Fresh is a beauty brand that was established in 1991 by Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. The brand was born out of their shared passion for natural ingredients and their desire to bring beauty back to its simple, pure roots. With an emphasis on natural ingredients, traditional wellness rituals, and modern science, Fresh has carved a unique space for itself in the saturated world of beauty.
The brand’s product range includes skincare, body care, hair care, and fragrances, all designed to deliver a full sensory experience. From their iconic Sugar Lip Treatments to their Soy Face Cleanser, Fresh products embody the brand’s commitment to quality and effectiveness. A key part of Fresh’s brand image lies in their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices, which include claims of being a clean brand that offers cruelty-free and vegan products.
However, in recent years, consumers have started to question these clean beauty claims made by various brands, including Fresh. This has led to a more in-depth investigation into what it really means for a brand to be clean, cruelty-free, and vegan, and whether Fresh truly lives up to these labels.
Fresh’s Claim of Being a Clean Brand
The term ‘clean’ in the beauty industry often refers to products that are free from ingredients considered potentially harmful or toxic. Fresh claims to align with this definition, assuring their customers that their products are free from sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, formaldehydes, and other potentially harmful ingredients. They assert that their products are created using effective natural ingredients, time-tested rituals, and advanced science.
In addition, Fresh also claims to be dedicated to sustainability. This commitment is reflected in their packaging, which is designed to be recyclable and made from post-consumer recycled materials wherever possible. They also have an in-store recycling program, where customers can return empty Fresh product containers for recycling.
But do these factors make Fresh a truly clean brand? While they indeed avoid certain chemical additives and emphasize sustainability, there is a broader conversation to be had about the use of natural ingredients, the environmental impact of beauty products, and the transparency of ingredient sourcing.
Understanding What Cruelty-Free Means
In the beauty industry, the term ‘cruelty-free’ is used to describe products or brands that do not test their products, ingredients, or formulations on animals at any point during the production process. This includes both pre-market testing and post-market testing. It also applies to third-party testing, where some companies may outsource their testing to another business.
Unfortunately, there is no universally agreed-upon standard for what constitutes a cruelty-free brand. Different certifications exist, such as Leaping Bunny and PETA’s cruelty-free certification, but these all have slightly varying criteria. Therefore, a brand claiming to be cruelty-free is not necessarily adhering to the rigorous standards consumers might expect.
Furthermore, cruelty-free does not mean the same as vegan. While cruelty-free refers to the absence of animal testing, vegan means that a product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. These distinctions are crucial to understand when investigating a brand’s ethical claims.
Investigating Fresh’s Cruelty-free Claims
Fresh states on their website that they are committed to the elimination of animal testing. They claim they do not test their products on animals, nor do they ask others to do so on their behalf. However, it’s important to note that Fresh does not visibly hold any cruelty-free certification from organizations like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
The absence of a certification does not necessarily mean a brand isn’t cruelty-free. Still, it does raise questions about the brand’s commitment to transparency and the rigidity of their cruelty-free standards. Therefore, while Fresh claims to be cruelty-free, it would be beneficial for the brand to seek third-party certification to solidify these claims and provide consumers with additional peace of mind.
Furthermore, Fresh is owned by LVMH, a corporation known to sell in China, where animal testing is required by law for foreign cosmetics. This raises further questions about the brand’s cruelty-free status, as parent companies’ operations are often taken into account when assessing a brand’s ethical credentials.
Deciphering The Meaning of “Vegan” in Cosmetics
In the world of cosmetics, a product is considered vegan if it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others. Often, these ingredients are replaced with plant-based or synthetic alternatives.
It’s important to remember that vegan does not automatically mean cruelty-free and vice versa. A product could be vegan, i.e., not contain any animal-derived ingredients, but could still have been tested on animals. Similarly, a product could be cruelty-free, i.e., not tested on animals, but still contain animal-derived ingredients.
To be considered both vegan and cruelty-free, a product must not contain any animal-derived ingredients and not have been tested on animals at any point during its production.
Scrutinizing Fresh’s Vegan Product Line
Fresh does not claim to be a completely vegan brand, but they do offer some vegan options. A quick glance through their website shows several products that are labeled as vegan, including their Soy Face Cleanser and Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash.
However, other products in their range contain animal-derived ingredients such as honey, beeswax, and carmine. This means that while some Fresh products are vegan, the brand as a whole cannot be considered fully vegan.
For those seeking vegan beauty products, it’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredient list. Brands are becoming more transparent about their formulas, and many now clearly label their vegan products.
External Reviews and Opinions on Fresh’s Claims
Online reviews and opinions about Fresh’s claims vary widely. Some users praise the brand for their commitment to clean, natural ingredients and their efforts to reduce their environmental impact. Others, however, question the authenticity of their cruelty-free claim, especially due to their association with parent company LVMH.
Blogs and websites specializing in cruelty-free and vegan beauty, such as Cruelty-Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant, have also raised concerns about Fresh’s cruelty-free status. The consensus appears to be that while Fresh might not conduct animal testing themselves, the fact that they sell in mainland China (where animal testing is required by law) complicates their cruelty-free claim.
However, regarding their vegan product line, the reviews seem more positive. Many users appreciate the clear labeling of vegan products, making it easier for them to make conscious beauty choices.
Final Thoughts: Is Fresh Truly Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
In conclusion, Fresh’s cruelty-free and vegan claims warrant a closer examination. While they do avoid animal testing and offer some vegan products, the lack of third-party cruelty-free certification and the presence of animal-derived ingredients in some products indicate that they aren’t entirely cruelty-free or vegan.
Consumers interested in ethical beauty should consider these factors when deciding whether to purchase from Fresh. It’s clear that Fresh is making some efforts towards ethical, clean beauty, but there is room for improvement, especially in terms of transparency and third-party certification.
The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and consumer demand for ethical, cruelty-free, and vegan products is only growing. It’s hoped that brands like Fresh will continue to adapt and meet these expectations, fully embracing the principles of clean and ethical beauty.