Companies & Brands that Source Ethically

Today’s post is a bit different from previous posts, as there isn’t a specific focus. Now there are many ethical brands that not only are against animal exploitation, but also against human and environmental exploitation, and put these values into action. By reading this, you may find out about products made using interesting and sustainable materials and may even discover an previously unknown ethical brand that you like.




Nae, which stands for No Animal Exploitation, is a Portuguese vegan footwear brand which offers all types of shoes from everyday sneakers to work shoes to high heels. They also are against human and environmental exploitation. They use natural materials including cork & pineapple leaf, recycled materials such as plastic bottles, and synthetic materials such as ecological microfibers. The products are manufactured only in certified factories of Portugal.



Offers sneakers similar in style to Converse but are more ethical. They are fair trade, organic and vegan. The sole is all natural, made from sustainable latex and certified by the FSC. The canvas and laces are made with cotton which has been certified both organic (GOTS) and fairtrade (FLO). The shoebox is made from post-consumer waste. They also have clothing made of organic cotton.


Tree Tribe

An outdoor lifestyle brand committed to protecting the environment through using eco friendly materials, as well as planting 10 trees on every sale. They have leaf leather products made from sustainably harvested Teak leaves. They are natural, and every piece is unique. Tree Tribe also sell eco water bottles, and offer clothing made from materials such as organic cotton, sustainable hemp and recycled polyester.


Eve Cork

Their mission is to “educate the world about cork fashion, while building an online-first, sustainable luxury handbag brand”. Materials used include cork, organic cotton and all-natural vegetable dyes. Their style is European inspired. The bags are made in Portugal, where workers are paid well and have good working conditions.



Flora & fauna

Offer products that are vegan, ethically sourced and cruelty free. They are committed to protecting the environment and have a recycling program, where customers can return bottles and tubes to be made into other products. They also partner with and support Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary (which cares for abused and abandoned farm animals). They offer a wide range of skincare, haircare, dental products, makeup, clothing, bags and health products.



Provides sustainable, vegan, cruelty free and ethical, fairtrade certified items that are affordable. These include clothing, handbags, accessories, skincare, makeup and their own handmade eco soy candles. These products respect animals, humans and the planet. They use all recycled packaging for deliveries. (Stock Tree Tribe)


Vegan Style

They only stock brands that are high quality, vegan and cruelty free and environmentally friendly. They mainly sell shoes, but also sell a variety of other items including belts, handbags and beauty products. (Stock Etiko, Nae)


The Cruelty Free Shop

Provides a wide range of vegan and cruelty free products including food (that which your local supermarket may not have), health, fashion, beauty and household items. They regularly support animal rights organisations by fundraising for them, selling merchandise with the proceed going to charity as well as other methods.


With so many brands and companies that source ethically, next time your skincare runs out or your sneakers become worn, you can be sure to find an ethical brand or store where you can find what you need.


Silk: Shocking method of production

Silk has long been considered a luxury fabric used for clothing, mainly tops and dresses. It is made from the cocoon of the domesticated mulberry silkworm, Bombyx mori (produces the vast majority (approximately 90%) of commercial silk). You may not know that silk is produced by an unethical method.


Method of conventional silk production:

Silk farmers harvest the moth’s eggs and over 6 weeks the larvae eat a diet of solely mulberry leaves. Then the worms spin cocoons to sleep in and begin the process of turning into moths. In the wild, moths break free from their cocoons when they are ready. However, in a farmed system moths are prevented from damaging cocoons by breaking free and causing a small hole in the cocoon (breaking the singular long silk strand), so pupae are killed by being boiled or steamed alive within their cocoons. The undamaged cocoon is unraveled by machine to leave a continuous strand ready for spinning.


Ahimsa or ‘peace’ silk is a more ethical type of silk compared to conventional silk. Moths are allowed to emerge from their cocoons naturally, and then the empty cocoons are processed. The silk strand would be broken into smaller strands which must be woven back together. However, there are no certification authorities that exist to guarantee that these standards are upheld. So even these silkworms may suffer by being forced out of their cocoons too early.

As silk moths have been domesticated and bred for silk production, over time they have become flightless, and are therefore unlikely to survive.


Types of Ahimsa silk include ‘Eri silk’ and ‘Tussar silk’.

-Eri silk: Involves the Eri moth creating a cocoon that never completely closes, so that they emerge without breaking it.

-Tussar silk: Wild as the silkworms can leave the cocoon before the cocoons are harvested from the forest.


