being cruelty free can be hard

It was a year ago that I decided to stop putting it off and start only buying cruelty free makeup.

My choice to include skin and hair care in that followed within the month and in the months following we also made the choice to start buying cruelty free and ethical home and cleaning supplies.

Now, I don’t regret any of these switches at all, but I can’t say that it has been completely easy.

Here are some of the problems and issues we have come across when buying cruelty free:

  1. Some stores literally only carry one brand: Gone are the days of aisle of choices, whether it is for shampoo, mascara, or dish soap. While most of the time there are a few choices to make, but I have been in situations where I don’t have a choice in the brand I want to buy if it is something I need that day.
  2. Research: I pull my phone out at the store so much more often now, checking on a brands claims, especially if they write “not tested on animals” but then are not certified by any of the three main agencies (Leaping Bunny, PETA, or CCF).
  3. Trial and Error: I have to research whether brands are even worth the money, since many of my old favourite products are in the “forbidden” aisle; whether it is the mascara that I used for 5 years straight, or the laundry detergent that I know works.
  4. Cost: While generally you can find things on sale, sometimes there is a slightly higher cost for searching out these products. It is sometimes because the companies are smaller and the quality is higher however, so it is something that I am willing to do.
  5. Going to New Stores: Sometimes wanting to purchase cruelty free means that you have to go out of your way to visit new stores and you can’t pick everything up at your normal grocery store.
  6. Free Samples: I once declined a free sample at Sephora due to the fact the brand wasn’t cruelty free. I even explained that in my refusal. I am sure the product was great, but even though I wasn’t purchasing it I wanted to show that being cruelty free was important to me.
  7. Drawing the Line: You have to figure out where you draw the line on being cruelty free. Some people won’t buy from a company if their parent company isn’t cruelty free, some will to show that being cruelty free is important.

But things aren’t all bad, just yesterday at Costco I saw that they have started stocking ECOS laundry detergent and dishsoap alongside their rows and rows of product I no longer touch.

Many grocery stores have a “natural” or “green” aisle where I can trust the products that are housed there a little more and don’t have to go running across the entire store to see the different brands (I do still do my research on the brands that are kept there however).

There are some super comprehensive lists on brands that are cruelty free that I keep bookmarked on my phone. My favourite is the one from Cruelty-Free Kitty since she shows brands certified by all the companies and not just one and also links to where you can find the products.

I have also found that only buying Cruelty Free has helped my minimalism and impulse spending as there are so many less stores and brands that I can buy from. I want to but my research and time into finding the best products and that means I can’t just wing it.

This last year of Cruelty Free living has been met with very few regrets, lots of learning and growing, and a few new favourite brands that I now swear by.

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