Friday, 11 July 2014

Ethical consumerism and going cruelty free

So over the past few weeks I have been doing alot of research on this subject, and what started as a desire to seek out more natural and eco friendly products has turned into a determination to go cruelty free in my shopping habits too. It started when my pregnancy had caused my eczema to flare up, and I had to start being extra vigilant about what I used on my skin in order to avoid further exacerbation of the condition. I began to think deeply about the chemicals I was coming into contact with in daily life, and what I could do to reduce the risk of my having a reaction to these chemicals.

I had already decided to use cloth nappies and eco disposable nappies for my baby where available,  and have now converted to non biological natural laundry detergent both in preparation for my baby's arrival and to help my eczema. Not to mention how many fewer nasty chemicals I am not releasing into the water supply by doing this.

Another big issue for me was the whole cruelty free cosmetics thing. I think I must have seen it mentioned on another blog somewhere, and the more I read into it the more I couldn't understand why there wasn't more awareness on the subject, and why I myself hadn't given it much thought until now. Which I still can't work out. So I researched and researched, and found more and more huge brands that are not cruelty free,  and vowed to change my own buying habits as a cosmetic consumer.

Don't get me wrong, I won't throw away products I already own that aren't cruelty free or anything, (because that would be throwing away the majority of my makeup bag and something I just can't afford to replace) but I am making a huge effort into now avoiding the 'big baddies' when buying new products or replacing old ones. There were even products I thought were fine, like my MAC foundation. It turns out after always having brand values that were against animal testing, in the last two years (I think) MAC have quietly now gone the other way because they now sell their products in China, a country that still requires by law that products be tested on animals before they can be sold there. Disappointing to say the least. You really have to dig deep and keep checking up on companies that are and aren't cruelty free, for if and when they change their practices, it could happen under our noses at any time.  Alot of people also won't buy from brands that are cruelty free, but owned by a parent company who is NOT cruelty free. Its a whole web of complex issues that I think are very much a personal moral decision one needs to make alone. I personally would buy from a cruelty free brand owned by a 'big bad' parent company, because no matter who owns them their own values are still their own. Not to mention the fact that all products and ingredients WILL have been tested on animals at some point in time,  and theres not a great deal we can do about that now.

It is hard work to go cruetly free, especially when you already own products you like and that work well for you. I can't say I actually have many of those anyway (maybe apart from my Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner, which although I have used religiously for around four years I will not be repurchasing now with my new knowledge) but it does add a complex new criterion to my cosmetics shopping list. If I thought finding a pale enough foundation with full coverage thats suitable for my dry skin was a task, throwing cruelty free into the mix makes things even more difficult!

But the internet will guide me! When searching for a new product I use these steps; first, search what I need e.g pale foundation; secondly type is *insert recommended brand* cruelty free into my search bar (and confirm cruelty free status via SEVERAL sites); third,  I then read reviews on sites like makeup alley so I will know if said products are actually any good. And intensive way to shop, but worth it in the end.

Sorry for such a long and ranty post, I just wanted to talk a little bit about a subject that I have recently become enlightened upon, and how I can respect this planet (and its other occupants) more by just changing small parts of my everyday life. Don't even get me started on recycling.

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