Long answers to short questions, to really go into our philosophy about important subjects.
Why are some of Neve Cosmetics products labelled as vegetarian and vegan while some others are just vegetarian?
All our products are now free from animal ingredients. Some of our formulas contain beeswax: a natural wax spontaneously produced by bees then collected without bothering them. It's a sustainable, very soft and pliable wax and we use it only in those cases when vegetable waxes aren't enough (obviously we prefer to use only them when it is possible). Beeswax allows us to create creamy and resistant textures without recurring to unpleasant ingredients which are not suitable for our skin such as silicones and petrolatum. So since it's produced by bees, this wax can't be considered vegan and thus we do think it's better to distinguish. Our vegan friends can chose from our huge range of beeswax-free products from this list.
What is the cruelty-free philosophy?
Cruelty-free label means the choice not to test any product on animals. In accordance with the Italian and European law, Neve Cosmetics has never done by itself or commissioned the so hated animal tests. Our laboratory tests are conducted strictly on human volunteers. Our company approaches the cosmetic field using natural ingredients that have already been declared safe and derma-compatible and that don't need any further test (animal tests or else) to be used.
So is this philosophy something that goes beyond the tests?
Yes, that's how we feel it. We do believe that avoiding animal test, although important, is not enough. Mammal's suffering is induced not only in laboratories but also in intensive livestock holdings! We are absolutely against the killing, exploitation and in general against the cosmetic employment of mammals, fish and birds. In our opinion, being cruelty-free also means using vegan and vegetarian ingredients never employing any mammal butchery derivatives. This can seem obvious because not everybody knows that many cosmetic companies employ mammals (often butchery components like collagen, placenta and beef suet) in the production process.We don't. Vegetarian and vegan options do exist and they don't entail any kind of suffering to our four-legged friends; we are therefore glad to adopt them. Cruelty-free philosophy includes our categorical refusal of animal bristles in our brush production: we are absolutely against the employment of mammals in the production of brush bristles, above all considering that we can get extremely soft and hi-quality brushes from synthetic flexible fibres.
What else do you do for animals?
We found a way to improve our four-legged friends' life with Cuore Di Neve initiative: from January 2013 we give our support to dog pounds, cat and animal shelters. Buying Neve Cosmetics products also means financing little great projects to change many innocent creatures' destiny. Click here to learn more.
What does the European legislation dictate about animal testing?
We're glad to acknowledge that European laws are supporting those who believe in cruelty-free philosophy: European law on cosmetics forbids any animal testing on finished products from 2004. From March 2009 it's strictly prohibited to commercialize cosmetic products containing any ingredient tested to conduct toxicity studies (toxicity from continued use, reproductive toxicity and reaction kinetics) on substances used in cosmetic production.
In the domain of Italian and European cosmetic, the actual laws show a very important step against animal testing and our best wish is that this could be an example for those countries all over the world in which there is a lack of legislation. To get more information please read the following articles:
What is your position about prescribed animal tests?
Cosmetic field is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg. To give an example, according to the 2010 European Commission Report – based on data collected in 2008 – animals employed in scientific and security tests in EU in 2008 represented 0,016% of the total! Thus, animal employment in cosmetic industry is just a small part considering the quantity of animals that are employed without a ban in other fields like pharmacology, food and medicine... Our best wish is that this situation can change and that ALL kinds of animal testing can be prohibited in any field (not only cosmetics) and everywhere.
Ok. Neve Cosmetics doesn't pursue animal testing. But might Neve Cosmetics be connected to some multinational corporations that do it, with other brands or in extra European countries?
Behind Neve Cosmetics there is... only Neve Cosmetics! We are an Italian company, small and independent. No multinational corporations, no extra European market places, nothing that is not simply Neve Cosmetics. Buying our products implies no risk at all of financing other brands or companies that follow other ethics or philosophies.
There are some countries (like China) that require cosmetic products to be tested on animals in order to be sold. How do you behave in these cases?
