Cruelty-free, Eco-friendly Products you’ll Fall in Love with this October

I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue saying it until the day I die: I use my dollar as my most powerful vote. I spend my money to support vegan/cruelty-free companies that give back to causes I care about, use sustainable materials, and/or support local artists and business owners.

Bottom line: there’s a lot of power in how you choose to invest your money. There’s always ways to give materialistic things meaning – you just have to do your research and educate yourself about different materials, production processes, and cruelty involved in different industries.

So without further ado, since we’re almost a full week into October, I researched different companies and compiled a list of products that you can feel good about treating yourself to. I keep my shopping lists small, because I think it’s better for our well-being, wallet, and earth if we keep shopping simple:

1. Patagonia Fair Trade Certified Sweater Jacket If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is becoming more crisp and chilly every day. I woke up this morning to the most quintessential Autumn breeze, and was so happy I have my Fair Trade Certified jacket from Patagonia to keep me warm without making me sweat. No piece of clothing is worth someone else’s suffering, and Fair Trade Certified products ensure that workers are paid fair wages for their labor, which in turn helps them support themselves, their families, and strengthens their overall communities. Even if you live in an area that stays hot, Patagonia has a whole collection of Fair Trade Certified products suitable for every season, gender, and age group. Whatever I buy from the collection, I make sure only non-animal derived ingredients were used for added benefit to the environment and animals, and I must say – the synthetic materials are just as comfy as animal skin, without any of the cruelty involved.

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2. Kora Organics Hydrating Moisturizer – The colder weather can be harsh on my skin, drying it out and making it red if I don’t take proper care. I’m always extremely cautious about the products I put on my skin, as its the largest organ of our bodies. My favorite, cheap moisturizer I like to use is raw, organic coconut oil (yes, I just buy it at the grocery store and lather it on. It feels greasy at first but once it absorbs into your skin it feels refreshing). If I feel like I need a more balanced moisturizer, however, I use Kora Organics Hydrating Moisturizer for my face. According to their website they use organic, vegan, ingredients that have amazing benefits on your skin and aren’t tested on animals: “Our products are formulated with antioxidant rich Noni Extract, Essential Fatty Acids, Herbal Extracts, Essential Oils, Vitamins and many other highly active, detoxifying and revitalizing ingredients.” Read more about the ingredients here. (Above photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash)

3. JOYN Fair Trade Federation Vegan Bag – This company has so many enchanting prints and various styles that can suit anyone’s style. According to their website, the company was founded by a married couple who moved to Rajpur, India, and met many gifted artists who didn’t have the opportunity to bring their talents to market. So they founded JOYN, where these talented individuals could maintain a steady job, as well as receive medical care, a daily meal plan, and pull themselves out of poverty. JOYN also offers a vegan collection I’m in love with. Seriously, if you need a new bag, check ’em out! I bought my first JOYN bag while I was studying abroad in India. It was a canvas satchel with deep fuscia and autumn yellow hues forming a tribal print. I loved it so much that I was always sure to treat it delicately, and it still looks good as new three years later. I can’t wait to use it as my go-to satchel again this season =]

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4. Tarte “Lights, Camera, Lashes” Mascara – I like keeping my makeup minimal, and my go-to look when I’m short on time or don’t feel like getting ready is to put a cruelty-free, tinted moisturizer on my face and mascara on my top lashes. Some mascaras on the market are either tested on animals or contain gross ingredients derived from animal fat or beeswax. Luckily, many high quality makeup brands are not confining animals to cages and forcing harsh chemicals into their eyes because there are safer, cruelty-free ways to test their beautiful products, and Tarte is one such company! This is one of my favorite vegan, cruelty-free mascaras currently on the market, and you can buy it in a set with an eyelash curler to give your eyes an added pop. If you haven’t given Tarte’s products a try yet, you’re missing out. They have a whole vegan collection you can shop here.

4. Ivory Ella Elephant Tea Mug – One of my favorite things about October is sipping chai tea lattes from beautiful mugs, and this one from Ivory Ella is too cute to pass up. According to their website, Ivory Ella donates 10% of their net profits to Save the Elephants and other charities. “Ivory Ella seeks to inspire, guide and motivate you to live a life with the ideals of an elephant: Empathy, creativity, strength, and loyalty … We challenge you to take on our mission and live a life devoted to saving elephants, helping others, and doing everything you can to support your community.” Dawww! I love it.

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I hope you have a happy, healthy, cruelty-free October =]

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