Episode 47: Should Vegan Beauty Brands be run by Vegans?

2020-01 Vegan Beauty Founders

Should vegan beauty brands be run by vegans? That is the question we tackle in this episode of the Green Beauty Conversations podcast, the podcast that challenges you to change the way you think about the way you buy, use, make and sell your natural beauty formulations.

Veganism is on the rise

Interest in veganism has increased seven-fold in the last five years according to Google trends. And as part of that rise, cosmetics represents the fastest growing sector in brands gaining the vegan trademark, where the indie beauty sector sees a great opportunity to appeal to the ever-growing vegan community. But should beauty brand founders be vegan in order to make and sell vegan cosmetics? If you’re making and selling cosmetics, should you walk the walk as well as talking the talk?

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Podcast guests

In this episode we speak to three people with an interest in veganism. Firstly we speak to Louisa Sales, a Beauty Therapist currently working in the beauty industry training other professionals, who is also a passionate vegan. Louisa believes that brands using veganism in their marketing should be founded and run by people who live and support a vegan lifestyle.

Next we speak to Abigail Stevens, Trademark Manager at the Vegan Society, which established the definition of veganism. The Vegan Society certifies individual products as vegan and enables beauty brands to carry their trademark.

Our last guest is Claire Michalski of the Vegan Founded certification, an organisation that certifies brands as vegan based on their ethical choices and those of their founders. Vegan Founded controversially posted on their Facebook page that supporting meat eating brand founders could be supporting the meat industry and prefers to give their support to brands who are founded and run by vegans.


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In this Podcast you will:

  • Hear different and sometimes controversial answers to the question: Do you need to be vegan to make vegan cosmetics? Directly from experts in the field.
  • Get an understanding of some of the complexities that exist when it comes to marketing or certifying your cosmetics as vegan.
  • Explore the current vegan beauty market and how it is changing.

Key takeaways include:

  • The ethics of veganism can be complex and individual. Brands need to be aware of the claims they are making and what they might mean to their customers.
  • Veganism isn’t just about cutting out certain food groups, it is a lifestyle. Attention to detail and authenticity is key for brands making ethical claims for their products.
  • Some vegan consumers feel disillusioned that brands are jumping on the vegan beauty bandwagon for money making, rather than ethical purposes. This has potential to impact brands, especially with the rise of call out culture on social media.
  • The rise in choice in the vegan beauty market is viewed as a whole as a positive for people who have a vegan lifestyle and presents opportunities for brand founders whose ethics align with the vegan movement.

Interested in learning more? We cover the topic of how to formulate vegan organic cosmetics in this blog post: How to formulate vegan organic cosmetics.

Find out more about our Podcast guests:

The Vegan Society Website

Vegan Founded Website

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.


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