Owl & Bee® proudly carries The Vegan Society's vegan trademark on all of our products, which shows that our products have been rigorously audited by them and found to be compliant as vegan.
We hear the word "vegan" everywhere nowadays, but what exactly does this really mean? We hope to demystify the term, and explain a little about what it means to us.
Okay, so what's this vegan thing then?
"Vegan" takes vegetarianism — a diet that excludes foodstuff from animals — and extends it to avoiding the exploitation of animals entirely. In dietary terms, for example, a vegetarian may have no problem eating eggs, honey, or dairy, but a vegan would not eat these because they are the result of using animals for our benefit, and often occur in industries where animals end up being abused.
For vegans there is a total avoidance of anything derived from animals, so this also includes petroleum products, or products that harm the animals in other indirect ways, such as dairy products.
Vegans consider the term "animals" to include the entire animal kingdom, therefore this includes all vertebrates and all multicellular invertebrates.
For cosmetics and self-care products, a truly vegan product — especially one certified by The Vegan Society — therefore has no involvement from animals:
- There are no animal by-products used as ingredients in the product (not even petroleum products);
- None of the ingredients in the products come from animal activity (such as waxes from insects);
- Nothing animal derived is ever used to extract or recover the raw ingredients used in the product;
- The product has been manufactured with strict controls to ensure it could never be contaminated with anything that doesn't qualify as vegan; and
- Animals are never used to test the product.
For Owl & Bee®, the vegan certification ensures that we only used plant, organic, or synthesised ingredients with no impact on animals, which is a significant part of our core values.
What's the difference between all these fancy certifications?
There are quite a few vegan certifications out there now, but they are not all equal. Beyond that, there are other certifications for cosmetics such as Ecocert which sound like they should have strong credentials since you see them on all the big brands, but those certifications often have big exemptions for markets such as China for example, where animal testing is still a reality (and often a mandatory requirement) which means they send an unreliable message.
It's sad to say that many of the "vegan" labels you see on products these days are either invented by the brand themselves, or are simply a weak agreement and a wad of cash to license a logo to stick on the side of the package.
After looking long and hard, we decided to certify with The Vegan Society because they act as an independent auditor and keep us honest. They verify our ingredients, investigate everything we submit to them for approval in detail, and work with us closely to ensure we only produce authentic vegan products.
Wait, animal testing is not allowed in the EU anymore!
You're right — it's not!
Being vegan certified, Owl & Bee® is able to guarantee that not only do we not test on animals, but we also don't use any animal by-products anywhere in our products, or even near our products! We have certified our products with The Vegan Society because this goes beyond "cruelty free" labels such as the well known "leaping bunny".
We wish we could say that with the regulations in place that no European brand is testing on animals, and all products are cruelty free, but unfortunately that's not the reality. For example, products also sold in China and other markets may be tested on animals there, meaning they are still not really cruelty free. We think this is very sad.
Brand XYZ also has a vegan logo! It's all just greenwashing, right?
We ask our customers to be vigilant to attempts by unscrupulous companies to "greenwash" or otherwise lie about their environmental, sustainable, or vegan credentials. Many companies have even been caught using vegan logos without approval on their products, pretending they have gone through the rigorous certification process.
The Vegan Society has a convenient way to verify if brands and products are really certified with them through the Vegan Trademark section on their website — we invite you to go ahead and verify that Owl & Bee® is in the list because we know you'll find us there! 😁