Shopping is so easy and convenient now, with everything from groceries to lingerie being able to be purchased with just a few clicks. Online shopping enables us to be smart consumers comparing prices, food ingredients and product specifications in the safety and comfort of our own home. Next time you are looking for skincare and makeup, make sure they are vegan by checking for the leaping bunny or cruelty-free certification. Let’s look at some online 100% vegan shops that sell a variety of natural beauty products.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
1. Flora & Fauna
Flora & Fauna sells over 290 ethical brands and all of their products are free of animal testing and 100% vegan. Many of the products are approved by PETA, Leaping Bunny, Certified Cruelty Free, NATRUE or the Vegan Society. In 2016 they removed the use of plastic from all the orders so the boxes are sent naked, using only paper tape. For shipping, they may use packing peanuts or recycled paper shreddies. Their packing peanuts are made from corn starch, are biodegradable, and dissolve in water. They pride themselves that everything at Flora & Fauna is recyclable.
The Vegan Kind Supermarket is, as its name suggests, a supermarket for vegans. They stock over 5,000 vegan and cruelty free products, including food, household items, health, beauty products, apparel and books. When I first looked at their grocery menu, I was taken aback a little when I saw “meat & seafood”, “milk, butter & eggs”. I had to look again at the website name and then back at the products in details to make sure they are plant-based items and not the actual animal products. They use delivery boxes that are made of fully recycled materials and are also recyclable. The paper stuffing and some of the bubble wraps are fully recycled and recyclable or biodegradable. Base: United Kingdom
Billion Vegans aims to be the marketplace for vegans. It is pretty much like a department store with groceries as well as products for fashion, beauty, health, home & garden and pets. You will be able to search for products under many product tags including some you would never think of. Next time you are there, try searching for faux leather, corn-free or women-owned business. For beauty products, they have over 140 brands. For non-U.S. shoppers, however, we have to be careful that import duties, taxes and any other additional customs charges are not included in the price of the item.
Base: United States
Shipping: Ship internationally via a traceable method (FedEx, UPS, USPS, EMS etc.) depending on your location
Little Vegan Makeup Shop is a smaller online vegan store that sells only skincare and makeup products. The founder is a vegan makeup and hair artist. Though they carry only 20+ brands, mainly smaller indie brands, the shopping experience can be more focused and will not get lost as is so easy in a big store where we end up buying more than we need. They use only use 100% recycled and recyclable packaging. They also joined forces with the carbon neutral delivery service Sendle to transport new items.
*FCOD: A brand’s fixed cut-off date is a date after which they adhere to the strict Leaping Bunny criteria. A fixed cut-off date requires a company to enforce its animal testing policy and gives suppliers a practical way to move away from animal testing.
Loving that more people are realizing that animals are really not that different from humans, Rajes is happy to be playing her part, albeit small, in creating a more compassionate world. She currently works as a companion animal Grooming Specialist in a salon that promotes the humane handling of animals and also volunteers occasionally with a local animal rights group Animal Allies Singapore, taking part in their outreach efforts to advocate for animals.
With conscious consumerism and sustainability gaining traction today, there is an increased awareness of veganism and the plant-based movement. However this movement has some challenges in gaining public acceptance. One common reason cited for this is the poor availability of vegan friendly food and products: What will I eat when I eat out with friends? Where can I find good plant-based alternatives? Where can I find products that are vegan and cruelty-free?
These are exactly the type of issues the ingenious review app abillionveg (ABV) hopes to address. Launched in 2018, it is hoped that the app will help a billion people go vegan by 2030.
ABV Team (Pic Credit, Abillionveg Facebook)
Users Driving Change
People are already taking pictures of what they eat, as well as products they used, sometimes even reviewing them on their social media pages. ABV simply taps into this habit and encourages users to do the same for all things plant-based instead.
Users can follow each other’s accounts to read their reviews through which they can explore more options and, more importantly, drive up the demand for vegan products. ABV also collects feedback from users and then send this information to the various businesses being commented on. In this way, businesses are made aware of the demand and the need for them to expand or improve their offerings for a growing number of people.
ABV’s Founder & CEO., Vikas Garg, describes the app as a “unique combination of technology and ‘friendly’ activism”, and he couldn't be more right. What better way to promote a movement, than to highlight to those on the fence that there are options out there. Of course, these options can always be better, but they are there and as a user of the app, an individual can help the situation to improve.
