What does it mean when a product is "cruelty-free" and how can you check?

November 28 2020 – Alice Muhley

What does it mean when a product is "cruelty-free" and how can you check?

What does it mean when a product is "cruelty-free" and how can you check?



adjective: cruelty-free

1. (of cosmetics or other commercial products) manufactured or developed by methods which do not involve cruelty to animals.

 When creating Face Of Waste, we decided that the one aspect that was absolutely crucial within our brand was that the products we stock will always be certified cruelty-free. We believe that testing products on animals is highly unethical and unacceptable. We are now in the 20th century, in which there are plenty of more ethical, more accurate (and cheaper!) ways in which you can trial a product.

 Okay, so how do you check to see whether a product is cruelty-free? 

 There are two main, credible sources in which you can refer to. The first one is PETA. 


PETA: “The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation is a UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals.” 

This link will send you to a list of companies on their website: - here you can type in a brand name and instantly find out whether that brand tests on animals and also whether the brand is vegan friendly! 

Another source that may be used is the Leaping Bunny website. Ultimately it has the same concept as the above: - this is another source where you can scour their cruelty-free list for a certain brand. 

There are also other ways in which you can search for a cruelty-free certification: 

 1. Check the product packaging

- It is an easy way to check yourself when looking at a product -  just look for the certified bunny symbol. 

- Brands that have been certified can pay to use this credential on their packaging as a way of directly stating that they do not test on animals. 


2. Use a cruelty-free app

- This is great if you’re in a hurry and want to check a product before you buy it. See below for a list of apps that you can download: 

Leaping Bunny App

Choose Cruelty Free App

Bunny Free App (PETA)

Cruelty Cutter App (Beagle Freedom Project)


3. Email the company 

- If you are struggling to find enough information on the company and it’s products, you can email or contact them directly. This method can be time consuming and it may take a while to get a response, however it is one of the most reliable and rewarding methods. It allows you to ask really specific questions and get much more detailed answers. 


4. Get in touch with a reliable and trustworthy cruelty-free blogger or influencer 

- There are some really fantastic cruelty-free bloggers and influencers who know their stuff and may be able to give you some great advice and guidance. Take care picking them and make sure you know that they are legit before asking them anything to ensure you’re getting definitive knowledge! 


Things to watch out for and how to tackle them: 

 1. Some brands are actually cruelty-free but may not be able to afford to pay for the certification and therefore will not be listed on those websites mentioned earlier. 

- If you cannot see an official cruelty-free logo on the packaging nor is it listed on those websites, your best next step would be to contact the brand.

- Make sure that you are asking the brand really specific questions about their supply chains and external suppliers in order to get a well-rounded idea of their company and whether they really are cruelty-free. 


2. When referencing to the term “cruelty-free” it means that there has been NO testing on animals throughout the ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN. This is crucial to remember! 


3. Brands displaying official cruelty-free logos unlawfully 

- Some companies that are NOT certified have been using official logos to claim that they are cruelty-free when in fact they are not. This is awful but unfortunately it does happen. It is always a good idea to double check a brand with any of the methods above, just in case you catch a rogue brand!

Tagged: cosmetics, cruelty-free, makeup, vegan


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