Conscious beauty is undoubtedly on the rise, but Hourglass Cosmetics has been cruelty-free from the off. Founded in 2004 by LA-based Carissa Janes, the brand is now on track to being 100% vegan by 2020 – and is committed to looking into sustainable packaging alternatives. We took five with Janes to get the inside track.
‘Cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ have become the beauty industry’s latest buzzwords, can you decode them for us?
Of course. Cruelty-free products are made without experimentation on animals. Vegan products are made without products derived from animals. Most people don’t realise how heavily our industry relies on animal by-products — things like lanolin, glycerin, collagen, beeswax and carmine.
In what way is Hourglass cruelty-free?
Hourglass has been cruelty-free since we launched in 2004, so we’ve never tested any of our products on animals.
Your aim is to be 100% vegan by 2020 – why is this important to you?
We know we can make high-performing luxury beauty products without harming other living beings. It’s not always easy, and it takes time, resources and risks. But with our commitment to vegan formulas, we hope other brands will see us as proof that it’s possible.
"We don’t have a good excuse to turn a blind eye to things like animal cruelty or environmental pollution. Collectively, we need to be doing better."
How will you achieve this?
About 76 percent of our products are already vegan: Veil Translucent Setting Powder, Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder and No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil, to name just a few. We’re also improving our non-vegan formulations while we rework them to meet our new ingredient standards.
What are the main challenges?
Because non-vegan ingredients are often the industry standard, the main challenge has been finding superior replacements to them. In many cases, that has required creating our own alternatives.
Where do you see the future of the beauty industry?
There’s more information available than ever before, and we don’t have a good excuse to turn a blind eye to things like animal cruelty or environmental pollution. Collectively, we need to be doing better. I think cruelty-free and sustainable habits will become the norm rather than the exception. At the same time, companies will grow increasingly transparent as consumers demand to know how their products are made.
And Hourglass’ place within in?
We will continue to push ourselves to deliver innovative, beautiful products.
What’s next for you?
In addition to going completely vegan in the very near future, we will continue to look at sustainable packaging alternatives. We’re exploring every opportunity to grow our brand as responsibly as possible.