Cruelty free alternatives to silk include:

  • Tencel (brand name of a material made from lyocell; it is derived from wood pulp & is produced through a closed loop process, meaning processing chemicals are reused)
  • Soysilk (made from the soybean residue produced during tofu manufacturing, usually produced through a closed loop process)
  • Rayon
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Fish: The Silent Victims

The cries of abused animals result in sympathy and outrage, but fish are often overlooked as they can’t cry out in pain. However, fish can experience fear, pain and stress even though they are silent in their suffering.


From the wild:

When fish are pulled up by nets, many are crushed to death. Others suffer from burst eyes or swim bladders because of a sudden change in pressure as the nets are brought up to the water’s surface. The remaining fish will die a slow death from suffocation eventually. Many non-target animals are also caught accidentally in fishing nets including sea turtles, sharks and dolphins. They are discarded overboard and may suffer injuries or even die.

In addition, overfishing destroys the stability of marine environments. Scientists predict that current fishing rates could cause our oceans to be in a state of collapse by 2050.


From factory farms:

Fish are often raised in overcrowded factory farms filled with disease. These conditions cause stress and depression, pushing some fish to have stunted growth and float lifelessly on the surface. In response to disease, rather than giving them more space, the fish are often given antibiotics. This contributes to antibiotic resistance. Farmed fish also need to eat wild caught fish, which involves using more than what is produced.


In addition, fish can also be bad for your health. Fish can be contaminated with mercury, especially those higher up the food chain such as certain types of tuna.


Fortunately there are a growing selection of alternatives that are not only kinder to fish, but also better for the environment and your health:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Smashed chickpea salad (can replace tuna)
  • Mock fish including: Quorn ‘Fish free fingers’, Gardein ‘Golden fishless filet’, Vegie delights ‘Thai chilli & lime cakes’

And good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and seaweed. As a supplement flaxseed oil is a good alternative to fish oil.

Meat Industry that Mistreats


Imagine being born just to be killed for meat. Every day suffering in a tiny and dirty metal cage, miserably knowing that one day you will be free of this life, but only after the horror of slaughter. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many farmed animals.

Amongst these farmed animals, chickens and pigs are some of the most abused.



Farming systems include factory farmed, RSPCA approved, FREPA certified, free range and certified organic. Overcrowded factory farms are the worst farming system, with many chicks dying from heart failure before they are even 6 weeks old.

However, despite the farming condition:

-Day old chicks deemed ‘unviable’ are ground up alive or gassed to death

-All are bred to grow unnaturally fast so that their legs can barely support their weight

-All are killed as chicks at around 6 weeks old when their natural lifespan is up to 8 years. They are electrocuted before their throat is cut



-94% of meat from pigs comes from those confined in factory farms

-Piglets have their tails cut off and their teeth cut, all without pain relief

-They are transported to slaughter from as young as 4 months old, when their natural average lifespan is 10 years

-Even pigs from free range and organic farms are killed in the same slaughterhouses as those raised in factory farms


Besides, decreasing or replacing meat with plant-based alternatives decreases the risk of many major diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. It also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol (which is only found in animal products).


We can help reduce this cruelty to animals by choosing from a wide variety of cruelty-free alternatives including:

Mock meats

-Include burgers, schnitzels, nuggets, sausages, stir fry strips, mince and more

-Made out of soy, wheat or rice protein, legumes or vegetables

-Brands include Fry’s, Vegie Delights


Soy products



-TVP (texturized vegetable protein)




-Lentils (range of colours including red, yellow, green, brown, black)

-Chickpeas and foods made from chickpeas such as falafel & hummus (also contains sesame seeds)


-Peas (including split peas)

-Brands include Pattu (dried), McKenzie’s (dried), Edgell (canned)



-Seitan (wheat gluten)




-Portobello mushroom



-Whole peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts & their butters



-Pumpkin seeds/pepitas, sunflower seeds


What to avoid & cruelty free gift ideas

With only a few days until Christmas, many of us may still be trying to find last minute gifts for our family and friends. The stress may lead to impulse purchases and no consideration about where the present came from and how it was made. However, with a little thought and some research you can make more ethical choices…This may broaden the receiver’s perspective towards cruelty free living, that this lifestyle is interesting and not too difficult to attain.


What to AVOID:

*A pet as a present

Taking care of a pet requires time, commitment and the right environment for the animal. Pet shops that sell pets encourage impulse buying and the animal often ends up abandoned by the unprepared receiver. Besides, pets should be adopted from an animal shelter rather than bought from a pet shop.


What to GIVE:

*The perfect tee (From Citizen Wolf)

With tailored fitting and (animal and environmentally friendly) organic cotton as a choice of material, this seems much better than a conventional cotton t-shirt. Conventional cotton production requires 25% of the world’s insecticides. These pesticides can further damage the environment and harm animals.


