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With an eye on the vegan market, multi-brand Neo Kosmos only sells cruelty-free cosmetics

There is no precise data on the number of vegans in Brazil. The last survey conducted by Ibope, in 2012, indicated that 15 million people stated they were vegetarian – with vegans being part of this group. The vegan movement started in England in the 1940s, and supports the non-exploitation of animals. Besides cutting all kinds of meat from the menu, it also abolishes the consumption of products manufactured with animal-derived products – anything that includes milk, eggs, honey, leather, wool or silk – or tested on animals.

All these restrictions created a niche market, which goes above and beyond the food and textile industries. The personal care and cosmetic industry has also been investing in this segment.

Surya Brasil's cruelty-free seal

Surya Brasil’s cruelty-free seal

Founded 20 years ago, Surya Brasil embraced the vegan philosophy in 2009, manufacturing 100% organic and non-animal tested shampoos, conditioners, soaps, exfoliators, hair colors and after-shave gels. Based in São Paulo and operating in over 30 countries around the globe, Surya Brasil is the only Brazilian company certified by U.S. NGO Vegan Action. Only 100 companies in the world carry Vegan Action’s seal.

Established in 2004 in the state of Parana, Feito Brasil not only specializes in vegan cosmetics, but also ensures that all its products are handmade and manufactured in a sustainable way. Their body care, skin care, hair care products and fragrances are inspired in the Brazilian culture and landscape and sold in recyclable or recycled packaging.

Even with the growing supply of vegan beauty products, shopping is still not an easy task for those who advocate animal rights. One has to search for labels and carefully read information in specialized sites and blogs before entering a shop. Recently launched in Sao Paulo, Neo Kosmos – Produtos do Bem is an exception.

This beauty and personal care multi-brand retail shop only sells cruelty-free items, i.e., products that are not tested on animals. "The idea to open the shop came about after watching some videos that showed tests conducted on animals and many of the cruelties to which animals are subjected. I stopped using brands which test on animals but I realized how difficult it was to find cruelty-free products on the market,” says Stephanie Economides, owner of Neo Kosmos.

Neo Kosmos' owner Stephanie Economides

Neo Kosmos’ owner Stephanie Economides

The shop’s shelves are filled with makeup, nail polish, moisturizers, sunscreen lotions, talcum powders, deodorants, sanitary pads, oral hygiene items and kid’s products, among others. "We currently work with almost 30 selected brands that are in the list published by the PEA – Projeto Esperança Animal (‘Hope for Animals Project’), an environmental organization classified as OSCIP (Public Interest Non-government Organization) by the Ministry of Justice of Brazil. In order to be included in this list, the companies undergo a strict process to prove that they do not conduct animal testing," says Economides.

Most of the products marketed by Neo Kosmos are vegan, but to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for, all vegan products bear a green seal of identification. "Many customers come to us looking for vegan products. Today, most of our clientele belongs to that specific group," she says.

The shop already offers food supplements for athletes and will soon add cleaning items to its portfolio. "Firstly, we intend to expand the product range, our e-commerce will go live by the end of the year and new Neo Kosmos units are part of future plans,” says Stephanie Economides.

Renata Martins

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