With vegan movements on the rise, we decided to bring in a vegan expert to give us a deeper understanding of the vegan trend. Patricija Bajc hosted Chloe Martin, a Vegan Trademark Business Developer in the Cosmetics Industry, at Vegan Society.
The common mistake is that vegan and plant-based are equal, and Chloe was kind enough to clarify the differences between the two, as seen in cosmetics and nutricosmetics, for Nutricosmetics 2030 audience.
As Chloe explained, plant-based normally refers to diets. However, there’s no official term but that one we refer to. Veganism, on the other hand, is the definition of a life that seeks to exclude as far as practically possible palm oil, cruelty, exploitation of animals in food, cosmetics, or any other purpose.
Plant-based can be an aspect of a vegan diet, but brands have to be careful because a plant-based label can sometimes mean that there are no-vegan ingredients like honey, whereas if it’s vegan, there are no animal products in there at all. And that is the main difference between the two.
Another perception is also that vegan products are more sustainable, cruelty-free, natural, eco-friendly, sustainable, etc. However, this kind of product can often be worse than conventional products. Vegans, for example, claim that coconuts are not vegan because little-trained monkeys pick up the majority of the coconuts. This is only one example of how animals can be involved in the production and how vegan products can be harmful. On the other hand, we have collagen. The raw material of collagen is upcycled ingredient, meaning that it is a byproduct of the meat industry and would be discarded if not returned to the food chain to be used for human consumption. Collagen beauty supplements, which are derived from animal sources such as fish, bovine, or porcine, support the health and appearance of the skin, hair, and nails. Consuming collagen can help to replenish the body’s natural collagen levels, which can decrease as we age, leading to wrinkles, dry skin, and brittle nails.
Just because a product is labeled vegan does not necessarily mean it is sustainable.
However, a lot of the time, it goes hand in hand because of sustainability and the environment, says Chloe. Although it is not intrinsically vegan, it is something that vegans and people that opt for vegan choices are concerned about. Therefore in many cases, brands are bringing out vegan and more sustainable products because it goes hand in hand, according to Chloe. She goes on to talk about terms of the animal label during the production of products, which is something that the Vegan Society does not endorse. To be more exact, if the Vegan Society tracks the production of coconut oil products, and if they find out that there were monkeys used during the harvest, those products would not be registered under the Vegan Society label. In the same way, they wouldn’t register the truffles that dogs and pigs harvest. This goes against the beliefs that Vegan Society stands for.
Similarly, the Vegan Society believes there are vegan alternatives with beauty from within too. The good news is, that they are right. Plant-based alternatives that are designed to support the body’s own collagen production are called vegan collagen boosters and are a suitable option for those who follow a vegan lifestyle and avoid animal-derived products. These products may contain ingredients such as vitamin C, silica, and other plant-based compounds that are necessary for collagen production.
The bad news is, that plant-based vegan collagen boosters are not as effective as convenient collagen.
We see a lot of vegan-related content and a lot of the above-mentioned vegan options. But the fact is that the percentage of vegans is still relatively small compared to carnivores. Interestingly, we see many vegans consuming collagen beauty supplements. It is believed to be due to the actual results they get with collagen compared to vegan formulations such as vegan collagen boosters. Vegans are currently a minority, but at Vegan Society, they have seen growth in the last few years, making them believe the future can be vegan. In terms of the world going vegan tomorrow, that is very unrealistic to say. But Chloe feels there is hope in shifting our habits towards a kind world for animals, ourselves, and the planet.