It’s natural to want to shop from brands that reflect your ethics. After all, your purchases fund the companies that you buy from, so it’s no surprise that so many shoppers want to support 100% vegan and cruelty-free beauty brands. Fortunately, thanks to the vegan revolution that’s taken place over the last few years, there is now quite a lot of vegan-friendly skincare and cosmetics companies.
Whether you want to move away from animal-derived ingredients or are looking to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle – here are some 100% vegan-friendly companies for you to explore…
Upcircle is the brainchild of brother and sister duo William and Anna Brightman, who are on a mission to rid the world of unnecessary waste by turning leftovers into beauty products and essentially promoting a circular economy.
They started by taking used coffee grounds (which coffee shops often have to pay to dispose of) and creating a natural body scrub. They’ve followed up the success of their coffee scrubs by discovering other by-products with beauty benefits. This includes fruit stones that are left behind in the production of fruit oils and maple bark extract from the wood industry.
Since Upcircle’s launch in 2016, there’s been a huge rise in the number of companies upcycling food waste into cosmetic products. If you ask me, that makes them certified trendsetters and I bet there’s plenty of companies out there saying “why didn’t we think of this before!!”
What else do they do? Well, they pretty much tick every box on every eco-beauty warrior’s list by being vegan, cruelty-free, palm-oil free, and using 100% recyclable packaging. They avoid plastic where possible – opting for glass jars and aluminium lids instead. If their products require a plastic part – like a spray nozzle or pump – they encourage shoppers to reuse these and offer a ‘refill – aluminium cap’ option for shoppers making a repurchase!
They sell a wide range of beauty products including: face wash, scrubs, shower gel, eye creams, face masks and other skincare.
MUA are a super affordable UK cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand – prices start as cheap as £1.50 for a lipstick and £5 for a foundation! – as they believe good quality makeup should be accessible to all. They have a big, expansive beauty range with cosmetics created with every skin tone in mind. It gets better and better – you even can find them on your high street in your local Superdrug.
MUA haven’t always been vegan, but they worked hard to reformulate their products to make everything vegan in 2019 – this meant finding alternatives for common beauty ingredients like beeswax and carmine. They officially became 100% vegan on 1st November 2019 (World Vegan Day!) – so that’s one area of Superdrug you can shop stress-free!
Some of their most popular vegan cosmetic products include their £2.50 PRO/BASE concealer, £5 light lustre highlighting palettes and £2.50 liquid cream blushers.
It can be quite hard to find high quality hair care with high quality ethics, but your search can end with Maria Nila. They’re the salon quality hair care brand – covering shampoo, conditioner, treatments, colouring and styling products – that’s also 100% vegan and cruelty-free. They have a host of certifications from the Vegan Society, PETA and Leaping Bunny – so definitely a brand to trust!
Not just vegan, Maria Nila also care strongly about sustainability. Their products are climate-compensated by being involved in tree planting projects. Maria Nila products are made with carefully chosen ingredients that make a difference for customers, salons, animals and the environment. They have their product development, production, ﬁlling and warehouse all under their factory in Helsingborg, Sweden – ensuring that they can weave their ethics into every stage of their processes.
You can shop their products online and also in Sally Beauty stores.
BYBI are a skincare brand who specialise in clean and effective products whilst trying to create change in an old-fashioned industry. They’re making waves throughout the whole beauty process and strive for better production, packaging and supply chains for both people and the planet. All of their products are 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free.
The brand was founded by two former beauty bloggers, Elsie & Dominika who started their journey by documenting how they swapped everything in their makeup bag with all-natural products. This included making their own products from food when they struggled to find what they were looking for on the high-street.
BYBI take transparency to unparalleled levels by inviting their customers to regular ‘Susty Summits’ (well, they did pre-Covid) where they’d deep dive into different areas of the beauty industry – eg packaging or ingredient sourcing. They would explain the limitations of the industry and the compromises brands have to make and why. However they would always go on to explain their creative ways of innovating within the industry or highlight how other indie brands are doing better.
Whilst BYBI are not 100% plastic-free they have switched a number of their products to bio-plastic, glass, and grasspaper to help support the plastic-free pledge.
Kitaka of London
Love a glossy lip? Kitaka of London are your go-to for a gorgeous, non-sticky, highly pigmented and organic lip gloss. Not only are these a dream to wear, the glosses are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and even palm oil free!
Kitaka of London aren’t just a vegan-owned business but also a Black-owned business, so definitely a small business to support! The founder Patrice created the brand after going vegan. She found she was reading the ingredients on the back of everything – from hummus to lipstick – and was concerned by how few ingredients she recognised on the back of her makeup. She decided to create a brand where beauty lovers would know exactly what they were applying to their skin without confusion.
It’s a small business with just five stunning shades – Pink Sapphire, Morganite, Tiger’s Eye, Onyx, and Amethyst – but they’re definitely one to watch!
Eden Perfumes is the award-winning perfumery which is a favourite amongst vegans as they have a dupe for near every famous scent. Chanel No 5, Marc Jacob’s Daisy, Joop Homme … They have it all! Not only are their scents vegan and cruelty-free, but you’ll save yourself a small fortune as their perfume prices start from just £18 for 30ml.
They have shops in both Brighton and London, but if that’s too far for you then you can also shop online. Whilst shopping online for perfume might not be ideal (let’s admit, it’s nice to have a sniff), if you’re trying to replace your favourite perfume, they make it really easy by stating which famous scent their dupes aim to replicate. You can also search by ingredient – whether that’s jasmine, sea salt, tobacco or whatever!
Plus their descriptions paint such a vivid, accurate depiction of their scents – another step that makes shopping online easy-peasy.
Another great thing about Eden? They allow you to refill your empty Eden bottle in store – so they’re eco-friendly as well!