Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Shopping Cruelty-Free in Canada
Obviously, this can differ very much depending on location. The west is different than the east and north from south. If you live in a small town it can also be a lot more difficult than if you live in a large city. Thankfully with the internet now places like well.ca, vitacost.com and iHerb.com no matter where you are, you can get bunny friendly products.
Sobeys, Lawtons and Shoppers are not listed on here simply because the selection is very inconsistent. Some Sobeys have a fairly large natural foods department, others do not. Lawtons have also been very hit and miss. Some of the Lawtons I have been to carry a lot of cruelty-free cosmetics, others do not. Shoppers has seemed to slowly get rid of everything cruelty-free, where they once thrived in that area. It's very sad to see since I used to really love Shoppers, however you can still find a few brands such as Live Clean and Yes To, as well as a few cosmetic brands.
I thought I'd make a list of some of the best places I have found for cruelty-free shopping.
1. Health Food Stores: This is a pretty obvious hint but checking local health food stores is your best bet in most places. Even in small towns or cities, most places have at least one natural store. When you get into very small towns, that can be another story but if you can find one, go in! They normally carry a wide variety of supplements and vitamins and most also have at least a small section of cruelty free beauty, including shampoo, lotions, hair colour and more. Some stores also offer some natural foods, usually a lot of which are vegan-friendly.
2. Atlantic Superstore-- I say Atlantic because I have lived out west and truly found Real Canadian Superstore to be a joke. They carry very little in the way of natural products. Some have a small organic section with a few specialty vegan-friendly products but it's very limited. Obviously this may not be the case at every Western store but from my experience this is what I have seen. Where as the Atlantic versions all have a large natural food department, carrying not only cereals, snacks, vegan-meats and cheese but also having a large cruelty-free area with baby supplies, hair care, body care and cleaning supplies. They also normally carry Wet N' Wild and Live Clean products.
3. Winners-- Winners is one of my favourite stores to shop at now, not only because they have cool household products but they also carry awesome selections of cruelty-free beauty products and even vegan food items. They carry some unique brands I never see elsewhere, Moom, DermOrganic, Sibu and E.L.F. just to name a few.
4. Canadian Tire-- Depending on the size of the store, Canadian Tire normally has a great selection of cruelty-free cleaning supplies from companies like Method, Nature Clean and Earth Friendly Products.
5. Whole Foods-- There are only a handful of Whole Foods locations in Canada but if you happen to be in the area of one, it's an amazing store not only for vegan food but for cruelty-free beauty. In fact, I believe they even have a policy about only bringing in non-tested products (mind you some of the brands don't meet my standards).
6. LUSH cosmetics-- Again, this is not a place that happens to be everywhere, in every small corner of Canada but they do have a large amount of locations and are always expanding. LUSH makes awesome bath products, hair care, make-up and skincare, all of which are completely cruelty-free. Also almost all their products are also vegan and all vegetarian. If you don't have a LUSH locally, you can even order from the website.
7. Walmart-- Walmart tends to be a hit and miss when it comes to cruelty-free. Some have lots, some little, some none. But it is always worth checking. They do carry Hard Candy which is a cruelty-free cosmetic company. I've also been informed that they have started carrying E.L.F. Most stores also carry at least soy or almond milk and some locations also carry Yves and tofu products.
8. Bulk Barn-- Bulk Barn is mostly known for it's bulk foods but they also carry a small amount of cruelty-free cleaning supplies and beauty. I also wanted to include them on the list because they have a good selection of vegan food items as well, everything from soy milk powder to cookies, rice syrup, cereals, energy bars, Daiya's boxed products and much more.
9. Dollarama-- Note: Stock changes frequently, items may not always be available. I know, this one really is a shocker but Dollarama carries a few cruelty-free cosmetic brands such as E.L.F. and Wet n Wild. I've also recently found a brand called Delon which is based out of Montreal that is completely cruelty-free and the company has mostly vegan products as well, just look out for beeswax. They also carry almond and soy milk.
10. Bed, Bath & Beyond-- Believe it or not, one of the only cleaning supplies brand they carry happens to be a cruelty-free one, Method.
11. Marshalls-- Honestly, it's pretty much identical to Winners but that also means more cruelty-free products. They sell lots of cruelty-free cosmetics, hair care, skin care, etc. And also have a good selection of vegan snacks as well.
12. Sally's Beauty Supply-- If you are looking for hair dye, Sally's is the place to go. They carry Manic Panic, as well as Ion which is cruelty free and mostly vegan (I believe all the hair dyes are vegan but some other products have keratin and silk.)
13. Saje Wellness--Essential oils, body care and more. Cruelty-free and mostly vegan, some products contain beeswax.
14. Sephora-- Check out Logical Harmony's Blog for a full list of cruelty-free brands.
Labels are for soup cans but here's some stuff about me: Ethical Vegan, Activist, Animal lover, Photographer, Dreamer, Wanderer, Survivor, Warrior, Misanthropic, Neurotic, Empath, Socially Awkward, Child of the Earth, Cat Enthusiast, Old Soul, Childlike Spirit, Spiritually Curious, Tree Hugger, Tofu Muncher, Endometriosis Sufferer, Mental Health Advocate, Alien Believer, Doodle Enthusiast. Equality for all! I like to stop and smell the flowers and talk to the squirrels.