Celebrate World Vegan Month with Big Green Smile

World Vegan DayNovember is World Vegan Month, and November 1 is World Vegan Day. To show our support, and to help make life simpler for the growing numbers of vegans out there, we’ve compiled a guide to the vegan options available at Big Green Smile.

There are big upsides to living a vegan lifestyle, such as not harming animals and using less of the world’s precious resources; it takes a lot of water to farm animals for food. The downside is that if you want to shop on the high street, your options are generally limited to a handful of foods in the ‘speciality’ section of the supermarket or, if you’re lucky, the odd health food shop. Not good!

At Big Green Smile we offer a healthy range of vegan and Vegan Society-registered products, from baby items to household cleaners, beauty ranges to dental care. In fact, even if you’re not vegan you might want to swap a few items into your routine. Really, why bother a sheep for the sake of moist lips when vegan lip balms are so lovely?

Vegan beauty

Vegan make-up and skincare products are free from ingredients derived from animals, such as lanolin, beeswax, glycerin, keratin, silk powder and retinol, which are commonly used in cosmetics, moisturisers, salves, shampoos and conditioners. It’s hard to believe, but some non-vegan cosmetics even contain crushed snails and insects. Yuk!

Vegan beauty products also avoid ingredients that potentially harm animals in the making or disposing of, such as sulphates, phthalates and parabens, which can get into waterways and potentially harm aquatic life. Of course, vegan beauty products haven’t been tested on animals, either, and what’s more, they won’t hurt you. Hey, humans have feelings too, the nice ones, at least.

Great brands to try include Faith in Nature, which carries the much trusted sunflower logo of the Vegan Society, and spans most bathroom products including shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, hand washes and deodorants. We especially like the chocolate shampoo, which fortunately is available in huge 5-litre sizes! Plus, they make vegan soap, which can be hard to come by.

For vegan cosmetics, you can’t go wrong with Lavera. One of our most popular ranges with customers, Lavera products are comfortable on the skin, rich in colour and have great staying power. The range includes mascaras, foundation, mineral face powder, eye shadows, and eyeliners…basically, if beauty buffs use it, you can probably find a Lavera version of it. And it’s very well priced, too, at about the equivalent of (non-vegan) Boots No7.

We also sell the Hurraw! range of lip balms, which come in lots of lovely flavours including vanilla bean, Earl Grey tea and the best-selling coconut, as well as a night balm and a sun balm. All the ingredients in Hurraw! balms are plant derived, and safe for vegans to use.

Vegan baby

The squirty food pouch has to be the best invention for toddlers since washable felt tips and round-the-clock nannies (joke). Ella’s Kitchen revoutionised the way that very messy soft veggies got into children’s mouths, and saved the planet a billion wash loads in the process. The good news for vegans is that the veggie options are, well, vegan.

We sell a few of Ella’s, but also Annabel Karmel, Holle Organic and Organix in our baby food section. Your vegan baby will not go hungry.

But it’s not just vegan-friendly food; we also have vegan-friendly nappies, wipes, lotion, shampoo and bodywash from the Humphrey's Corner and Earth Friendly ranges. Add to that our Napisan alternative - Bio-D Nappy Fresh – and you have a shiny clean and fresh-bottomed vegan baby too. Handy, after all those veggies.

Vegan dental care

The challenge for vegans is finding dental floss that isn’t waxed with beeswax. We sell 100% vegan floss from Radius, which is made from super soft nylon and waxed with candelilla plant wax. Choose from natural mint or cranberry options, for added anti-bacterial power.

For vegan toothpaste, try Green People’s Citrus & Aloe Vera Toothpaste, with aloe vera, grapefruit, orange and myrrh, and not the slightest bit of bee-derived propolis.

Vegan household

You might imagine that it’s difficult to find products to clean your house and laundry that are strong enough to do a good job whilst also being vegan. It’s simply not the case.

At Big Green Smile, there is no window, oven, fridge, work surface, floor, toilet or even underpant that will be left mucky for want of a decent vegan product to clean it with. Our Bio-D, Earth Friendly and Ecozone, Vegan Society-approved, household cleaning ranges could keep a house the size of Downton Abbey shipshape, and we all know how much Mr. Carson likes a shiny spoon.

(Sunflower photo by Grietje Haitsma)