Beauty Without Cruelty is a true pioneer in the beauty industry. They were the first company in the UK to champion the need for beauty products that didn’t come at the cost of testing ingredients on animals, and they’re still going strong today.
Upon learning of this, we were quite curious about what the motivations were for starting this brand, what challenges it’s faced along the way, and where it’s headed from here.
Santosh Krinsky from Beauty Without Cruelty has been kind enough to help settle some of these curiosities by answering a few of our questions. Read on below to find out more about this forward thinking, vegan and cruelty-free beauty and personal care company.
Q: What was the motivation behind starting Beauty Without Cruelty?
Beauty Without Cruelty was started in the UK by the Lady Dowding, wife of Air Marshall Dowding. She became concerned about animal testing of cosmetics and started a non-profit under the name Beauty Without Cruelty in 1959 to awaken awareness about animal testing of cosmetics and personal care products and the cruelty attendant thereto.
Her husband advised her that it was not sufficient to raise the issue if there were no viable “cruelty-free” products that could be produced. As a result, she began to develop a line of products without use of animal-tested ingredients, and working with a cosmetologist and formulator, she began the brand Beauty Without Cruelty in 1963 in the UK.
Over time the brand went through various changes in ownership, but the mission remained the same. In the 1980’s the brand developed distribution in the USA, and ownership of the USA trademark in the brand was transferred to Lotus Brands in 2010. We remain strong proponents of the ideals and mission of the BWC brand.
Q: Was it hard in the earlier years to make a mark in the beauty industry; was there a stigma attached to vegan and cruelty-free beauty products?
It is not so much a “stigma” as the basic difficulty of producing a brand without using the commonly available animal source ingredients or ingredients that are tested on animals. BWC has always been a small brand and has never had the economies of scale to compete with the major cosmetics brands and get the message out, and this is the primary source of any difficulties the brand has had.
Rather than a “stigma” the brand has always had a positive reputation for the stance it has taken and the efforts it makes to adhere to the formulation principles that started the brand’s existence back in 1963.
Until 2010, when Lotus Brands took on the brand, several products had “animal source” ingredients such as beeswax. Lotus Brands undertook to make the brand consistent as suitable for vegans by removing any such ingredients after doing a thorough ingredient review.
The brand continues to have a positive reputation and consumer good will, but remains small and unable to project its image and message out to a larger audience to compete with the mainstream brands.
Q: Does BWC get a lot of celebrity or media attention?
We do not get a LOT of media or celebrity attention, but over the years we have had a number of endorsements come our way.
Q: As a pioneer in the cruelty-free and vegan beauty products industry, do you feel you’ve helped provide a blueprint for up-and-coming cruelty-free companies to follow?
BWC was the very first brand to raise the issue of cruelty-free cosmetics and we are gratified that over time, the message has been so well received in the natural products industry that most personal care brands now make it a point to mention their status of no animal-testing.
This is a world-wide campaign and we are further gratified to see that the EU has adopted no animal testing of cosmetics rules, as well as other countries around the world. The work continues!
Q: Are there other companies that you see whose efforts inspire you to continue to make outstanding products for your customers?
There are many excellent companies in the natural products industry who have adopted the cruelty-free standard and we are always inspired by the efforts of others who want to expand awareness of the issues for which the brand has stood since its founding.
Q: Does Beauty Without Cruelty contribute to any charitable causes or organizations?
Yes, in fact, we support numerous animal protection and vegan groups and non-profits around the country for their awareness campaigns, fundraisers, etc. on an ongoing and regular basis.
Q: What’s your most popular product?
The Eye and Face Makeup Remover has always been a top product due to its distribution reach, but in terms of consumer support, the most popular products would probably be our Rosemary-Mint-Tea Tree Shampoo and our Unscented Hand & Body Lotion.
Q; What are BWC’s plans for the future? Any new and exciting products on the horizon?
We are evaluating several ideas but do not have anything concrete at the moment. Our primary challenge is to expand awareness of the vast array of existing products in the line that have not gotten the exposure they really deserve.
Q: Are BWC products available internationally?
The Hair/Skin and Body care products are produced in the USA and are primarily sold in North America. The Color Cosmetics are produced in the UK and are sold in the UK, EU and North America.
For a list of retailers that carry Beauty Without Cruelty products, please visit the “Where to Buy” section of their website.