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Is Verissima Vegan Skin Care?

Is Verissima Vegan Skin Care?

It’s not what we intended in the beginning, heck I hadn’t even noticed it until a friend, who happened to be vegan, asked the question – Nat, do you create vegan skin care products? I’ll admit I was a little taken aback, I had not given any thought to it.

You see, Verissima was formulated by a certified Aromatherapist & Gestalt Therapist which means your entire wellbeing; physical, mental and spiritual was in mind when each and every product was developed.

When a need arose, an aromatherapy blend was carefully put together, that blend was intended to help heal, to make one feel better using the ingredients from natures pantry. Creating vegan skin care was not her mission.

This blend was then carefully incorporated into a recipe to make a product that the person would benefit from using, a bit like medicine I suppose. Amazing. Arising out of need, the way it should be.

When I, an environmentalist, took the range under my wings I drastically improved every product by only using natural, certified organic and non-toxic ingredients so not only were us humans being looked after, so was our planet.

I was confused! Vegan? No, they are not. But is vegan skin care the best?

Does that mean they are not everything that I had worked so hard for them to be?

No, it didn’t.

I decided to revisit every recipe, to go through them with a fine-tooth comb to ease my curious mind & to make sure I hadn’t missed an important issue when formulating our products.

Immediately, I knew those products that I used beeswax in, were not vegan skin care. I was a little aghast at that. In my mind beeswax has so many beneficial healing benefits, plus I only sourced our beeswax from a local certified organic farm. But I do understand that the wellbeing of the animal comes first, that is what I am about to so why no beeswax in vegan skincare?

Well I did learn that some company’s factory farm bee’s. What the? Yes, according to People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) “…Factory-farmed bees are denied their hardwired, instinctual desire to seek out nearby flowers and plants to pollinate…” and I totally get that.

I was rather happy to know I was not supporting that culture by only sourcing our beeswax from a Certified Organic apiarist where the wellbeing of the animal is paramount. I know they personally drive hundreds of kilometres, at different times of the year, to where their hives are located because they work with nature, with what flowers are in season. Rather than sticking all the bees in a factory they have hives amongst the natural ecosystems and they travel to them.  

I’m not even sure if that practise occurs in Australia, I hope not.

I also found out that “…bees won’t urinate or defecate in their hives, they are forced, while trapped inside boxes, to “hold it.” Many bees—and sometimes entire colonies—die from this ordeal”. I was beginning to understand the importance of vegan skin care.

So not being allowed out into the world has dire consequences. Omg! Imagine if we were made to hold it, no thanks!

And I’m acutely aware of the pests and diseases that bees are prone to. If a hive were found to be infested, they are burned or sprayed with toxic chemicals to kill of the pest or disease. I do understand why products with beeswax or honey is frowned upon by vegans.

In my previous employment as a Quarantine Officer, part of my responsibilities included inspecting any machinery entering Western Australia, including apiary equipment. At the time, used apiary equipment was prohibited entry due to the potential risk of introducing pests and diseases here. Honey from other States and Territories had to be heat treated at extremely high temperatures to prevent pests and diseases from establishing themselves. Hence why I only buy fresh local honey from the farm, it hasn’t been heat treated and, in my opinion, it’s amazing health promoting goodness is intact and the welfare of the colony comes first. But that’s another story.

So that meant of our 23 products, 5 were out straight away. Our Rosehip Moisturiser, Lip Balm, Healing Balm, Gardeners Hand Cream and our Rich Night Cream were not vegan.

But that was it! Only 5 products in our entire range were not vegan but  the only animal derived ingredient we used in these were certified organic beeswax. We do not use any other animal derived ingredients.

What a relief!

So what is Verissima’s stance on using animal derived ingredients?

Now that I have re-visited all our recipes I am thrilled to say that what I initially wanted in our range, still stands.

Verissima incorporates purposeful ingredients in all products so you confidently know every ingredient is included because it needs to be there to contribute to optimal wellbeing. We do not believe in testing on animals, we do not believe any animal or human for that matter should be harmed for beauty. There is just no need whatsoever and those who do think it is ok need to take a good look at themselves in the mirror.

We formulate our products with the health of you and the health of the planet in mind, using only natural & organic ingredients meaning you are benefiting from all the goodness nature has to offer, every time you use Verissima. Our entire range is not vegan, and in your mind vegan skin care might be the best. I think we have achieved an ethical, sustainable and effective skin care range than many vegan’s will love, including my friend.

You can check out our completely vegan products here

Are you vegan, do you already use Verissima? I’d love to know. 

If you would like to be one of the crew who receives our blogs in your inbox when I feel inspired to write pop your name on our list

We’ll never spam you. We’ll only send you information relating to natural health, beauty and wellness. Plus the odd farm shenanigans that we get up to here at Booka whilst trying to raise sheep, chickens, kids (human variety) and grow some feed as naturally as possible, all the while not losing the plot.

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Why I Steer Clear Of Vegan Leather

Why I Steer Clear Of Vegan Leather

You’d think sourcing a bag to house 5 of our best-selling products, ones being put together to create our Travel Set would be easy. Perhaps vegan leather would be the best choice, but what actually is vegan leather? Leather is leather right, surely it can’t be made as good from plants. I wanted a bag that was versatile, tough, waterproof and looked amazing, easy enough. 

