November 18

3 Reasons Tallow Skincare is Cruelty Free


When you get your hands on a NAMAWE tallow soap or shampoo in a stockist or from our shop, then you will see an icon indicating that the product is “not tested on animals.” (It’s right below our Palm Oil Free and Made in Ireland badges.)

Some people wonder how we can call a tallow-based product “cruelty-free” because we use an animal byproduct as a main ingredient. 

1. Cruelty-Free does not mean Vegan. Vegan skincare brands claim to own the “cruelty-free” label but it has nothing to do with vegan products. Cruelty-free is often associated with Vegan skincare products because vegan skincare companies market to their customers knowing they are conscious of the label. Being “cruelty-free” has nothing to do with the source of the ingredients because it only refers to animal testing. 

Vegan skincare ingredients often come from massive plantations which are greenwashed as sustainable but are extremely damaging to forests and biodiversity.

Read more about greenwashing in vegan skincare here

Cruelty-free simply means that the product is not tested on animals or livestock. End point. The next two reasons are why we consider tallow to be extra cruelty-free but they are our opinions.

Check out this article, which discloses 101 beauty brands that are not cruelty-free

2. Tallow is a refuse ingredient: Humans have used tallow from livestock animals for more than 2000 years. It was used because it was plentiful and made sense that it should be good for human skin since humans are animals. Now, tallow is a by-product of the meat industry. In some cases, it is sourced from animals that have been raised for food purposes. Since tallow is normally being thrown away into landfills, we believe that we are helping our skin and the planet by rediverting waste into a beneficial product.

3. Ethical Sourcing: We get our tallow from high-quality, local, organic farmers with a high standard for animal care. The tallow and hemp oil for our Dexter Tallow Balms come from Ed Handbidge’s Keadeen Mountain Farms in Wicklow. It’s all certified organic and made on an 8th generation regenerative farm. Dexters are one of the indigenous breeds of cows native to Ireland. They are smaller, so are able to stay on the fields more time each year without damaging the ground.

Hemp fiber turned into cowfeed

Ed at Keadeen Mountain Farms grows organic hemp for cbd and hemp oil. Then he feeds the repurposed hemp fiber to the cows which, as he says, “chills them out”. They may be the only hemp-fed cows in Ireland, but we can feel the difference.

The tallow for our soaps or Irish Beef Tallow Balm is of a slightly lesser quality because it is not certified organic or from the Dexter breed. The regular tallow, though, still comes from local Mayo butchers who would otherwise throw this beautiful skincare ingredient in the bin. All the tallow is grass-fed, Irish, and no cattle is harmed for the express purpose of tallow.

There you have it!

I hope that sheds some insight on why we believe Tallow still falls under the “cruelty free” label because, in short, none of our products are tested on animals. We believe that by using local, all natural, traditional skincare ingredients, like tallow, we help local Irish farmers and create a circular reuse economy with local farmers.

Maria with her Tallow & Hemp supplier, Ed of Keadeen Mountain Farms


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cruelty free skincare\, natural skincare, sustainability, tallow, tallow skincare

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