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How To Navigate Labels When Trying To Shop Vegan and Cruelty-Free

There are many labels when shopping ethically which are designed to help us make choices on what products to buy and which businesses to support. But they aren't always clear. Vegan? Cruelty-free? These terms often go hand in hand but not always.

Every choice we make and every dollar we spend (or don't spend) can be for the good of the planet! So if we want our money to go towards brands who are doing their best to provide ethical products with human rights, the environment and animal welfare in mind we need to know the jargon.

These terms also vary depending on what you are trying to buy!

In the cosmetics and skin-care world, vegan brands are becoming more popular as global sales of beauty products described as "vegan" are expected to reach $21.4 billion by 2027.When distinguishing brands and products to buy, here are some terms and "certifications" to be aware of:

Vegan

The term vegan means no animal or animal-derived products are used in the creation of the product. Being is often thought about as a lifestyle, influencing all areas of life. When searching for vegan makeup and skincare products sometimes they will have vegan written on the label as cosmetic ingredients lists are not the most decipherable thing for the average person. Ethical Elephant put together this comprehensive list of vegan makeup, skincare and haircare brands. They have vetted each beauty brand to ensure they don't test on animals and none of their cosmetics products contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products!

Animal-derived Products

Cosmetics containing animal byproducts or animal-derived products are things like honey, milk, animal fats or hair (in the case of makeup brushes). Any material derived from the body of an animal.

Cruelty-Free

To be considered cruelty-free, a product has to be certified to be free from any tests using animals, both in the end product and in its ingredients. The tests cannot be performed by the company selling the product.


  • In the US? PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies is another program certifying brands and products that do not test on animals – and also calling out those who still perform animal tests


  • Australian consumers can look out for a bunny symbol from the organisation Choose Cruelty-Free! (occasionally you'll see the two previous certifications too, depending on where the brand is based)

If you're in Australia, check out the vegan brands on our LoveEarth Marketplace!

Our new LoveEarth Marketplace came about as a place to find brands, businesses and communities that care about the planet as much as we do and that includes all of the beings that inhabit it! We value businesses and organisations that are committed to using zero animal products in their production. At the moment our Marketplace is only available to people within Australia, but we're working on making it global!

Here are a few of the brands, businesses and products which are 100% vegan on our Marketplace that will help you along your climate action journey!

Woohoo Body

Woohoo Body All Natural Deodorant and Anti-Chafe Sticks are 100% vegan, cruelty free, made in Newcastle, NSW! They'll keep you free from odour all day long and are an indigenous-led organisation!

Amor Luminis


These shampoo, conditioner and shaving bars from Amor Luminis are certified vegan and cruelty-free. There's few different options depending on your hair type! + they're SOAP FREE and crafted with babies in mind with the most gentle (sulfate-free) and mild naturally derived ingredients used to leave your hair soft and silky without drying it out. We love them!

TCSK

The avocado coconut oil shave soap from TCSK is changing the shaving game - leave dry shaving or foam behind by using this vegan, cruelty-free and toxin-free shaving oil! TCSK was started by Liza Michelle, a mother of three and a passionate vegan and environmentally conscious woman who wanted a solution to plastic razors.

SunButter Skincare

SunButter is a vegan, SPF50 sunscreen that is skin and earth conscious. The company was founded by two marine biologists with a dedication to create the most effective, environmentally gentle sunscreen on the market, packaged plastic free too!


There are a bunch of vegan and cruelty-free brands which make our lives a lot easier by being bold and proud of their values and their commitment to animal welfare. By choosing to put our money towards brands that align with our personal values, we can slowly and all together fund a better, compassionate future for our planet!


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