There is a huge push at the moment to convert us to a more plant-based way of living, and with good reason. Moving to a plant-based diet is the single biggest way any individual can reduce their carbon footprint – shocking isn’t it.
Alongside the relatively new phrase of “plant-based” is the more well understood movement of “veganism”. Just to do a quick check in the dictionary a Vegan is “a person who does not eat any food derived from animals and who typically does not use other animal products.” And this rings true, many vegans often shun non-consumable products which have used animals - for instance leather shoes or skincare products which contain honey.
But what does it mean when big corporations want to take advantage of this movement? We often see “vegan leather” advertised by some of the biggest known brands and there’s a tendency to think anything vegan is good… but is it?
Many, many brands selling “vegan leather” are just selling you a new form of plastic. Instead of an animal based product they are selling you a plastic one and I think by now we can all agree that the less plastic there is in the world the better. The same goes with “vegan skincare”, we need to be careful not to conflate vegan with natural or plant based. There still might be damaging petro-chemicals in vegan skincare, but just no animal products.
It’s a tricky world to navigate but there are some amazing companies out there producing vegan AND plant-based leathers such as Pinatex or vegan skincare companies which are certified by Soil Association Beauty who have strict rules about what ingredients can or cannot be included in their products.
So, in conclusion – yes vegan living is great for the planet, and can be great for you (if you choose it, no judgement here), but only if it is seen as holistic and not a marketing buzz word.
Are there any terms that you think companies have taken advantage of and can be misleading? Email us and let us know email@example.com .
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