ingredients that are used in the food industry are still tested on animalS as a legal requirement, this often isn’t the testing we would think of. If you suspect a brand you are buying from may well be using ingredients that have been tested on animals, please question them on their practices if you feel they are not being transparent.

When we started formulating our toothpaste and drilling down our ingredients we found it so difficult to find food grade ingredients, that are needed to make a toothpaste, that were not tested on animals so the registration with Cruelty Free International was a long educational process. Our skincare products are much easier to navigate with regard to ingredients that are not tested on animals.

  1. Global Influence: The regulatory changes in major markets like the EU have a ripple effect, influencing global practices. Brands aiming to sell internationally often conform to the strictest regulations to ensure market access, leading to a broader adoption of cruelty-free standards. 

A very wise choice and this has a lot to do with why Organically Epic is Certified Organic, Certified Natural, Certified Cruelty Free and Certified Vegan.  Not an easy feat for a micro business running on a wing and a prayer but a necessity for transparency and trust, nationally and globally.

Industry Innovation

  1. Technological Advances: Advances in alternative testing methods have made it easier for brands to eliminate animal testing. In vitro testing, computer modeling, and the use of human cell cultures are some of the innovative methods that have been developed and are increasingly being adopted.
  2. Ingredient Safety: Many cruelty-free brands focus on using well-established ingredients with a history of safe human use. This reduces the need for new testing and aligns with consumer preferences for safer, more natural products.

Market Response

  1. Brand Strategies: Many established brands are reformulating their products and obtaining cruelty-free certifications to meet consumer demand. Newer brands, like Organically Epic, are often founded with a cruelty-free ethos at their core, using it as a key differentiator in a crowded market.
  2. Retailer Support: Retailers are also supporting the movement by dedicating sections of their stores to cruelty-free products or clearly labelling them. Some retailers have gone a step further by committing to stop selling products that are not cruelty-free. This is one of the many reasons why Organically Epic partnered with Superdrug to sell on their market place.  Their dedication to cruelty free product is an inspiration.

Challenges and Future Directions

  1. Global Consistency: One of the challenges to cruelty free is achieving global consistency in cruelty-free standards. Different countries have varying definitions and regulations regarding cruelty-free claims, which can be confusing for consumers.
  2. China’s Policy: A major hurdle has been China’s requirement for animal testing on imported cosmetics. However, recent changes have allowed some exemptions, which is a positive step towards wider acceptance of cruelty-free practices globally.
  3. Consumer Education: Continuous efforts are needed to educate consumers about what cruelty-free really means and how to identify genuinely cruelty-free products. Misinformation and “greenwashing” can undermine the credibility of the movement.

The rise of cruelty-free cosmetics reflects a broader shift towards ethical consumerism. As technology advances and regulations evolve, the trend towards cruelty-free beauty products is likely to continue, with increasing support from both consumers and the industry.

Our advice on finding the right cruelty free brand, aside from buying from Organically Epic of course ;), is to not get caught out. If a brand says they are cruelty free but they do not have a third party certification to confirm this, question them on their practices. Just because the end product is not tested on animals, it does not mean the ingredients in the product have not been tested on animals somewhere along the line.

The end product is just one part of the manufacturing journey.

Transparency when it comes to ethics is key.

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