VEGAN VS. CRUELTY-FREE
In short, cruelty-free means that the ingredients/product are not tested on animals, while vegan means that no animal or animal-derived ingredients are used to formulate the product. A product can be cruelty-free without being vegan, and vice-versa.
Since 2013, there is a ban on performing animal tests on cosmetics products sold in the EU. However, other legislations, such as REACH, might require animal testing to assess ingredient safety for humans or the environment. Other countries, such as China, might also require animal testing in certain cases, so it can be hard to know if the product you have in your hands has been tested on animals at some point.
IDUN Minerals was created in 2011 with the aim to offer products for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Our ingredient focus was already very strong at the time, with a long restricted ingredient list and a close collaboration with pharmacies and dermatologists.
We have never tested our products on animals and will never do so. We strongly believe that today, with all the data and scientific tools available, testing cosmetic products on animals is unnecessary and cruel.
A few years ago, we began to reformulate some of our products in order to phase-out all animal-derived ingredients, such as carmine (a red pigment) and beeswax. It's been challenging to re-create formulas without these ingredients, but I’m proud that today, 99% of our assortment is vegan. We aim to reach 100% by 2022, and never go back to using animal-derived ingredients.
With more and more vegan products in our assortment, it began crucial for us to find a way for our customers to easily recognize the vegan products and make their decision process easier when choosing a product. We started by adding a logo we designed ourselves, but quickly realized it wasn't enough. We then began to search for an external organization to assess and label our products, but it was hard to find a good label with thorough criteria that would bring value to our products. We discovered Djurens Rätt and their continuous engagement for animal rights, and almost instantly knew they were the right fit.
Djurens Rätt is the oldest animal rights organization in Sweden. "I'M VEGAN" is their trademark-registered vegan label, that both controls animal testing and ensures that no animal raw materials are included in the products. It made perfect sense for us to use this label - so we can guarantee to our customers that our products are both cruelty-free and vegan with only one label.
We had to prove that none of the products had been tested on animals, both at the formula and at the ingredient level, not for cosmetic purposes nor for any other purposes. For example, if an ingredient is tested on animals for development of pharmaceutical products and also used in cosmetics, then we cannot use it. We also had to provide proof that none of the ingredients were containing animal or animal-derived ingredients.
Djurens Rätt has a very strict and thorough process to assess the products before they can get the I'M VEGAN label. They follow the Swedish animal welfare law, which is more extensive than the European law where the use of animals in a test may not be classified as animal testing. The process took a long time and sparked many interesting discussions with our manufacturers and suppliers. Investigating the whole supply chain to make sure no animals are used in the process was not an easy task - and I am really proud that today, more than 200 IDUN Minerals products are certified with the logo.
Our products are also being audited by a third-party organization, which adds a supplementary guarantee that our products are cruelty-free and vegan.
THE NEXT STEPS
We strongly believe that the future of the beauty industry is vegan and cruelty-free. Organizations with strict requirements regarding animal testing and ingredient origin, such as Djurens Rätt, are essential to shift the industry in the right direction, and it's important that all actors of the supply chain, from the raw material manufacturer to the brand selling the products, take responsibility to ensure that no animals are used in the beauty industry anymore.
We aim to have a fully vegan assortment by 2022. We will also continue to set high demands with our manufacturers and continuously evaluate their manufacturing processes. We hope that more brands will join us in this combat and that together, we can stop using animals in the beauty industry for good. We also encourage you to sign the latest petition to stand against animal testing: https://eci.ec.europa.eu/019/public/#/screen/home.