Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bathroom business

This blog, like my other one, talks about food a lot. That's partly because I like food, but also because when you go vegan your diet is the first place you will notice a big change. Even from being vegetarian, it's a massive jump - vegetarian is pretty convenient these days, vegan involves a bit more adjustment of your lifestyle. But of course veganism is about more than a diet, so there will sometimes be posts here that reflect that. This is one of those.

Of the steps towards a fully vegan life, your diet will probably be the first and the biggest. The second will probably involve wanting what you put on your body to be as vegan as what you put in it - that is, you'll feel the need to veganise your bathroom products. There are two elements here: animal testing and animal ingredients. Animal testing is pretty easy to avoid. Animal ingredients are harder to avoid - you'll either need to learn some of the major nasties or rely on companies' labelling. The recommendations below are all for stores and companies I've used a reasonable range of products from - they are based on the preferences of a person in the UK with a restricted budget and no real allergies. The BUAV, NatureWatch and PETA should be able to give you more information.

Superdrug: This is my usual go-to shop for toiletries. Their own-label ranges aren't tested on animals - in the last few years they ditched the rolling rule policy for a fixed cut-off date and acquired the BUAV leaping bunny seal of approval. They have a wide range of own-brand products, including some cosmetics (which are a seperate post). The vegetarian/vegan labelling policy hasn't quite spread to everything they make, but has covered more ranges since being introduced a few years ago. Personal favourites are the Vitamin E and Natural High skincare ranges, and the little jewel-toned handwashes. My other half has been using the fruity shower gels, which have been on a ridiculously cheap special offer.

The Co-Op: As far as I know this is the only supermarket to have the BUAV leaping bunny. They also highlight any animal ingredients in their products, or (better still) the absence of these. They don't do a very wide range, but they have all the basics (shampoo, shower gel, deodorant and so on) and these are pretty good value for money. As an added bonus many branches have vegan doughnuts. (although not my branch, *SULK*)

Tesco: they are no good on vegan labelling or on generating a list of vegan products. But if you're a bit savvy about ingredients, they have a pretty good animal testing policy and you could probably restock on bathroom basics for under a tenner.

Lush: great if you like perfumed things, hellish if you don't. I'm in the first camp so this is where I go for a bit of a treat. Supplier boycott policy on animal testing, all products are vegetarian, vegan ones are marked with the Vegan Society sunflower. Most cities now seem to have a branch - Stirling finally got one just before Christmas 2010 - but if you can't get to a store you can shop there online.

Nakd: they make shower and bath stuff, skincare and hair products. Most of the range seems to be ok apart from one or two things with honey. No animal testing. Medium price range - £3-6 per product. Available in Superdrug and Boots.

Mitchums: a deodorant line made by Revlon. Ingredients were vegan last time I checked. No animal testing - Revlon knocked that one on the head in the 80s, one of the first major successes on that front. This is hardcore antiperspirant, your mileage may vary on whether you want that. Personally I like it.

Samy: largely vegan and paraben-free range of hair products available from Superdrug. A bit pricey - average £5/6 per bottle - but often on special offer. I use the volume products and have been generally impressed by them.

Original Source: a bit of a funny one. Their parent company, Cussons, is nothing to write home about on the vegan front. However, the Original Source range itself has the Vegan Society trademark, because that depends on what specific entities do rather than what they're connected to. Not my favourite, but I'm including it so you can make up your own mind. (Having said that, my other half has quite a few of their things, and I've appropriated his almond and coconut shampoo for leg-shaving purposes because it smells nice and moisturises as well as making foam. Undecided as to whether I'd buy more though.)

This isn't a definitive range, but hopefully there's enough there to get you started!

1 comment:

Penny said...

Thanks for the very useful list! I haven't tried all of these, so I'll seek them out. I like the idea of a heavy duty deoderant, as long as it doen't contain aluminium.

I wondered what this post was going to be about! At first (in fact, until I checked) I thought it might be about the efffects of roughage in a vegan diet! :o)