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by Aaron Benn
There was a time, not too long ago, when living a vegan life wasn’t a thing.
It may sound mad now, but try and imagine a world where you ask for soya milk in Tesco and they call a manager over because they haven’t heard of it. Save for the odd scoop-away and health food shop here and there, you were on your own. Thankfully that has all changed. Now I can’t stop seeing Oatly adverts everywhere I look (it’s almost too much…)
General vegan-friendly product visibility is up, slowly the vegan freezer section gets bigger by the inch and shelf stackers in supermarkets across the land know exactly where the alternative milks are kept. Veganism, in 2020, is a viable and trusted alternative to the man-made chemical fare that has dominated the food, cleaning and beauty markets for decades.
Before the vegan boom in the middle of the last decade, being vegan meant working much harder to access the produce and materials that fit your dietary or eco outlook. You could also expect to pay more for those items as they were harder to source due to lower demand. Now being, and shopping, vegan is finally becoming more mainstream.
So why are people making such important changes in their lives? And why are cleaning products now vegan too?
The truth is that for each person there will be a unique story, a personal experience, moment, inspiration or desire that has made them make vegan choices. The underlying principle is that animals (and nature) deserve the same protections as we do, and that if we humans are to flourish, so must the natural world.
This has become ever more apparent on the public stage with the annual IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) reports from the U.N. making the front pages regularly, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series and Greta Thunberg’s protests. That girl and her marching, bless her ethically sourced bamboo socks!
The public are more educated than ever about what they are using in their homes and the interest seems to be building. Vegan-friendly cleaning is a part of that wave of progress. The vegan cleaning market is now more accessible. Local eco friendly refill stores, like Bloop, are offering vegan cleaning products from independent producers.
What makes cleaning products vegan? It means they’re not tested on animals and they contain no animal derived ingredients like beeswax, animal fats, lecithin etc. They usually have a logo on the label from companies like the Vegan Society, the Leaping Bunny and Cruelty Free International. These companies certify that the products are cruelty free by researching the ingredients and testing methods used, protecting animals from needless harm.
Recent demand for vegan cleaning products is more than just an animal rights issue though, as climate change has become the issue of our time. People are keen to educate themselves, pollute their environment less and be more thoughtful and sustainable in every aspect of their lives.
Personally, my new love is Forest Hog as it ticks all the boxes. It’s refillable, and it doesn’t leech plastic from a micro-power-ball (or whatever it’s called) into the waterways. It cleans clothes effectively but doesn’t hurt animals or the planet, and Forest Hog support a targeted reforesting program in Kenya which helps the climate change cause.
This is a fantastic time to live and clean vegan.