Kuretake ongoing

Unfortunately the mail I sent last thursday did not reach the person at Kuretake JP – the address couldn’t be located in their system (maybe the person doesn’t work there any more).

So I just filled out the online form on their Kuretake JP site, and I got a confirmation mail that they received it. I wonder whether I will be contacted by Kuretake UK (now Pirika UK) again, because in the form it was required to enter your country. If that is going to be the case, there will very probably be no further information about the cruelty-free part.

I am not very optimistic, but we’ll see.

Source: mail contact

new Kuretake inquiry sent out

Over the last year till February of this year, I had correspondence with Kuretake UK. The UK team are pretty terrific, always wrote back and passed my inquiries and information sheet along to the Japan Headquarters.( I just looked them up again, and they are no longer Kuretake UK, but Pirika UK).

I initially was assured that Kuretake was a cruelty-free company, but then they weren’t certain about it any longer. This was cited to probably  be because of a language barrier. And the Japan Headquarters never replied since my last mail in February.

I consequently had to take the company of my list again, without this vital part of information.

I now contacted Kuretake JP directly and hope I will receive a clear reply for us all.

I have taken some companies off my list

So I have taken some companies off the list.

Royal Talens- why: I wrote to them last year about Ecoline brush pens and inks; I got the information about the products not being tested on animals and no animal ingredients in the products. But why not say “we don’t test on animals” and not just” these products weren’t tested on animals”. So I would have to contact them again for a clearer response; in the meantime I took them off the list. I hope I get a reply though, when I’ll write to them again, because I got no response for my Sakura inquiries this year and in the past. (Royal Talens is the European distributor of Sakura and belongs to Sakura since 1991). Overall I got the vibe that they aren’t interested in offering vegan-friendly art supplies.

Kuretake, why: First I was assured that Kuretake is cruelty-free but then later, I was informed there is a problem due to a language barrier in understanding what cruelty-free/animal testing is and they had to look into this matter. A considerable amount of time has passed and I am none the wiser. So I had to take them off the list; it does not mean they do but, again no clear answer here.

Schmincke: They wrote that they have no information about animal testing through suppliers/ sub-suppliers&raw material suppliers. Although most ingredients used in art supplies have already been tested decades ago, and might not be tested again, this is not certain. Therefore, I decided to take them down.

I always struggle with how far I should go with my definition or whether I should adapt more. In our daily life we come into contact with non-vegan-friendly things and things that might  be tested on animals all the time and we don’t even know. I am not talking about medical treatment but things we haven’t thought about, like keyboards, remote controls, cutlery, clothing (the dye used; the pesticides used for cotton)…, basically everything. We just strive to the best of our knowledge, but nobody can be 100% (maybe a hermits, making their own clothes, gathering food, making their own clothes, …)

I don’t always know how to evaluate the information I get. Is it too much to ask for raw-materials not to be tested on animals by suppliers? Some companies (not listed)  have no idea on the stance of their suppliers concerning this issue and some even wrote they would contact their suppliers now for the information; others have the knowledge of theirs that they don’t.  My inquiry form hasn’t changed, I only structured it better with my information sheet a couple of months ago, but it contains the same definition including animal testing through suppliers.

If materials have already been tested decades ago on animals, why should it be done again today, if the information is already available? I think “no animal testing through suppliers”  has to stay part of my inquiry and information sheet.

I just don’t have an explanation why some companies have this knowledge about their suppliers and others, even if they are small businesses, don’t. Do they ask no questions about where the raw materials come from and if they use the safety data sheets from their suppliers, don’t they wonder how the data is collected? Is it the easy way out to say they don’t know, instead of asking questions? Or do they know and don’t want costumers to know? Is it really about not having enough resources to check?

But we have to ask companies those questions, so they start to ask themselves those questions and they have to turn to their suppliers to address this matter.

 

Source: Mail contact

 

 

 

Inquiries sent out to:

Here is an update on inquiries  sent out:

 

Here is my compendium :   https://www.veganartstuff.info/compendium/

 

Source: Mail contact

Cranfield Colours

Cranfield do not test on animals and don’t commission other parties to do so. However, they “are not able to comment on anything beyond” their “own remit and cannot with assurance say no instances of animal testing will have been used in the development of raw materials that are supplied” to them. To their products: they “do use occasional animal derived products“, for example beeswax.

Source: Mail contact

Charvin not vegan-friendly

Unfortunately the brand Charvin is not vegan-friendly. After an initial short reply implying that the oils could be vegan, I asked about more details and highlighted parts in my information sheet about what vegan-friendly and cruelty-free are. After this I got the  reply that  they meant to say “they can’t be”. The reply does not hold the clue  to what it applied; to the vegan part or the cruelty-free part or both. I think they probably read the information sheet more properly after my second inquiry and then had to say no.  Nevertheless they did reply, which I  appreciate even if it is just to know that their products are not suitable for vegan-friendly minded people.

