origins becoming even animal-friendlier?

so a little while i ago i headed into origins to buy a second lip brush (one for the purse, one for the bathroom, you know), and while i was there i asked about lip liners, believing that they might have beeswax. when the vegan(!!) employee replied, 'origins doesn't use any animal products,' i about fell down. i said, probably a little too aggressively, "seriously? for real? since when?" and she said, "at least as long as i've been here, which is about a year now." i told her that was news to me, and we got to checking.

well, good news and bad news: first off, yes, they appear to be working in that direction. the lip liners contain 'synthetic beeswax,' and when we checked the ingredients of both mascaras, they also were free of beeswax. hooray! BUT when we checked a lipstick at random, there it was, plain as day: beeswax. the vegan(!!) employee seemed puzzled/troubled, and she suggested i go on the origins website to check it out and contact the company. she said that they really do care about customer feedback. i bought the lip liner and one of the mascaras, and eventually got to investigating on the website. 

under their About Origins section they have a little bit on Purity, which contains this statement:

And formulated without:



Propylene Glycol

Mineral Oil





Animal Ingredients (except cruelty-free honey and beeswax)

…after finding that, i decided to go ahead and contact the company, and here is part of what i said:

i am wondering about your claims of cruelty-free honey and beeswax. surely you don't mean to imply that these are cruelty-free products? there is a lot of research out there about how/why we take honey and beeswax from bees, and it is every bit as much about exploitation as other animal ingredients. even though some people find it harder to sympathize with insects, there is really no good reason to feel that they are 'exempt' from these ethical decisions. 

since you've proven it can be done (in your lip liner), why not use synthetic beeswax in all of your current beeswax products? alternatives to beeswax and honey are out there, and you have already shown that you care about these issues; why not go all the way? 

i really hope you will consider it. there is no need to draw a line with bees on one side and every other animal, deserving of your compassion, on the other.

let's see if they get back to me. i'm not holding my breath, but you never know.



  1. I’m glad you contacted the company later, because many people easily overlook bee products- bees sometimes dont even count as animals (what are they then, plants, minerals?) I discovered several”cruelty free” companies that claim to be free from animal ingredients, but contain beeswax, honey, (even milk, lanolin, silk and animal hair). I think it’s up to us vegans to contact these companies and correct them politely, because unfortunately no one else will look that closely at the ingredient list. Sometimes this can be overwhealming, so what I usually do is copy/paste a prepared email, with some minor changes (like companies name, specific product name etc)- we are not that many yet, so it’s cruicial that everyone who discovers false statements reacts if we want to see any changes. (even if you talk to the SA in the store, still make sure to email the company.) peace.

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