Ethical, Cruelty Free & Taking The Market By Storm!

Recent trends have seen a noticeable shift towards organic and ethically sourced goods. Fair Trade has become somewhat of a buzz word or a pre requisite if you will. As information rapidly circulates about the origin of consumer goods, harsh realities are revealed. Industries that have hidden behind clever marketing strategies for decades are now rattled. The price that has to be paid for cheap goods in vast quantities is now very transparent and if we are honest, quite shocking. Thankfully the consumer has woken up and is choosing organic and fair trade over intense farming and cruelty-free products. It's hard to comprehend that in 2017 animals are bred solely for the purpose of testing how badly they react to cosmetics. Surely if some brands can be successful without harming animals, all brands can? Well, that depends...

The Chinese market is responsible for this prolonged and agonising practice. Brands that succumb to its lure ultimately forgo ethics. Shaking hands with the Chinese market is to shake hands on animal cruelty. Paul Mitchell, Kevin Murphy and to some degree, Pureology are trendy trail blazers that have not sacrificed any of the qualities of other leading brands while still upholding admirable principles. With clear a conscience and luxury hair care products to suit everyone.

Leading the charge is Paul Mitchell. Standing firmly by their commitment to be cruelty-free and awarded Courage in Commerce by PETA, Paul Mitchell pulled out of the Chinese market as it would not allow its products to undergo animal testing. This popular brand is set at a comfortable price point so guilt free hair care won't break the bank. Starting at €11.09 the expansive range goes above and beyond what it says on the tin and has has a product to suit every hair type. My personal favourite is the Full Circle Leave In Treatment for curly hair. This lightweight treatment is particularly handy when you don't have time to blow dry your hair. 

Hot on Paul Mitchell's heels is Kevin Murphy. A relative new comer to the market, PETA has already given them the bunny stamp of approval. Kevin Murphy doesn't stop there. The professional line is biodegradable, paraben & sulphate free and packaging is 100% recyclable. Just when you think Kevin Murphy couldn't tick any more boxes they go and develop a range of cruelty-free professional hair colour "Colour Me". Kevin Murphy may be the new kid on the block but he is the dark horse that is taking the market by storm. There is only one word for the range.. fabulous! Bloggers love it and customers are converting in their droves. The secret is simple. The range has not cannibalised itself with an overload of strikingly similar products that appear to do the same thing. Instead, the focus is on providing a streamlined range with a very clear message on suitability and use. Attractive packaging coupled with young, fresh imagery has definitely contributed to its appeal. If I were to pick 1 product from the range it would have to be Maxi Wash. This gentle cleanser detoxes the hair and scalp with Tea Tree and Organic Citrus without fading colour. Hair will be left feeling squeaky clean and irritable scalps will be soothed. A fantastic all rounder. 

Pureology is another relative newcomer. Founded in 2001, the products also boast a zero sulphate and paraben free formula. However, the eye catching admission on the packaging is the 100% Vegan claim. It is true that Pureology products only contain 100% vegan ingredients. However, it is the fairly recent acquisition by parent company L'Oreal that has raised a few sceptical brows. It is the "guilty by association" that leaves a question mark hanging over the claims credibility. 

L'Oreal has never hidden the fact that it tests on animals. In 1989 L'Oreal made a move towards eliminating animal testing. Since then they appear to have done a U turn for reasons unknown. Surely the advances in technology over the past 26 years cannot have hindered their progression? Of course, it hasn't. If I were to hazard a guess I'd say the Chinese market is far too lucrative to ignore and animal welfare clearly doesn't appear on its priority list. Put simply, they couldn't be bothered pushing the issue. In respect to the acquisition of Pureology, the hopeful side of me likes to think that irrespective of motives, L'Oreal has opened its eyes to this emerging market and applies the same principles across all its brands. Abolishing animal testing is the right thing to do. I am not convinced that there would be an economic trade off as I believe if any corporation can take the Chinese market on and push for policy change, its beauty giant L'Oreal.   

Ciaran Nevin