I contacted more companies, but haven’t heard back yet and it is probably fair to say, they won’t reply at all. If brands I contacted already over a year ago and now for a second time over a month + ago show no response, they just won’t.

I fill you in with the new batch of companies I wrote to in the next post and in the meantime will contact more companies.

 

Source: Mail contact

 

Louvre Watercolour not vegan

I wrote to Colart about Lefranc & Bourgeois’ Louvre watercolour range. I recently got their reply and unfortunately the Louvre watercolour paints are not vegan-friendly.

Colart wrote to me last year that they  started to collect information for a vegan-friendly list of Lefranc & Bourgeois products and are going to send it to me once it is finished.  They are also working on the information for Winsor & Newton, Reeves and Conté à Paris.

Another of Colart’s brands is Liquitex. Liquitex is already listed in my compendium and here: Veganartstuff Post

To read more about brands’ family trees:  Brands Families

The compendium: Veganartstuff Compendium

Colart’s statement of March 2017: Colart Veg-Friendly Statement March22_ 2017

Source: Mail contact

dizzy+ new inquiries sent out

Dramatized reenactment of how I feel right now by Teddy Boo (he was happily dreaming here)

Very dizzy and a bit disheartened is how I feel right now. The dizziness  does not come from writing inquiries , though.      

It is bothersome and disheartening, if companies do not read past the first paragraph of my mail. I did often encounter this in the last weeks . So I changed the layout and thought it would be easier to read through. The definition of vegan-friendly art supplies and a cruelty-free company  (two different things), which you can find in my last entry ,(https://www.veganartstuff.info/2018/02/21/definition-update-whats-cruelty-free-vegan-friendly/) I put at the bottom of my letter and attach more often  the PDF as well.    Unfortunately, many do not read past the small first paragraph, to find the option out in the second paragraph. I give a sentence to copy and paste, if they are not interested in this whole vegan/cruelty-free issue, they don’t even have to write the reply out, just: copy, reply, paste, send (4 mouse clicks; takes not more than 5secs). I also thought it would be better for me to ask about specific products and not the whole range they offer. I go through all the products, read the Safety sheets, read the company’s FAQs and then I contact them. So when I ask about certain items, to get the reply to just read the safety sheets, which I already did and which do not say anything about what kind of e.g. colour pigments are used (PBk9- bone black ), nor the production itself (for example dispersion of pigments with animal fats and oil).  On top of my definition stating examples of animal derivatives such as Bone Black, I wrote this next to the product I inquired about: Acrylics (it can contain PBk9), only for the person handling my inquiry to explain to me what bone black was. Also naming other products I did not inquire about because I read the data sheets: that their beeswax pellets contain beeswax. What companies often also do not think about is the manufacturing process or the supply chain. In the production process animal derivatives can be used and a supplier can test the (raw)material on animals or commission it. I think I was allowed to rant about this, if you put so much time and effort into this. And I always double-check, so I went through the data sheets twice. And when they respond, which is first of all fantastic, because a lot of companies don’t even bother with that, I have to explain what means what, basically all of the attached definition again. And my intention with the definition was for them also to safe time and to get all information needed, but you can’t help them, if they don’t (want to) read your explanation.

I have started my way through the ACMI (art and creative materials insitute) members list; send some companies I had correspondence last year  my information sheet (not mentioned in the list below) and I wrote to other companies I discovered or you wrote to me about. Holbein US also contacted me, I think I mentioned it in my last inquiry update. So here are some results and companies I wrote to:

