There are many artisans and companies out there marketing their handmade soaps as “vegan-friendly” which in theory should make shopping much simpler than it really is. However, this can be misleading on several fronts, but most notably in their ingredient list, the tools they use for preparation, and the way their soap is packaged. Often times we devout vegans are buying products like soap on face-value from what the label says, but not all of them are created equally.
The first thing to look for is a list of ingredients. Things like lanolin are often added to popular brands of soap, so you need to make sure that what the label is telling you is actually true. Without knowing for sure where the fats came from in your soap or if there are camouflaged animal products in there, you can’t say 100% that the soap is vegan-friendly.
Also, the use of leather tools during the manufacturing of cold processed soaps has been a popular for a very long time. Using any tools that are made from animals while manufacturing disqualifies you from being vegan-friendly, you really want to make sure that you know where your soap is coming from before you buy it. Leather has widely been replaced due to the expense in recent years, but there are other items that may have gone overlooked as well.
Lastly, the way your soap is packaged can play a major role in whether or not it’s vegan-friendly. Not only do many companies package their soap with materials made from animals, but the packaging can also be non-biodegradable which, though it’s not necessarily a vegan belief, goes against the basic waste protocols that every single vegan I personally know embraces.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of great companies that sell cold process soaps that are actually vegan-friendly. The best advice that I can give you is to find a company that you love, research them thoroughly, and then only buy from them as much as possible. That’s your best shot at being able to use truly vegan-friendly soap.