I really am on a mission to try and get everyone I know to go cruelty free in 2016 (sorry if you are one of the people I have been nagging for weeks now, I promise it will stop as soon as you sign up!!!). Whilst having these conversations I have heard a number of reasons people are a bit wary to go cruelty free, which I can appreciate. I am in no position to judge, I only went cruelty free this year! But what these conversations did do was made me decide I wanted to do a post on my tips for going cruelty free. I am clearly no expert, on well mostly anything haha, but I do hope the below can help people…….
Decide what you class as a cruelty free brand
I think this is tres important!!! Some people believe (like me) buying products from companies who have parent companies who test puts your money towards animal testing so don’t buy from them. Others think buying from these companies sends a message to the parent companies that people want to buy cruelty free. If you feel you would like to just go with cruelty free brands and not take parent companies in to consideration then that is totally fine. Obviously, I have gone further than that but you don’t need to feel guilt because you don’t, regardless of anyone’s opinions doing that will clearly still make a huge difference to millions of animals lives!
Ease yourself in to it
Don’t just throw out everything you own which is from a company who test on animals, not only will this make it a huge job to replace it all, like that day, but it will also cost a small fortune. This could lead to you freaking out and probably running to the nearest Boots or supermarket to buy all those things you just threw out again!! As and when a product finishes replace it with something which is not tested on animals and slowly over the course of a period of months, or even the whole year you will make the change 100%.
Learn which brands are cruelty free
Read up on it, I have a list on my blog which is 100% correct as I researched it myself, but so have many other bloggers. You can also check PETA* and the Leaping Bunny (although they don’t take parent companies into account). Half the battle is knowing what you can use so if you get a good idea in your head first you can go out and shop happy! The Leaping Bunny also have an app you can download here.
*PETA has a new logo so look out for either of the above!
I think for me this is the most important thing, you need to be organised to ensure you have the time to get the cruelty free products. I am not going to lie and tell you that every shop you go into has cruelty free options. They don’t, which means you need to plan ahead. For instance make a 3 monthly shopping list and go online to a cruelty free shop (which there are loads of these by the way!!!) and buy in bulk. Then you have everything there when you need it so no need for having a freak out as no where near you has the products you need. Also this means you save a lot of money on shipping!
Buy in bulk when it’s discounted
Similar to the above, some cruelty free alternatives can be more expensive than the ones from companies who test on animals. However, they are often on sale! A good example of this is Ecover. It is on sale in a major supermarket at least every 3 months. When it is, I buy loads! I know not everyone will have the space for this, but if you do, do it! In the long run this organisation can save you a small fortune. It is not only for Ecover though, I see many products on discount randomly and when it is I buy, buy, buy!!! Also very recently I discovered lots of cruelty free brands in TK Maxx so have a look in there too!
Check out lots of blogs
There are lots of people out the blogging on cruelty free products/brands/lifestyles. Each of them also have their own cruelty free brand list. I obviously wanted to do this research myself, but not everyone has to. One I have found to be quite reliable is Cruelty Free Kitty (although I am not in 100% agreement with some of their listings!) . Blogs also have reviews of millions (ok so maybe not actual millions, but lots!) of products for you to compare and make informed choices of, for example, what foundation will be good for your skin type or coverage preference.
Try to get friends to join you
As with everything, it is much easier to do when you are not alone. When I started with my cruelty free journey I got my husband, sister and niece to all do it with me. Not only does this allow you all to try different things and swap about products (thus not costing as much to find great new things for your skin). It also gives you a common goal and someone to chat it through with. This may seem a bit crazy or stupid but sometimes you just need someone like minded to talk to!
Don’t feel guilty if you fall off the wagon
Clearly when you go cruelty free you don’t want to just buy say, Dove soap, but one day you may find you have nothing in the house and really need shampoo and have no cruelty free shops near by (although go back to point 4 on being organised so this doesn’t happen!!). On this day you may buy the soap, but don’t let that make you throw in the towel, just shake it off and get back on it next time you buy something. We are all human and make mistakes, but beating yourself up may just lead you straight back to buying the products tested on animals again.
Finally, If you are in doubt, don’t buy it!
Sometimes you will be in a shop and something will look good and have a nice little bunny (although not a certified one) on the packaging or just give you the ethical, cruelty free kind of vibe, but you have never heard of the brand or have a feeling you saw somewhere they test on animals. Don’t buy it!! Brands are great at pretending so don’t be fooled. What you can do is go home, Google them and see what you find. If you are still in doubt send the company an email or send me a message, I will happily contact companies who are not on my list!
Good luck with going cruelty free, I promise you will feel so much better for it!