*Black cork belt (From Velvety)

A sturdy belt made out of Portuguese cork dyed with water based colours on an organic cotton base. Fashionable and cruelty free.

Note: Velvety has a wide range of beauty products, clothes, soy candles, bags and accessories including jewelry and notebooks


*Ultimate donation pack of soaps (From The Australian Natural Soap Company)

Includes 100g of ‘Spearmint Sensation’ and 5 different tester soaps. For every sale of this pack, $5 is donated to The Orangutan Project and $3 is donated to an animal welfare charity (which changes every 3 months)


*Pana chocolate (From Coles or online)

Flavours available in the health food aisle at Coles and on Coles online include ‘Fig and Wild Orange’, ‘Raw Cacao’ and ‘Nut’ (contains hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews & walnuts). On the Pana Chocolate website there are also the flavours ‘Mint’, ‘Sour cherry and vanilla’, ‘Strawberry and pistachio’ and ‘Chai’, just to name a few.


Thank you for taking the time to make ethical choices in your gift giving. Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas!


Eggs: A Hidden Cycle of Suffering

The egg industry has quite successfully hidden the cruel elements of egg production from the eyes of the general public. That is why many of us continue to consume eggs without a second thought, ignorant of the cruelty inflicted upon chicks and chickens.


Now I’ll explain organic, free range, barn laid and cage hen raising conditions with regard to the disadvantages of each system.

Please note that regardless of the hen raising condition, the following 2 points occur:

*Male chicks are killed at birth. Half of all chicks born for the replacement of worn out chickens are males. As they are considered worthless ‘waste products’ by the egg industry, they are either grinded up alive or gassed to death on their first day of life.

*Hens are sent to slaughter when their egg production slows (from as young as 18 months old). These chickens can live a natural lifespan of on average 8 years and up to 10 years.



Confined to cages, no space to move, can be ‘debeaked’, no nest/perch, no access to outdoors

Due to the vast number of cages and chickens, sick and injured chickens often go unnoticed and therefore may not be cared for. Lack of exercise and calcium deficiency from continual egg laying may lead to weak and broken bones. ‘Debeaking’ is a process involving the removal of the tip of a chicken’s beak to prevent chickens from pecking at the feathers of other chickens out of frustration. This painful process is often done with no pain relief.


Barn laid

Restricted space to move, can be ‘debeaked’, no access to outdoors


Free range

Maybe can be ‘debeaked’ depending on certification body


Egg alternatives for cooking include:

  • Tofu: Scrambled tofu
  • Chickpea flour: Chickpea flour omelette
  • Orgran vegan easy egg=15 eggs: Scrambled eggs, omelette, frittata, quiche


Egg alternatives for baking include:

  • 1tbsp ground flax seed & 3tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1/2 a banana)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup soy or coconut yoghurt
  • Orgran ‘no egg’ egg replacer=66 eggs: Cakes, muffins, meringues

The Negative Impact of Leather Altogether

Leather is one of the most commonly used animal fibers, whether it be for clothing or accessories. Although it is a timeless and durable material, its manufacture has negative effects on people, animals and the environment.

Impact on animals

There are many victims of the leather industry. This includes cows, crocodiles, kangaroos, seals, horses, cats and dogs. As there is no legal requirement to label leather products, it can be difficult for a consumer to determine which type of animal it has come from and where they were raised, let alone how the animal was treated.

Besides having to face the stress of slaughter eventually, animals used for leather are also routinely subjected to painful procedures such as de-horning and branding, all without any pain relief.

Many ‘bobby calves’, unwanted products of the dairy industry, are slaughtered within a few days of their lives, and their skins used to make leather accessories for the fashion industry.

Leather is often not just a ‘by-product’ of the meat and dairy industries. It itself is quite profitable, which may drive demand for more animals to be raised and killed.

Impact on people & the environment

Tanning is used to prevent removed animal skin from decomposing. But did you know that the tanning of leather involves the use of large amounts of chemicals? And some countries don’t have adequate laws for the disposal of chemicals. Consequently, people who live or work near/at tanneries commonly suffer from illnesses including skin conditions and respiratory problems. With the potential to cause pollution to air, soil and water, these chemicals are also bad for the environment.


With more and more people becoming aware of the damaging effect of leather production, demand for ethical alternatives is growing. Alternatives range from the familiar polyurethane (PU), to interesting and innovative ‘leathers’ such as those made from pineapple leaf fibers (Pinatex), leaf, cork and even mushroom (MuSkin)!

Some brands and stores that offer leather-free goods:

  • Urban Originals: Has a range of bags and wallets
  • Vegan style: (Melbourne)
  • Vegan wares: (Melbourne)
  • Velvety: Online store offering a range of accessories made from innovative leather alternatives