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Vegan vs Plant-based: What’s the Difference?


As the consumer world becomes more conscious of its impact on the environment, knowing the right words is essential. We’re here to help: find the low down on vegan vs plant-based. What does it all mean?
Vegan vs Plant-based: What’s the Difference?

by Ellen Hill


Terms like vegan and plant-based have become synonymous with doing good and making changes. Knowing what you’re actually paying for is an important part of conscious shopping. We’re giving you the low down on these terms, and what they mean. 

What Does Vegan Mean?

‘Vegan’ means to eat, use, or contain no food or other products derived from animals. Products that say they are vegan mean they contain no animal products, nor have animals been used in their production or creation.

People who are vegan avoid all animal products in their diet. This includes meat, eggs, dairy, and certain additives which are derived from animals. Vegans may also remove materials such as leather, in favour of eco-friendly materials or vegan leather alternatives. They may also choose to use vegan skincare brands or vegan hair care brands instead of ones which still use ingredients which feature animal products. 

Making sure a product is vegan is essential for those who exclude animal-based foods and items from their lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for vegan skincare, haircare, or household products, keep an eye out for certifications from The Vegan Society, PETA, and Leaping Bunny. These kinds of certifications can help you decipher whether a product or brand meets your conscious shopping requirements.

what does vegan actually mean

What Does Plant-based Mean?

‘Plant-based’ means something that consists largely or solely of vegetables, grains, pulses, or other materials derived from plants, rather than animal products. The key distinction between vegan and plant-based is that plant-based does not necessarily mean vegan. 

Brands may prioritise using eco-friendly materials which have a lower impact than others, but may not be 100% vegan. If something is made from mostly plants, it doesn’t mean it contains zero animal products. Someone following a plant-based diet, for example, may use mostly plants and vegan ingredients, but occasionally eat animal products. If you are vegan, be sure to check if the product labelled plant-based contains animal products. 

This doesn’t mean plant-based diets are less green than vegan ones. Any attempt to reduce the amount of animal products we use, and be more sustainable, can help to lessen the impact we have on the planet.

what does vegan and plant-based actually mean

3 Vegan Brands We Love

When it comes to vegan products, it can be difficult to find products and brands that are 100% committed to the vegan side of life. This guide will hopefully help you navigate the world of products and make looking for vegan brands a little easier. 

1. Bulldog Skincare

With a selection of skincare, shaving and body products, Bulldog Skincare is the perfect men’s vegan skincare brand to get you started. All of their products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, certified by Cruelty Free International. Tailor your routine to your skin’s needs by choosing between their Original, Sensitive, Energising, and Oil Control ranges. 

mens vegan skincare products to try

2. Faith in Nature

Vegan eco-friendly bathroom essentials brand, Faith in Nature, makes shampoo bars and refillable products from natural, animal-free ingredients. You can find laundry detergent, hair treatments, and even pet-friendly products, all with a sustainable premise. Buy in bulk to reduce your plastic waste, or buy in bar form to cut it out completely. 

vegan and plastic free shampoo and bathroom products

3. Noughty 

Vegan hair care company, Noughty, was the first natural hair care brand to be awarded the Leaping Bunny Certification by Cruelty Free International. They also care about sustainability. In 2020, the brand switched their packaging to part bio-plastic (plastic made from sugarcane) and part post consumer recycled plastic. 

vegan haircare products we love

If you’re looking for more vegan brands to add to your self-care routine, these 3 vegan brands are a great place to start. 

Plant Power for the Future

Whether you’re adding more plant-based products to your daily routines, or making the switch to a completely vegan lifestyle, knowing what certifications and buzz words mean is vital to navigating your new conscious choices. By making more swaps to vegan products and sustainable alternatives to fast fashion, we can all make greener decisions for our planet. With the help of eco bloggers and B-corps, we can help to change the consumer world for the better.