  • Holbein US: they were suprised about animal fats/ oil being used for dispersing pigments; they were not informed about this before by the Holbein Japan and in March they will talk about this issue on their trip to Japan; also neither the Japanese customer service last year nor Holbein US this year gave me information about their cruelty-free status. This does mean necessarily they aren’t. It is just unknown and hopefully will swing our way.
  • Gamblin Feb 8th, 2018: they potentially have vegan-friendly products but they have no information about the supplier chain and the supplies being cruelty-free. And the material testing (->their SDS Safety Data Sheets)  is done by the suppliers. It will take some time to go through all the suppliers, but they thankfully started to inquiry about this matter.
  • Prima Marketing February 5th,2018: written to two given adresses – no reply yet (thank you for mention it to me, also thought about  contacting them previously but scrapped the started letter)
  • Nevsakya Palitra Feb 5th, 2018: written to two given adresses, no reply yet (thanky for telling me about this company)
  • Tritart– Feb 5th, 2018: had correspondence, told me all their products (except their animal hair brushes) are vegan-friendly but did not answer about the cruelty-free status; did not reply to my last mail about this. To be fair, it was apperent they did not really read my message properly, just “is … vegan-friendly” and not further, so their company status just remains unkown for now.
  • Shuttle Art– Feb 6th, 2018: filled out the online form twice, also tried another mentioned adress, did not work
  • Castle Art Supplies Feb 5th, 2018: no reply yet
  • Maimeri Feb 5th, 2018: no reply (thanks for telling me about this one)
  • Ohuhu Feb 5th, 2018: Trojan Virus infected website-can’t go on the website (tried it twice)
  • Vallejo Feb 8th, 2018: no reply yet
  • Pébéo Feb 25th, 2018 (wrote partly in French; as if writing in a company’s location’s native language would make a positive effect on giving a reply)
  • Maimeri Feb 25th, 2018: second try contacting them , this time in rusty Italian and English mix
  • Sakura Feb 25th, 2018: tried multiple times the contact form on their Japan site, which did not work, guessed an email adress (might have worked) and also contacted Sakura EU/ Royal Talens (did you know Royal Talens belongs to Sakura?)
  • Kusakabe Feb 25th : (thank you for telling about this one)
  • Home Lobby by 3l– Feb 26th: multiple tries contacting them through their EU site failed, so I tried the US one in the end
  • Above Ground Enterprises Feb 26th, 2018
  • Abralux Colori / Tommy Art Feb 26th, 2018
  • Aida Chemical Industries/ Art Clay Feb 26th, 2018 (I know the first name does not sound too good for a vegan-friendly product, but I hope for the best)
  • Alpha Art Materials: couldn’t contact them, did not find an adress
  • Alvin Feb 26th, 2018
  • American Art Clay Company /amaco – Feb 26th: First of all I got an immediate reponse but a short reply telling me to contact the marketing department (which I did immediately) and telling me to have a look at the Safety Data Sheets (SDS; which I did beforehand); I do mention this in the new mail to marketing, so I’ll see how they take my mail
  • Art & Frame of Sarasota Feb 26th, 2018
  • Boesner Feb 26th,2018 : they did not reply last year, so I hope now they will, I drastically reduced the products, I inquired about.

This is all from dizzy cranky old me right now. If you haven’t found information about a specific brand your looking for let my know (after having a go with the search box)

Here is my information sheet: definition_cruelty-free_vegan_veganartstuff_feb2018

Source: Mail contact

 

Zest-It NOPE/ companies’ negative views on veganism

Zest-It is not vegan-friendly. Although the owner first stated so, which led me to buying pencil solvent products, after further questions, it is not so. My product questions were: whether cruelty-free was included in vegan-friendly and whether the applied solvent changes the lightfastness and waterproofness of the used coloured pencils. First of all, what company and person does not like to hear back from a customer that they like the product and have additional questions to the product, for which there is no information on the company’s website? Apparently Zest-It does. The final response was that I should not contact them again and that my questions were not relevant to the company and their products.

I always offer the statement “we are generally/momentarily not interested in the vegan art sector” in my inquiry to use for them. Companies can just copy this sentence, and all is well. It is not the first time I stumbled upon such a rude, grumpy, immature human being (Rohrer&Klingner incident), but it is always sad to learn about the people behind a brand, being such crude individuals.                                          Many have a problem with the word “vegan”. I mean, the alarm bells are ringing. Many do not reply at all, others react aggressive. They stigmatize veganism. They see it as something negative and bad.

I also communicated with a couple of companies, which offer vegan-friendly products and are cruelty-free, but they did not want to be mentioned on my list, because of how the world overall sees veganism. Generally you should be happy and proud, that as a company you offer vegan-friendly products and that no animal was tortured for it, right?

Are they annoyed by “fake, pretentious- in your face- vegans” seeking public attention with this stunt and “lecturing-all people they meet- vegans” and just apply that image to all of us?

Do they see us all as violent animal rights activists, who don’t shy away from physical aggression? Nobody really learns from history, do they? (Of course they don’t, they keep doing it over and over again, until there is nothing left from this planet). Does anybody remember suffragettes? Not all of them were throwing stones and burning down places. Not all vegans and people who stand for a correct treatment of animals are like that. Most of us are not, but they lump us together with the smallest fraction that consists of those kind of people. Another possibility is, especially for art materials, that companies think, they have to hide being cruelty-free, because people want to buy safe products that have been tested to the utmost including animal testing, because “only” through that you truly know if it is safe to use.

People have to stop frowning upon veganism and vegans. It is not a crime. Respecting and protecting other species, not only the human kind, is the opposite of a crime. This planet and all its inhabitants matter to us. When has it become a bad thing to care? Have industrial progress and materialism pushed caring about others faraway and dictated for it to be shunned?

 

I hope companies change their view on veganism and more will start to label vegan-friendly products on their websites.

I found this labeling only with Colors of Nature (all-vegan company) https://www.colorsofnature.com   and Derwent started to label new products https://www.derwentart.com/en/gb/7797/procolour-pencils .

 

 

Source: Mail contact