I like to think that I’m an ethical consumer, but brands don’t half make it difficult to make informed choices! There is a growing movement by shoppers to vote with their dollar, but sadly we are deliberately and routinely misled by brands, with ambiguous claims and deceptive designs. From innocuous labelling of palm oil as ‘vegetable oil’ to the proliferation of sham certification logos and the bastardisation of the word ‘organic’, we are shamefully misinformed about the products we buy.
Earlier this week, I was pretty disturbed to read that many brands that declare themselves as ‘against animal testing’ are effectively expressing a vacuous opinion and nothing more. ‘Not tested on animals’ is often a statement made about a finished product, when in fact, most animal testing occurs at the ingredient level. Further to this, many ‘cruelty free’ brands (often backed up by their own dubious bunny logos) export their products to China, where animal testing is obligatory. China’s burgeoning cosmetic market is understandably attractive to beauty brands, but should they be allowed to claim they’re cruelty free if they’re testing for overseas markets?
It seems to me that in Australia, brands have very little accountability with the claims they make. It’s one thing to sidestep an unpleasant truth, but to tell an outright lie surely shouldn’t be allowed! Am I missing something?
It’s a fair task to make an informed choice, so if you’d like some help, please check out Choose Cruelty Free and Shop Ethical for a little clarity. Better still, download their apps so you can check out the legitimacy of a brand’s claim while you’re out shopping.