A new study conducted by the UK-based Vegan Society in collaboration with the American Vegan Society has found that 19% of 996 US panellists did not know that cosmetics and toiletries labelled as “cruelty-free” only means the product has not been tested on animals, not that it does not contain animal ingredients.
The report, titled The Vegan Beauty Takeover: US Edition 2022, also found that only 18.6% of the panel correctly selected that “vegan” means the product contains no animal ingredients and is not tested on animals, and 58% of panellists correctly selected that the “vegan and cruelty-free” label meant the product contains no animal ingredients and is not tested on animals (although this is a redundancy because the label vegan also means both).
Katharina Eist, International Business Development Manager at The Vegan Society, said: “We love working with like-minded people all around the world to promote how ethics and shopping habits go hand in hand. This is our first publication in collaboration with the American Vegan Society and we are delighted to have them on board as our US Vegan Trademark representatives to help educate and raise awareness of what “vegan” means, and the need for clear labelling across consumer industries. Interest in vegan cosmetics is higher than ever – there is no excuse for animals to suffer for our purchases – it’s time for the industry to make veganism the norm!”
The 2021 version of the report focusing on British shoppers found that 47.2% of the panel correctly said that when a cosmetic or toiletry product is labelled as cruelty-free, it means the product has not been tested on animals, but 21.3% of the panel said that they thought cruelty-free labelling went a step further and meant the product had not been tested on animals and contained no animal ingredients.