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WHAT IS A VEGETARIAN BEAUTY PRODUCT?
It's a product that's free of any animal-derived ingredients that are obtained as a result of animal slaughter. It can include animal-derived ingredients that do not involve animal slaughter, such as honey, beeswax and lanolin. It may sound strange but many cosmetics do contain by-products from the slaughter industry.
WHAT IS A VEGAN BEAUTY PRODUCT?
These products contain no animal ingredients at all, including honey, beeswax, milk, eggs etc.
WHY AREN'T ALL YOUR PRODUCTS VEGAN?
We use honey or beeswax in most of our non-vegan products for both their superior cosmetic properties and because they come from our Community Trade partners. Our honey is from Ethiopia and our beeswax is from Cameroon; both are organic, wild-harvested and from sustainably-managed sources, where we have long-standing relationships with our partners. In both cases, the bee communities are carefully managed to ensure they continue to thrive.
A very small number of our products also use shellac, which is a secretion of the lac insect Coccus lacca, found in the forests of Assam and Thailand; and lanolin, an oil extracted from sheep’s wool. Neither of these processes harms the animals in any way. We are now moving away from using any animal-derived products, apart from our Community Trade honey and beeswax, and we have not created any new products using lanolin or shellac for some years.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A PRODUCT IS VEGAN?
We have found that vegan products are becoming more important for some customers, particularly when it comes to finding quality vegan make-up brands. As we launch new vegan products, they will be labelled vegan and will show our vegan symbol.
All our make-up brushes are vegan and cruelty-free.
We use honey organically harvested from the Sheka Forest in Ethiopia. It has a distinctive floral taste and smell because of the wildflowers the bees visit to make the honey.
We call the beekeepers 'bee whisperers' as they work in harmony with the bees when harvesting the honey. They gently smoke the hives so they can extract the honey without disturbing the bees – and even leave a third at the bottom so the bees can continue to gather nectar for their honeycomb. The beekeepers recognise the importance of preserving the forest to protect the future of their income – and choose to keep the forest in its natural state rather than clearing land for agriculture.
Products include Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask and Honey BronzeTM Shimmering Dry Oil.
In Cameroon, Guide D'Espoir beekeepers harvest beeswax from the wild forest as they have done for centuries. They construct their hives from sustainably collected materials. After the harvest, the honeycomb is melted, filtered and collected in 25kg moulds.
Guide D'Espoir was set up in 2006 to provide those living in very remote areas of Cameroon with ways to earn money. The group has around 1,000 beekeepers in total and The Body Shop has been working with them since 2009.