Monday, March 04, 2013

A Man's Best Friend

A Man's Best Friend
Every individual on this Earth has a specific opinion, strong or in-existent, regarding one of the largest debated topics and what lies beneath the holy grail we call the fashion world. Whether one supports the industry or not, we are completely surrounded by it with little to no escape in view of the fact that we live and breathe it on a daily basis. Many people support the industry, but turn a blind eye when rumors arise about their preferred designer burning their merchandise after the season is over or how their clothing is constructed in sweatshops across the world- sound familiar? In particular, we come across one issue that we as a society often overlook, but actually is becoming more apparent in today’s society.
On average, one would not think to read the label on their beauty products to either seek the ingredients or to find out whether the product was tested on humans instead of animals. Beauty products affect everyone in many ways and while the majority of people would disagree there is one action all (or most) humans take part in. We all know this as bathing. Within this action, we wash our hair, face and body and this all requires beauty products of some kind. Generally speaking, the choice of shampoo and conditioner for the average human is chosen based on the price, the quantity and the scent. If we all looked deeply into these specific ingredients and the background of how the product was constructed, it is likely that choices may be altered to which brand of ‘goo’, as the YouTube sensation Jenna Marbles likes to call it, we choose to beautify our bodies with. Here is a little taste of the friendly and unfriendly products that lie in our department stores that you are most likely purchasing.
According to PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (2012) there are still hundreds of brands that test on animals, with an endless list to prove it! A few that apply to the beauty product section of the fashion industry in a strong way and that are well known to reach a high level of sales include Clinique, MAC Cosmetics, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal and Maybelline. Reading this may alter thoughts on these specific companies, however, these brands have sustained their product life for years and are still generating a jaw-dropping amount of profit. What this may say about consumers is that we throw our knowledge about the cruelty of animals on the back burner and purchase the product regardless. In the company’s mind, as long as the brand is consistently making money off of the product, then why spend more money when no need for change is necessary. MAC Cosmetics was once a company that did not test on animals, however, once the demand for their products reached an all time high and almost unattainable need, the company had to produce a large amount of cosmetics as inexpensive and fast as they possibly could. This meant that MAC Cosmetics had to agree with Chinese law and allow for the act of animal testing on their cosmetics, according to the CEO of MAC Cosmetics. It was the decision made best for the company in the time of high demand, and with customers still loyal, MAC proceeded with their production of cosmetics in China.
Maybelline, another surprising and popular brand that is in fact animal unfriendly is a sponsor of countless designer’s fashion shows, photo shoots, magazine spreads, you name it. This company states on their official Maybelline New York website that L’Oreal was able to end all of their animal testing on laboratory animals, however, there is still uncertainty with newer ingredients that they still need to perform animal testing in order to analyze whether the product is safe for humans. No matter how many companies like to sugar coat it, mentioning a percent lower than one that their products are tested on animals still means that there is admittance to doing so. If this may not alter a decision to purchase a product then that is society’s choice to make, but in case you change your mind, here are a few alternative options to beauty products that say no to animal testing.
 Aveda, Smashbox Cosmetics and Tarte Cosmetics are all higher-end brands with excellent quality and in the animal-testing world, they have bragging rights. Specifically speaking, the Aveda Corporation has a committed policy against animal testing and actually test on humans. To state directly from their website, Aveda does not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, but instead conduct their clinical tests on a voluntary, human basis. The National Wildlife Federation has recognized Aveda for their work in Minnesota, which consists of their manufacturing plant being a certified wildlife habit. On their website, “The End of Animal Testing” is a subhead, informing their customers that this is a significant factor in the development and growth of the company presently and in the future. You are able to read more about their mission at
It takes a lot for a company to test their products without the use of animals considering this may be seen as the easy route for cosmetics. Heads turn with a strong sense of ignorance either in the company’s or the consumer’s perspective by either simply disregarding the fact that the company has chosen to test on animals and purchase the product anyway, or in the company’s eyes, seeing green. If the profit is high, why change the product if people effortlessly choose this option in comparison to a more animal friendly option. There are many alternatives to do your part as a consumer to sink down and deep and really take a look into what you are applying onto your body. These mistreated animals may deter you from purchasing that “organic” body scrub or that water resistant mascara so next time your are in the department store, take a second, check the label.

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