With over 250,000 reviews being posted by its users from 120 countries, ABV has not only helped to build a rich database of useful information for both the vegan and aspiring vegan communities, it has also helped to raise funds for several organizations caring for animals.
Wuwei Sanctuary Park (Pic Credit, Abillionveg Facebook)
A Wholesome Experience
What makes using this app exceptionally rewarding is its model of giving back. With every review posted, users will be able to give back to animals, as each review is converted into US$1. When they have accumulated US$10, users will be able to choose and donate the amount to ABV’s partners from around the world who work for the betterment of animals.
In a society where doing good is increasingly given importance, being able to help organizations like animal sanctuaries is an opportunity that is too great to pass. It is also especially meaningful to many of the users who are vegans for the animals.
Founder Vikas Garg on the left (Pic Credit, Abillionveg instagram)
With plans to donate US$1 million in 2020, there is no doubt that ABV is here to make a difference for the animals, the earth and for humans.
1. Soak the small dried Mushrooms, maitaka and perigord truffles in advance.
2. Cut off the stem end of mushrooms, wash and blanch maitaka.
3. Add 8ml of soy sauce in the pot, then put mushrooms and maitaka into the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Peel the white gourd and cut it into a rectangle, width 6cm (or the width of a slicer), length about 10cm. Soak the slices in salt water, then lay them on a plate.
5. Put a portion of mixed mushroom strips in the middle of the slices of white gourd, wrap and roll, then steam the rolls for 3 minutes.
6.Peel the luffa, shred it into 6cm-wide slices and blanch the slices, then place them alongside the white gourd curls.、
7. Boil the perigord truffles in the pot, add seasoning, then thicken the perigord truffle sauce with water chestnut powder. Coat the gourd rolls with perigord sauce and place the perigord truffles on the top.
Rachel Choi is a vegan mother born in the ‘80s in Hong Kong. She is fond of green living and also good at vegan cooking. Last year, she gave birth to a healthy and cute vegan baby boy. Rachel is also a versatile yoga teacher who teaches yoga at various places.
I met Angie in class four years ago, and she gave me the impression of being a very sporty and healthy woman. Then I heard her story of beating cancer with a vegan diet. At that time, I often had stomachache and had to take medicine 2-3 times a month. So I tried to be a vegetarian, the only meat-free diet I knew at that time. After seeing how healthy Angie was on a vegan diet, I decided to try it. I went home that night and immediately searched for information about veganism, and the next day I made up my mind to become vegan.
It was a bit difficult at first because although a vegetarian diet does sound similar to a vegan one, in reality it is very different. A vegan diet is much more difficult because many foods contain dairy products and eggs. These include many types of bread, cakes, and even salads (with non-vegan salad dressing). Sometimes in a coffee shop or fast food restaurant, they do not have vegan food choices.
I'm glad that when I started my new diet, there were already many vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, providing vegetarian cuisine from all over the world. I ate at many vegetarian restaurants in the Central and Western Districts while I was working there back then. I also fell in love with cooking. It increases my appetite to see so many colourful veggies on the table. These colourful veggies are also obviously very healthy. I have had no sick visits to the doctor in a long time.
Eating alone was no problem, but eating with family was a big challenge. I usually ate at home one or two nights a week. My mom was upset seeing my vegan diet, because she worried that my diet would lack nutrition. My husband was even more angry because I no longer went to restaurants to eat meat with him. He felt as if he had lost his wife.
I knew that it would take knowledge for my family to feel at ease with my diet. So I took part in classes to learn about vegan nutrition. I remember one year I took my mom out to dinner on her birthday and didn’t tell her it was a vegetarian restaurant until we finished the meal. She was amazed that vegan food could be so delicious! Sometimes I would also cook vegan food for my family and gradually they started to accept my vegan lifestyle.
Luckily I got pregnant two years after becoming a vegan and had my son, Hei Hei, last year. I give my son a vegan diet because I know first hand the benefits of being a vegan. He has a great appetite and never vomits up milk. l feel that his digestion is very good.
I welcome the opportunity to share with you my experience of being a vegan and raising a vegan baby. Next time I'll talk about my son's funny story about eating.