Schjerning (paints): they are not interested at the vegan art sector at the moment.
Elmer’s: According to Newell’s customer service, they don’t use any animal or plant derivatives in their glues, adhesives and containers and they don’t test on animals. This was the answer to my second mail, in which I inquired about animal derivatives in the manufacturing process and animal testing carried out by themselves, their parent or sister companies and partners and that they do not commission other third parties to do so. I will leave it at that. So I want you to be your own judge about this.
When I elaborated my vegan friendly criteria, I also tweaked my standard inquiry form (I learnt it the hard way. I finally made two standard inquiry forms that I only need to adapt for the individual company, after I wrote out the first twenty or thirty letters each single time (I hope it weren’t more, lesson learnt) and working my way through all their products and listing them in the inquiry. In the case of big distributors such as Gerstaecker and Boesner, it took me a while to sort out all their own brand products and I got unfortunately no reply. I also included in my letter, the companies should be so kind to explicitly mention they being cruelty-free according to my criteria (The manufacturer does not test on animals or commissions other parties to do so, none of their parent and sister companies or any other partners test on animals or commission animal testing, none of their raw material suppliers and subsuppliers test on animals or commission animal testing, if there are other options.(According to the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, animal testing has to be avoided if it is possible and has the goal to minimize animal testing for REACH. Lastly, there is no animal testing abroad for the manufacturer’s products to be sold abroad.)).
I adjusted my standard form letters a couple of times, in order to have everything covered and no loopholes left, for the companies and I to be understandable and to save time and effort; but still, companies like to tiptoe around this specific topic – animal testing. Although the answer was kind of repetitive and cryptical, I am still thankful that I got an answer from Newell for Elmer’s. I struggled before with those big corporations and already thought, what hassle I am in for writing to big business brands and I probably should not bother the try. I already wrote to Rotring about 2 months ago, and got no reply. And I learnt looking up Rotring, that it belongs to Newell Brands. They own a lot of brands, such as Prismacolor and Sharpie (I went a couple of times to the websites of those two and even started writing an inquiry, but then, what was the sense of it), Parker (fountain pens), Waterman, Elmers and non crafting/art brands such as e.g. Yankee Candle. It is surprising and sad to see so many brands/manufacturers with up to a couple of centuries’ old company history to be gulped down by a big overshadowing human built structure.
During my “research”, if you want to call it so, I stumbled across several companies/ manufacturers that do belong to big companies, what I did not know before. With a lot of art supplies’ brands it is just like it is with the majority of fashion brands. And not all big companies are associated with negative stuff like animal testing, but big companies, which also own brands producing laundry detergent, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and chemical product manufacturing are, because concerning pharmaceuticals, there probably will be animal testing. There are big companies, which might just have brands of a certain type, e.g. art supplies, but there are also big companies, which own a wide array of different brands, e.g. Newell Brands , Baiersdorf (Tesa – adhesives/glue, Nivea) and Henkel (Pritt glue). Baiersdorf was also mentioned by a company as their raw material supplier, but being part of the EU, REACH applies to them and also the guidelines of ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) to avoid animal testing and reduce animal testing. This is not much, but better than nothing, another but, they can always use those kind of testing results/data from their other branches. Overall, you probably know the big baddies out there.
To the companies and brands; Time for some brands’ family trees.
There are: ColArt- which is subsidiary of Lindéngruppen along the line, F.I.L.A. Group and Bolton Group, those are probably not all, but I stumbled upon them.
ColART (ColArt Group, subsidiary of AB Wilh. Becker, and in the end subsidiary of Lindéngruppen, nesting doll principle- a group in a group …): ColArt do not support animal testing (Colart Vegan Friendly Statement 28march2017); some brands of ColArt are: Winsor & Newton, Reeves, Lefranc Bourgeois, Liquitex, Conté à Paris and Arches.
F.I.L.A. Group– story time, little Nerchau was swallowed by Lukas in 2009, in 2004Lukas developed the Bob Ross oil paints, then, Lukas was swallowed by the Daler Rowney Group which was swallowed by F.I.L.A Group. What a tale of eating and getting eaten, and yet another tale of nesting dolls; a group in a group, … ). Here are some of the F.I.L.A. Group’s brands: Lyra, Daler-Rowney, Canson, Giotto and Lukas.
Bolton Adhesives (Bolton Group) home of Bison, Griffon and Uhu. Uhu is vegan friendly (https://www.veganartstuff.info/2017/03/10/glue-products-by-uhu/). I have not yet inquired about the other companies.
Royal Talens (joined the Sikkens Group NV in 1963, in the 1970s Sikkens was taken over by the AKZO group and Talens became an AKZO subsidiary as well, until 1991. Since 1991 it belongs to the Sakura Color Products Corporation). Royal Talens’ own brands are: Talens, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Amsterdam, ArtCreation, Cobra and Ecoline. Royal Talens is European distributor of Sakura, and distributor of Schjerning, Strathmore and Bruynzeel (belongs to Sakura as well)
And lastly a little friendly fish: Golden Paints purchased Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors.
Faber-Castell is pretty much its own group, for its own brand. Some other independent companies/manufacturers are Lascaux (paints from Switerland), Finetec (as in Finetec Pearcolors) and Hahnemühle (Paper), which kind of did a reverse thing; it once merged with Schleicher & Schuell all the way back in 1902, in 1927 the latter owned Hahnemühle till it demerged in 2004, and was released back into the wild, being independent ever since.
Source: Mail contact, websites