I'm aware that Lime Crime has made false claims in the past that their products were vegan friendly when they contained carmine and beeswax. I noticed that their products are still marketed all over the place as being vegan… Do you know if there have been any ingredient changes, or is this just more false labeling?
I think it’s incredibly misleading that they will namedrop vegan all over the place when there is still a large percentage of non vegan products hiding in their range. Lots of people think the Velvetines are vegan, for example, and Lime Crime actively market them as such. The entire lipstick line is now beeswax free, after a pretty clumsy transition. When they changed the formula, they changed the ingredients on the website first, while they still had old formula bullets in their inventory. That meant a lot of customers actually received a beeswax lipstick when they ordered a vegan one. Skimming through the website, here is a quick list of products that are not marked vegan:
All the Fantasy Palettes
I admit I’m not the best authority on vegan ingredients in makeup, so hopefully someone can help me shed some light on why these products are not marked vegan. The big issue is the Velvetines are marked vegan, but are not considered as such because they contain petrolatum, which is filtered through bone char. I am not a vegan, but I think if a product is going to be marketed as vegan, then it should pass the standards of the most orthodox vegan ethics. It’s not fair otherwise, to have an unspoken sliding scale of animal product usage because it interferes with other people’s ethical choices and may lead to them consuming something they wouldn’t have done otherwise. Early on, when Lime Crime first latched on to the vegan movement, they demonstrated that they didn’t get the point of veganism by asking why vegans avoided beeswax, saying “bees are hard to abuse”. It seems they wanted to cherrypick their ethics and still get to tout themselves as a vegan brand.
Their marketing as cruelty-free is similarly misleading. As a small brand they do not own their own lab and are not really in a position to regulate what they use. For example, Red 40 is often tested on animals and has been used in Lime Crime products, though the only product available at the moment using Red 40 is the China Doll palette. Whether or not something is “cruelty-free” depends on how far up the production chain you have to go to find animal testing. In some cases it’s only once-removed.
Then you have their PETA certificate, held up as proof that they’re committed to animal friendly cosmetics, when this certificate is easy to get and requires no demonstration of a company’s ethics. Basically if you apply for one declaring your company as vegan/cruelty free, PETA will not check your claims out. (PETA’s own issues regarding hypocrisy and animal cruelty are another story…) Doe Deere herself eats meat and wears second-hand fur, though she downplays this when she wants to benefit from appearing as an animal rights activist.
With such a history I would definitely be suspicious about this line’s idea of vegan and their phony credentials. “Vegan” and “cruelty free” are marketing buzz words to Lime Crime, and they have demonstrated several times that they have a shaky understanding of veganism, and dismissed the usage of certain ingredients as unimportant, when that is really the consumer’s decision and not theirs. I feel they force their vegan customers into having to do a lot of research to make sure what they’re buying is in line with their ethics, and for a company that loves to capitalise from using the word, that really is not fair. They lie by omission all the time, and the misinformation about the company’s ethics goes so far that it’s very easy to assume the brand is all vegan.