Friday, 28 August 2015

Cruelty-free basics #1 - labelling


Today's post is the first in a series of 'factsheet' style blogs. Since I've taken the decision to go cruelty-free, I've been asked loads of questions about it. I thought I best start answering some FAQs...

So, you pick up something in Boots. You look on the back of the bottle to find it states 'not tested on animals', or something to that effect. Great! Off to the till you go - easy peasy, good deed done. 

I'm afraid not, actually - unfortunately you can't always trust the labels you read on the back of certain products. Sadly there are no legal definitions to the terms 'cruelty-free' or 'not tested on animals', so although a brand may state that, it may not be entirely true. For example, the finished product itself might not have been tested, but individual ingredients may have been, or the company could have commissioned a third party to conduct testing for them. Sad face.

If you see the official Leaping Bunny logo however, you're good to go! The Leaping Bunny Programme was actually created out of frustration at the many companies who would create their own 'cruelty-free' logos (often featuring rabbits), but were in fact dishonest about their animal-testing stance. In order to get the Leaping Bunny logo, the brand in question has to go through some rigorous and meticulous checks, so you can be sure that these products really are cruelty-free. See the logo below for reference:
In other instances of course, a brand may be completely telling the truth when they say they don't test on animals. Unfortunately it just requires a little further research to make sure - I always email the brand directly with specific questions about their manufacturing processes. Although, obviously you can just read this blog to find out which companies are cruelty-free (ahem).

So why don't all cruelty-free companies have the Leaping Bunny logo? It's a process that brands have to opt in for themselves - it's actually free, although I think there is some cost involved with having the logo on the packaging. As I said, it is quite a rigorous and lengthy process, so some smaller brands may choose not to do it - although if you're pledging against animal-testing I don't know why you wouldn't get the official documentation!

Anyway, hopefully this has given you a few things to look out for when you're on your next spree - happy (cruelty-free) shopping!
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