Reality was totally different. It wasn’t easy at all unless I wanted to let go of my brands values and ethics, and I wasn’t about to do that. It took me well over a year to find just what I wanted.

I had actually given up hope and shelved the idea numerous times, completely frustrated.

That was until an opportunity with the crew at Wilde Collaborative presented itself. An opportunity to showcase our products in the beautiful region of Italy. I said yes, loved too. It would be the perfect opportunity to birth our yet to be created Travel Set. Not hard at all (whaaaat).

Now to find that bag, but where? I’d looked everywhere, googled everything. I discovered it was right in front of me.

A beautiful photo landed in my inbox. It piqued my interest. I loved the bag our products were photographed next to. Who made that? Could I get a bag similar to that?

And that is where my intense learning trip began. I thought the beauty industry had a lot to answer for in misguiding the public, and it does. I now put it alongside the fashion industry, another industry that needs a major shakeup to become more transparent and put people and planet first.

Fashion is not just fashion. It can be a dirty, disgusting and a greedy trade to be involved in. What the hell am I doing getting involved in this. Yet my heart had already made the decision. I had already decided that I would not use any materials that would harm the planet, a great place to start. Then I found myself reading horror stories on how people bleed, even die, making our clothes, our bags. I was disgusted.

My research started in earnest. I began by trying to source a ready-made bag yet I could not find something that met all my criteria. The majority were single use plastic, or cotton, and I had no interest in contributing to landfill, or contributing to the decline of our planet’s health. I ended up looking into materials instead.

How many ethical & sustainable material choices could there be?

It turns out quite a few. But not all were as they seemed.

One really caught my eye.

I kept seeing vegan leather being mentioned in different forums. Now I’m not a vegan but after reading just how toxic the tannery sheds are where the skins are manufactured plus the horrendous effects it had on the humans breathing in all that toxic air, let alone the cruelty to animals, in some cases, being reared just for the skin. Sickening. I didn’t want anything to do with bovine leather for our bags.

So, what is vegan leather? Turns out it is just that, leather made from materials that have not been sourced from animals. Pretty simple right. Awesome!

No, not simple.

You see vegan leather or faux leather normally contains a mix of Polyurethane, Polyester, and PVC in various concentrations, eeeek. Whilst ok for the animal, because it’s not getting slaughtered, this is not ok for the planet.

All these are manufactured from fossil fuels and come with the whole conglomerate of environmental issues when extracting them. Then think of the fact that they do not break down easily and when they do, they leave behind microplastics which are ingested by our wildlife and pollute our planet.

PVC itself gives off dangerous chemicals such as dioxins during the manufacturing process plus it needs phthalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s), to become flexible.

Dioxins and phthalates are known EDC’s and when possible should be avoided. Imagine working in the manufacturing sheds making these, breathing in the toxic fumes all day, not thanks, and I wouldn’t want others to either.

Back to the drawing board. Hemp, bamboo, cork, mushrooms…. no. Not waterproof, not elegant enough. What about Piñatex®?

A material made from the waste of pineapple harvesting. What would normally go to waste, was now being used and providing extra income for the farmers. How cool is that. It ticked all my boxes.




High quality

Looks amazing

Easy to clean

Supporting the farmers

Extremely strong

I had found the answer. Yes, this material was more expensive than others but I don’t put a price on protecting lives or protecting the planet. I believe every little thing we can do, we should do, in order to make it a better place for everyone and to ensure it’s here for generations to come.

No one should have to bleed or die for fashion.

I decided this was the material for Verissima. I knew it could be designed into a beautiful multipurpose item, perhaps a makeup bag, why not empty it out and use as an elegant evening clutch on that unexpected yet exciting night out.

Imagine walking into your room at a well-earned and needed retreat and finding this beautiful Travel Set sitting on your comfy bed as a welcome gift from your host. Imagine being that host and gifting this to your attendees.

I was determined to use this material and set about finding myself a reputable and talented manufacturer. I was successful. No being made in makeshift shanty’s overseas where working conditions are well below fair. No being made by hard working people who don’t even get paid.

Instead I found a manufacturer who is part of the Ethical Fashion Revolution. Someone I could trust and understood how important this was to me.

We were done. We made zip choices, colour choices, inner material choices. It all went so well, seamlessly (haha) and now we have a beautiful ethical and sustainable multipurpose clutch as part of our product line.

Our Travel Set contains 5 of our best sellers so you’re not only helping the planet but your skin will feel good and smell amazing whilst you are away on your holidays or business travel. Every part of our Travel Set is made  from natural and/or organic ingredients giving you peace of mind knowing that not only are the skincare products free from toxic chemicals but the production of the bag itself has harmed no-one, has come from a sustainable source and provides income directly to those that harvest the materials. Amazing.

You can check out our complete kit here or even purchase the bag on it’s own here

If you are a retailer or event organiser wanting to offer this unique product, get in touch with Nat at [email protected]

 And, if you love your Social Media, then jump over to our Instagram and Facebook pages and give us some love. Spread the word far and wide. The more people we can educate on healing oneself, living simply and having fun, the better.



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