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Veganuary: Other Ways to Get Involved

Since taking part in Veganuary, I feel like my eyes are suddenly wide open.

I’m used to checking ingredients being gluten free, but vegan is another kettle of fish. There’s so many ways the things we use and consume every day can have an affect on animals.

I’ve googled and I’ve googled, and it’s really difficult to find a list of all the brands that are both vegan and cruelty free. One that I found particularly useful was an helpful list on the PETA website, where you can search by companies that don’t test on animals, cruelty-free companies by product and country, and also a list of companies that do test on animals, so you know who to avoid.

As someone that’s new to veganism through Veganuary (I hope to keep it up part time after January ends), it’s difficult to go all in when it comes to products and clothes. Food is a lot easier to start with, but I do hope to gradually input more and more vegan choices when it comes to products. Granted I’m not going to throw out my leather jacket (hats off to my best friend Lauren, who sold her Mulberry after going vegan last year), but going forward I’m going to avoid leather best I can.

There are lots of other simple ways you can make changes for the better, like using a different shower gel for example. Here’s a few of my favourite vegan brands you might like to try.

Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger*

Cool name, huh? Anything that has a rabbit logo is pretty cool to me.

These guys make really unusual tote bags, shoulder bags, backpacks and laptop cases. And the brilliant thing is, all their materials are vegan!

M.R.K.T. was started in 2010 by Harvard-trained architect Tom Pen as he set out to challenge conventional fashion trends and today continues creating accessories inspired by clean and pure form.

Made from patented SMRT FELT, the Florida Shoulder bag and Soreen Shoulder bag (both in Elephant Grey),  particularly caught my eye. I wear a lot of black, grey and burgundy (so these go perfectly with my ‘goth’ look as my mother says. Hardly!) and the soft felt is so different to any bag I’ve had before. Their ‘vegan leather’ straps appear just like leather, without the guilt.

These are both SS16, and so available on the site from late February onward. They’re currently offering 50% off all bags, so definitely have a browse.

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Their laptop cases are pretty snazzy too, and I’ve been looking for one for eternity. I love how smart all their collection is. Let’s also take a moment to congratulate myself and my housemate for keeping this Bonsai tree alive since last August! That’s some serious skills right there (without us barely doing anything).

Plus I think the girls quite liked them…

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LUSH

The smell when you enter Lush is phenomenal, but times that by three floors of heavenly scented products and, you guessed it, you’re in heaven. The new Oxford Street store is HUGE and staff couldn’t be more helpful in helping me find all their vegan goodies.

Lush are very well known for being cruelty free with their bath and beauty products, which is really important. What’s also great is all their range is vegetarian, with a large chunk even vegan. Along the side of every bottle or on the sign of every soap and bath bomb, you’ll find a little ‘Vegan’ symbol, rather than reading the small print of ingredients for every product.

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I love picking up a bath bomb a couple of times a month for a treat and my favourites and Frozen (which creates the prettiest blue lagoon) and Yoga Bomb which has layer upon layer of rainbow colours. Bath oils are also great for a relaxing bath, and You’ve Been Mangoed Bath Oil which is full of some of my favourite flavours (hello avocado butter), and equally smell amazing.

Their Sea Salt Hairspray is also a favourite, leaving up hair feeling super soft, shiny and smelling really good. I straighten my hair quite a lot, and it’s a great product to use after styling to keep it looking sleek.

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Whilst I was at the till, I spotted their ‘Charity Pot’, for just £3.50, all of the money from this small pot of hand and body lotion goes to the charity (minus taxes), which is unheard of. You often hear with charity products that a percentage or just profits go to the charity, but with this, it’s 100%. Lush represent a range of charities, and all money from the Charity Pots is donated evenly. The one I picked up goes to help stop rhino poaching through education in Vietnam.

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Urban Decay

I was THRILLED to find both my foundation and foundation brush were with vegan and cruelty free.

I was never really a make up person until recently, and was lucky to get away with just a bit of concealer on my skin, but since working on a few beauty pitches at work, I was hooked. After discovering Urban Decay and its air brushed effect, I now wear this every day. It’s one of the only foundations that doesn’t make my skin erupt in spots! Take note if you have sensitive skin.

To apply evenly, I always use an Eco Tools foundation brush, which is also vegan and cruelty free.

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Original Source

Favourite shower gel by far, has to be Original Source. Everything in their range smells AMAZING. I noticed before Veganuary that all their products are proudly vegan, with a noticeable logo on the front of all their products.

I love how you can clearly see exactly what’s in every bottle – a nod to whoever designed their bottles. Not only do they do a shower gel range, but hand wash and body scrub too.

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Whenever on offer in the supermarket, I’ll always pick up a bottle, but now with so many other shower gels having blurred lines around what’s cruelty free, I’m definitely always opting for Original Source.

Have you got any favourite vegan brands I should know about? I’d love to hear more whether it’s cruelty free make up, toiletries or vegan clothing.

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