Beautiful Because founder Nina Weston shares her thoughts on why she focuses on "cruelty-free", having been asked by Belinda Hughes, editor of Natural Beauty Expert, for their dedicated cruelty-free issue. Here we share a snippet...
"I believe we are all equal and entitled to live a life that is free, while being empathetic and respectful to others on our beautiful but at times cruel planet. For those who don’t like animals or see them as inferior to us, I can only say that it’s a very outdated and sad perception of what it means to be a human being. There is a lot of poverty in the world and humans are treated insufferably in many countries, just as badly as animals, but here in Australia we are able to be compassionate if we so choose. Let’s care for the animals we share our time with on earth and set an example to other countries and future generations.
"Cruelty-free beauty is something I, and we at Beautiful Because, feel extremely passionately about. It is completely unnecessary to test beauty and personal care products on animals; not only do they have a different genetic makeup and skin type, deeming it pointless, but there shouldn’t be such toxic or reactive ingredients in cosmetics that a brand, supplier or indeed government thinks it necessary to do so. Understandably, some natural ingredients may be new to market or cause sensitivity in some, but a truly ethical brand will have no need to trial their products on any one but themselves and willing (human!) participants.
"Working in the industry, and being a regular beauty consumer myself, I was horrified to discover some of the brands I had worked for and loved – major players in the global market – still tested products on animals, or used synthetic ingredients that had been. It is all-too easy to turn a blind eye or take a stance that surely they wouldn’t, they couldn’t, be. One of the ways we know this, and a sickening fact, is that current government regulations in China, for example, require that most cosmetic products manufactured outside the country and imported for retail sale must undergo animal testing. This is a worrying statistic given that China is an emerging superpower with 20% of the world’s population.
"The beauty industry is hugely unregulated in terms of the toxicity of synthetic chemicals found in many personal care products, so it really makes me question what place animal testing must have, if dangerous products are available on the market anyway. It seems these companies only care about whether a product causes a reaction and not whether it is toxic. Unbeknown to consumers, many products containing ingredients tested on animals are still being imported into Australia. The European Union, Norway, India and New Zealand have banned the importation of products tested on animals, let’s hope other countries like the US, and indeed Australia, change our policies soon too. The Labor government here is proposing a ban, fingers crossed it goes through.
"My motivation for founding Beautiful Because was to help educate others about greener, cleaner and kinder beauty; to make a small difference to the lives of my customers. A concern I have about our planet and the future is the unsustainable rate at which we are consuming, wasting and impacting our environment. We can all make a difference in the products we choose, and by using fewer. We are very strict about the brands we stock – with only a limited number, grounding ourselves as a niche natural beauty retailer. Eventually, if enough people stand up against those in the beauty industry still mistreating animals (and indeed humans), by refusing to purchase their products surely they’ll listen.
"None of the brands we stock are tested on animals and the majority are certified cruelty-free by Choose Cruelty Free or PETA, or are in the process of being certified. Many of our products are also vegan. Some of my favourite Aussie brands who are actively making an effort to be vocal about cruelty-free beauty include MUKTI, INIKA, La Mav and Vanessa Megan.
"So, rest assured, if you have seen a brand at our store, it’s not only cruelty-free, but eco-friendly, ethical and the products are high-performing, with only healthy and kind ingredients allowed!"
By Nina Weston