We just DON'T sell products in those countries. No compromise: we engage ourselves NOT to commercialize our products in China until the Chinese legislation on cosmetic sale will adhere to European ethic standards and thus abolishing animal tests.
What is the cut-off date?
Beside the engagement not to test on animals, until 11 March 2013 (date that marks the test ban in the cosmetic field) there was another way to discourage animal testing in cosmetics: the cut-off date. Starting from the premise that the new generation molecules could be tested by law (in some cases on animals) before being commercialized. The cut-off date was aimed to make the industry and legislation aware of this subject by choosing a date (the cut-off date) and engaging not to use ingredients tested by law on animals after that date. Every new synthetic ingredient, whose introduction on the market would require animal test, was thus refused. In this way those makers who were touched by this subject could virtually discourage the creation of new molecules in the cosmetic field.
That's why we preferred (and we are going on this way) natural, vegetable or mineral ingredients: they didn't need any test and they are above all safe.
In our effort not to use those ingredients which are in contrast with our philosophy (petrolatum, parabens, silicones...), if we have to use synthetic ingredients we make sure that they:
- are safe and derma-compatible and have no impact on environment;
- have not been tested by law on animals in a period following the foundation of our company (July 2009) so that we are certain that our entire production had nothing to do with the situation of prescribed cosmetic tests for new substances, so that it's an explicit claim of our encouragement in abolishing future tests on animals.
We engaged ourselves to refuse the use of new generation molecules until the effectuation of the total ban of commercializing cosmetic products that contain animal-tested ingredients, that is until the law of 11 March that marks the end of these hated tests in Europe.
How do scientific and cosmetic innovation get along with cruelty-free ethics?
The ingredients that were free from the prescribed tests were thousands, the natural components are plenty and they have also healthy properties! Even without the use of new and unknown molecules it is possible to create innovative and efficient hi-quality cosmetics. It just takes more effort. We know this is the hardest way (even more complicated by the fact that we don't use components like petrolatum, silicones, parabens and mammals derivatives) but it’s not hard enough to restrain our will to create. The quality of our production, we are sure, speaks for itself.
Why don't you have your policy certificated by private certification agencies?
Let's quote the 2006/406/CE directive: "Under the second subparagraph of Article 6(3) of Directive 76/768/EEC the manufacturer or the person responsible for placing the product on the market may use a claim to indicate that no animal testing has been carried out. Therefore it is not mandatory, neither for the manufacturer nor for the person responsible for placing the product on the market, to use such a claim. It is a possibility which is offered to those persons if the requirements in the second subparagraph of Article 6(3) of Directive 76/768/EEC, taking into account the present guidelines, are met.
It's not prescribed to use a claim to indicate that no animal testing has been carried out. Moreover on 11 March 2013 the total ban on animal tests has been effective all over Europe: animal tests are not only ethically discreditable (and technically useless) but they are now FORBIDDEN all over Europe!
A national governmental institution, that could certificate the cruelty-free production, doesn't exist because the actual directives must be respected by law. Being registered to private certifications is not mandatory or needed to grant the respect of an actual law. Every company can choose to be or not to be enrolled to a certification agency but it's civilly and criminally liable of its claims if they reveal not to be true.
There are a lot of certifications, some must be paid and others are more or less known with different standards often in contrast. It is not our priority to be enrolled in commercial circuits together with other companies that show a policy in contrast to ours.
Instead of adhere to someone else's standards, we prefer to show directly and clearly OUR philosophy so that it should be easy and quick, for those who share it, to choose our products.
To connect to a specific association is not something we are taking in consideration: we prefer to answer ourselves with the complete control in what we do and our choices. We prefer most of all to invest our economical resources to directly help animals.
If you have read so far... thank you!
Thanks for your interest and for your will to go into some complicated but important themes.
We also suggest reading:
Neve Cosmetics, who we are
Cuore di Neve, no-profit project
We hope we were able to explain every aspect of this matter in the most clear and complete way, but if it's not enough and you have more to ask, we are always here ready to answer your questions.