What is veganism?
Veganism is the practice of removing all animal products and animal byproducts from one’s diet and lifestyle. You may be most familiar with the changes in the food and agriculture industry due to the rise of veganism, but the implications of “going vegan” extend into beauty and personal care as well. And vegan claims are skyrocketing in beauty. The proof is in the (non-dairy) pudding: Mintel reports that products with a vegan claim are up 378% in the last five years.
What’s not vegan in beauty?
There are many animal-based and animal byproduct-based ingredients still used in beauty products such as collagen, lanolin, beeswax, carmine, keratin, silk, squalene and snail mucin. While vegan-friendly alternatives are popping up, the animal-based forms are still used in significant numbers.
What “vegan” doesn’t cover when it comes to beauty products
Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean cruelty-free (although the two certifying bodies of vegan agree that it is imperative[1,2]). Vegan also does not mean natural or non-GMO. Vegan is defined as the ABSENCE of animal-based and animal byproduct-based components. That means that within a product with a vegan claim, there could still be ingredients from petroleum feedstocks or GMOs.
Vegan is an important step towards environmental sustainability
As we just discussed, vegan does not cover all aspects of environmentalism that should be considered. However, removing animals from your supply chain may be an important sustainable sourcing choice for your brand. Conservative estimates from 2006 indicate that animal agriculture accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions with some research today showing it could be as high as 87%. Even at 18%, animal agriculture is a bigger contributor to greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector!
As a globe, reducing our reliance on animal feedstocks – for food and many other uses including ingredients in the beauty industry – is an important step to combatting climate change. Keep in mind that sustainability also includes social and governance issues in addition to the environment. As consumers continue to go vegan, and governments continue to ban animal testing, animal-based and animal-tested beauty will be subject to scrutiny.
Unlike other imprecise claims in the industry such as natural or clean, the vegan claim can often stand alone without a third-party seal. This is because the absence of animal feedstocks and animal by-product feedstocks can be verified by reputable ingredient supplier assessments. Any time you are making a self-verified claim, be transparent about the process of substantiation. If third party verification is is the path you want to take, check out these two certification bodies, the Vegan Society and Vegan.org. Both bodies DO include animal testing as a factor towards certification, so utilizing these certifications is a good way to kill two (not birds, vegans would never kill birds) "claims" with one stone.
Why Inolex went vegan
The Inolex portfolio is 100% vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Since 2018, animal-based and animal byproduct-based feedstocks are banned in our new product development. Animal-testing is also a thing of the past and never an option – we find alternative ways to verify the safety of our innovations. Going 100% vegan-friendly was one big step forward of many to come.
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