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Vegan 101

How to Contact a Brand to Check If It’s Vegan & Cruelty-Free

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I contact brands all the time to check their vegan & cruelty-free status, and use a tried and tested set of questions to suss out their ingredient & animal-testing policies. These questions are worded in a way that makes it hard for brands to skirt the truth. They can also be replied to with yes/no answers, making it easier for the representative replying.

The best way to contact brands

It’s always best to email a brand (or use their contact form) directly, rather than contacting them through social media.

Often by asking on social media the social media manager replying either (a) doesn’t have the most up-to-date information on their vegan & cruelty-free policy, or (b) isn’t trained to deal with such questions. You want to instead be put in contact with a customer service representative through email – they will be the fountain of knowledge for all the brand in question’s products, and it’s more-than-likely to be part of their job to keep up-to-date on cruelty-free policies.

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Questions

The following 8 questions cover cruelty-free status (i.e. animal-testing policies), and vegan ingredients:

  1. Do any of your products contain any animal-derived ingredients (including beeswax) or animal by-products? Are they all suitable for vegans?
  2. Do you test on animals at any point during the production of any of your products?
  3. Do any of your suppliers test any of your ingredients on animals?
  4. Does any third party test on animals on your behalf?
  5. Do you test on animals when/where required by law?
  6. Are any of your products sold in mainland China, or any other country which requires or reserves the right to carry out animal testing on products sold there?
  7. Do you have a parent company? If so, what is said parent company’s animal testing policy?

For more information around these questions (and why each one is so important to ask) check out our Ultimate Guide to “Cruelty-Free” and “Not Tested on Animals”.

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Templates

I’ve written two different templates for you to email brands to find out their vegan and cruelty-free status.

The first one is for new brands you may be interested in, and the second is for brands whose products you may have used before becoming vegan. They’re written slightly differently as the focus on the brand replying to the first template will be on acquiring a new customer (and making money), while the second template will have the brand focusing on losing a customer (and therefore losing money).

For new brands you’re interested in

For these brands, you want to express interest in their products so they know you’re a possible purchaser ($$ for them!). As they’ll be making money off you by you buying their products, it makes it more likely they’ll reply to your email.

Hi [brand name],

I’m really interested in your products, I’ve been looking to buy a vegan and cruelty-free [insert product type here e.g. foundation, nail polish, etc.] for a while! Before buying I quickly wanted to double check your vegan and cruelty-free policies.

  1. Do any of your products contain any animal-derived ingredients (including beeswax) or animal by-products? Are they all suitable for vegans?
  2. Do you test on animals at any point during the production of any of your products?
  3. Do any of your suppliers test any of your ingredients on animals?
  4. Does any third party test on animals on your behalf?
  5. Do you test on animals when/where required by law?
  6. Are any of your products sold in mainland China, or any other country which requires or reserves the right to carry out animal testing on products sold there?
  7. Do you have a parent company? If so, what is said parent company’s animal testing policy?

Thanks for reading, and hope to hear from you soon!

Kind regards,
[your name]

For brands you’ve used before becoming vegan

For brands whose products you’ve used before becoming vegan, you want to express your interest in continuing to purchase their products. As they’ll be losing money if you decide not to purchase, it often means they’ll reply pretty quickly. And if they turn out to not be vegan and/or cruelty-free, then they can note that you will not be buying from them in the future. If enough ex-customers contact them, who knows, they might even change their policies!

Hi [brand name],

I’m really interested in your products, and am a huge fan of your [insert product here]! I’ve recently become vegan, and wanted to double check your vegan and cruelty-free policies so I can hopefully continue to buy and use your products!

  1. Do any of your products contain any animal-derived ingredients (including beeswax) or animal by-products? Are they all suitable for vegans?
  2. Do you test on animals at any point during the production of any of your products?
  3. Do any of your suppliers test any of your ingredients on animals?
  4. Does any third party test on animals on your behalf?
  5. Do you test on animals when/where required by law?
  6. Are any of your products sold in mainland China, or any other country which requires or reserves the right to carry out animal testing on products sold there?
  7. Do you have a parent company? If so, what is said parent company’s animal testing policy?

Thanks for reading, and hope to hear from you soon!

Kind regards,
[your name]

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Let us know how you get on!

I hope these template were useful. If you do end up using either of them, leave a comment below and let us know how you get on!