Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Going Cruelty Free....

Hi all!

I've been toying with the idea for quite some time but just needed the time to sit down and sort it out.
So...about three weeks ago I finally got around to contacting a lovely lady at GoCrueltyfree.org and asked about becoming a member.
I got an answer pretty much straight away and was sent all the necessary information and forms to fill in, which I did without delay.
I sent back my declaration forms and set about contacting every single supplier of mine to ask for their Cruelty Free declaration along with proof of the statements they made.
In order to become Cruelty Free registered and to carry the 'leaping bunny' on your packaging you have to go through rigorous tests in order to proove yourself and your company's ethics.
You have to have a cut off date - in my case there was no cut of date because I have never had little bunnies lined up on my work surface ready for soap to be dropped into their eyes if you get what I mean, so I was able to put the date as the day I applied.  This means that going forward you must not ever use any ingredient, which is known to be tested on animals.
The toughest part is making a list of all the suppliers you use and which raw ingredients you buy in from them. Now I dunno about you, but I use a hell of a lot of different suppliers for my ingredients...upwards of about 20 different companies. Let's say this process has helped me to de-clutter my suppliers list somewhat!

I made a conscious note that if I didn't get any kind of reply from any one supplier within 7 working days that I would try again and if, after a further 3 working days I didn't get a response they were struck off the suppliers list and I would never use them again.
So far I have one such supplier....and I will state that after having read a statement they have on the FRONT PAGE of their website I've been a little wary of them anyway. Not anything to do with cruelty but to do with their professionalism.  No names mentioned for legal reasons. Besides what I do buy from them is readily available from other more reliable and friendlier sources.

So far I can confirm that the companies who I buy my base oils from, my essential oils, my fragrance oils, my butters, my surfactants and salts have all come back to me with great positivity and a willingness to help. I am very pleased with these suppliers and have great faith in them to help me follow this pursuit.
All that's left now is for me to receive all of the filled in papers from each supplier then I can send them off to GoCrueltyFree, have them look over everything with a fine-toothed comb, and eventually I will gain my leaping bunny logo as well as recognition on their website and promo materials.
It does come at a cost but not as much as you might think.
If you are a bath and body company reading this post I urge you to do the same or at least to start asking questions about the ingredients you are using and where they are coming from and at what cost to the animal kingdom!
I cannot tell you the relief I feel being safe in the knowledge that I will one day know exactly where my ingredients are sourced and that no animal has suffered unnecessarily.

I have one supplier who buys from other suppliers who are finding it incredibly difficult to get anybody to sign papers declaring that they are completely cruelty free. This leads me to believe that some such larger suppliers have absolutely no idea where some of their ingredients come from nor do they know about the manufacturing process and testing process of those ingredients, and if they do they are reluctant to disclose the information.
I would very much like to be able to trace every single ingredient back to source, but as you can imagine, it is no mean feat.
I will no longer be using this company either.

I think that by the end of this process I will have narrowed down my suppliers to about 10 different companies, which in turn helps me to simplify the ordering process when buying in my supplies not to mention my PIF's. (product information files).

As soon as I know anymore I will update you on this process.
Thanks for reading.