Why aren’t soaps & cleaning products vegan?

Posted by Alfie Austin on

You've ditched dairy, moved to meat free and are browsing vegan leather boots. But there's something you might have forgotten - the things you use to clean yourself and your home aren't vegan friendly! 

Animal products find their way into a lot of things. Soaps and cleaning utensils are no exception. Here's a few things to look out for, to ensure you're buying and using the vegan friendly stuff.

Why Aren't Soaps & Cleaning Products Vegan?


1. Brushes & Bristles

Some brushes and bristles can contain animal hair. Not only does this seem odd to clean your pots with, but it makes them not vegan friendly. 

Other options including sponges may use a lot of plastic, so if you're eco-conscious too, beware of that! Luckily, we've thought of it for you, and have a few low and zero waste options for eco & vegan friendly loofahs, sponges & brushes so you can get scrubbing happy! 

2. Tallow

Rendered from beef and marrow fat, tallow is a well-known animal fat product as they used to make candles out of it, although, it probably wouldn't have had a pleasant aroma. Today, it's often used in soaps because of it's texture. 

Look out for 'suitable for vegetarians' or 'vegan' on packaging to avoid tallow. Alternatively, you can take the easy route, and browse through our already-vetted vegan & cruelty free soaps for your body and home.


3. Caprylic Acid

You could be forgiven for never having heard of this, which might be why it's so easy to overlook it as a non-vegan ingredient in some cases.

Caprylic Acid is often found in soap as it can help 'lock in' moisture. It comes from a few sources, and can come from the milk of some mammals, which makes it not vegan friendly. It can also come from coconut, which could mean the lavender soap you really want is vegan friendly. Again, look out for vegan markers on the packaging. 

4. Is vegan the same as cruelty free? 

Lastly, let's look at whether or not soaps & cleaning products are cruelty free if they're marked as vegan. 

The answer is not necessarily. Just because the ingredients do not contain any animal ingredients, it may have still been tested on animals for example, making it, in our opinion, not cruelty free.

Some companies have interpreted it their own way, and can claim to be 'cruelty free' without meeting certain standards you might expect of a cruelty free product.

To be sure you're buying cruelty free, look out for the leaping bunny logo. This means companies have had to prove that their processes from conception to market are cruelty free practices. It is internationally recognised, and is accepted as the standard for cruelty free accreditation. 

However, smaller companies in particular may not have the cruelty free mark on their products yet, but might be using cruelty free practices. If you're unsure but want to know - ask! Companies are not allowed to lie to you. 

Everything that we stock and sell both in our Manchester store and online is cruelty free.

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