At the end of last year, I made a decision; 2017 would be the year I put my money where my mouth is and made the switch to cruelty-free.
I wanted to do a blog post with a bit of background on my motivation for the change as well as how I am going about it. Sophar So Good isn’t a blog about cruelty-free shopping, but the topic is important to me, and it is the make-or-break factor when I make beauty purchase decisions. I’d also love to do more beauty posts in the future, so I thought this would be a useful post to link people back to rather than having to explain each time.
Deciding to go cruelty-free
Let’s start at the beginning. Since I’ve been buying beauty products, so I guess in my teen years, it never crossed my mind that any of them could have been tested on animals. I knew it had been made illegal here, so in my mind that meant that it didn’t happen anymore and somewhat naively I presumed that that was that. For years and years I blithely continued buying all the L’Oreal and Rimmel and lusting after Mac lipsticks like a lot of other gals.
Fast forward to the last couple of years, and I was still pretty much in the dark. A friend started mentioning the topic in conversation, and I’m ashamed to say that I still didn’t pay too much attention. I probably thought ‘Oh, how horrible that it still happens in some places’ (can’t believe I’m admitting that now). Which seems strange, because I have always been an animal lover; if anything, this just demonstrates the depth of the problem and how well it’s hidden from us, as I’m sure many people would also describe themselves that way.
I don’t remember when or why I made the connection and researched the subject for myself (so this isn’t really a good story, you don’t even get some dramatic epiphany), but at some point towards the end of last year I looked into it a bit and researched what was actually going on. I would advise anyone to do the same, although it is quite horrific to read about. It really hit home for me then that disagreeing with something happening was fairly useless if I wasn’t doing anything about it, and in continuing to pay for brands to treat animals in this way, I was condoning and even funding what is basically torture.
A rabbit does not care about how much length and volume its eyelashes have, a mouse does not care if it has a dewy glow and funnily enough, I’ve never seen a guinea pig painting its little claws.
Disclaimer, because I’m going kind of heavy on this now: no judgement here. If there’s anything that I have realised through writing this out, it’s that making this decision came from making a connection between what is happening and my actions, and that connection is surprisingly easy not to make – so I completely understand how people avoid this subject matter. We all have to come to our own decisions in our own time.
How I’m making the change
People go about making this change in different ways, but the way I decided to do it is this; once a product ran out, I would replace it with a cruelty-free alternative. Simple! I have read that some people get rid of everything and replace it immediately, and if that works for you that’s great, but it wasn’t for me. I have this thing about waste, and I wouldn’t have the money to repurchase every item in my hair/beauty/household routine all at once.
For this reason, I don’t tend to blog about make up (soon to change I hope). Items like eyeshadow, blush or lipstick are ones I usually have for a pretty long time, so at the moment I’m still working my way through lots of my old make up. I decided when starting Sophar So Good that I wouldn’t feature any product that wasn’t cruelty-free, so I won’t be talking about the items that I’m using that haven’t run out yet – as I won’t be repurchasing them no matter how good they are.
When I’m searching for cruelty-free alternatives of products I need to replace, I do so by checking PETA’s cruelty-free searchable database or reading up on my absolute favourite cf blog Cruelty-Free Kitty. If I haven’t done too much research, I just hit the high street and check for the leaping bunny logo. Superdrug, Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys own brand cosmetics are all certified cruelty free and Co-op are great for household cleaning products.
How it’s going
So far, so good (GEDDIT?!) – it’s actually been fun. It’s brought loads of brands I would never have found before to my attention and there are a lot of things I am excited about trying. I have a new shower routine and a new favourite haircare brand. I was delighted to discover that the majority of my nail polish collection was cruelty-free anyway because so much of it was Barry M.
It can be frustrating and it can be confusing, because there is a distinct lack of clarity surrounding the whole topic and brands who are not cruelty-free will absolutely try to hide that from you. Still, I feel a whole lot more informed than I was and can’t wait to show you my discoveries as I make them.