OUR COMMITMENTS

Couleur Caramel and certifications, labels, cruelty free: nothing is hidden !

Asserting our values without offering a detailed explanation would make no sense, so here is a small section to shed light on our commitments and actions…

Why certify our products ?

To assure you of our commitments

If consuming ethical and natural products is part of a personal, responsible and demanding approach, how can we be sure that these products are in line with our expectations? Labels provide an answer to these uncertainties.

But not all labels are worth it: some have self-proclaimed themselves, others have no budget or resources to control their adherents and others only confine themselves to validating part of the production chain…

When creating the brand and for the sake of transparency, we wanted to propose to the consumer graphical markers with logos allowing to quickly inform the consumer about the product: 100% natural logo, “small rabbit” logo = product that was not tested on animals… But in the meantime, regarding animal testing, regulations has changed; it has become to us unseemly to claim the cruelty free character of our products, since henceforth, the law forbids to test any raw material used in cosmetic products and any finished cosmetic product on animals! (consult the EU cosmetic regulations N° 1223/2009)

And even more: The “finished product not tested on animals” claim is contrary to point 1.1 of the annex as defined in Regulations No. 655/2013 of July 2013: “Allegations suggesting that a product provides a particular benefit when, in so doing, it simply satisfies the minimum requirements of the legislation are not allowed.”: understand that to mention on our packaging that our products are cruelty free now goes against European laws. And that, of our colleagues, those who still mention it only satisfy the obligations of the profession…

So that our suppliers respect them as well

To reassure our customers, we have chosen to subscribe to 2 accredited certification bodies: Ecocert and Bureau Veritas (Qualité France), whose main tasks are the control and certification of organic products. Why these bodies ? Firstly, because they are well established, accredited by COFRAC (www.cofrac.fr), independent and internationally recognised for the seriousness of their work and their controls.

For example, Ecocert controls and validates all manufacturing stages, several times a year, from the country of production to the finished products! For us it is the guarantee that our suppliers and manufacturers comply with our ethical, biological and ecological specifications.

Of course for you, this also ensures that our products are uncompromisingly of the highest standard.

Taking it to the next level:

ECOCERT auditors have access to all data and sites (in more than 80 countries around the world): both those of companies, but also those of their suppliers and manufacturers! They carry out their verifications independently, at least once a year. Their certification conditions are very strict and any failure or defect in the production chain means a request for IMMEDIATE withdrawal of the products in question, with substantial penalties.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) – Click on the titles to see the answers…

We answer here the most frequently asked questions, but you can ask your own by filling out the form opposite the text. If your question occurs frequently, we will add it to our FAQ.

What does ECOCERT control exactly ?

ECOCERT controls and certifies the entire production chain as “organic” :

  • raw materials are subject to strict controls, with audits at all manufacturers, anywhere in the world. ECOCERT imposes the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources and transformed by environmentally friendly processes. So exit the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, the GMO culture…
  • the obtained ingredients: ECOCERT verifies among other things the absence of paraben, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicone, polyethylene glycol (PEG), fragrances and synthetic dyes…
  • finished products, conditioning, degradable character of the packaging, storing,… Anyway! Nothing is left out, up to the packaging, which cannot be produced without being validated by the body.

With ECOCERT, we have the assurance that each stakeholder respects our specifications, as the field of action of ECOCERT’s auditors extends to the entire production line. Their certification conditions are very strict and any failure or defect in the production chain means a request for IMMEDIATE withdrawal of the products in question, with substantial penalties.

Some of your products are certified by ECOCERT, others by QUALITE FRANCE. Why?

ECOCERT and quality FRANCE are two accredited bodies for the control and certification of products from organic farming.

However, there are some differences between the two entities: the ECOCERT repository, for example, does not allow the certification of products containing carmine  yet (cochineal extract-based dye, offering “carmine red” pigmentation), even in very small quantity. The use of this natural dye, used in some of our products is on the other hand authorized by Qualité France. We therefore proceed to the certification of these products Qualité France.

Taking it one step further: any product certified by one of these bodies entitles the use of the Cosmébio label (after adhering the label). Because these organisations both base their specifications on the Cosmébio charter.

Are your products Cruelty Free ?

YES! Absolutely!

None of our products, none of the ingredients any more than raw materials that compose it are and have ever been tested on animals. Neither in France nor anywhere else in the world. It is a pillar of our ethical values on which we are intransigent.

The ingredients we use (grape seed oil, rose water, tea extracts,…) have been of proven safety for thousands of years: no need to redo tests! And if that were necessary, we would go through alternative methods (tests on volunteers…).

And labels such as One Voice, Choose Cruelty Free,...

As said previously, we no longer have the will to be labelled, even if this implies consumer doubts. Be it clear: ECOCERT and QUALITE FRANCE certifications are sufficient to assure you of the ethical and biological quality of our products. Then, if we are in the list of a label, so much the better, if not…

A few more detail concerning the main labels we have joined or have been associated with:

– One Voice: This association has as object the global defence of animals throughout the world (see their Website). Under no circumstances is it a certification body on animal cruelty. We share their fight for a better respect for the animal species in its entirety, but even if this association is involved in the process of banning animal tests in the field of cosmetic products, the latter are now banned by the European Cosmetic Regulations (EC) No 1223/2009.

In short: it is not because we no longer have this logo that we have changed our policy of non-cruelty towards animals!

– Choose Cruelty Free: This Australian label deserves that we linger on it, because quite a lot of internet users and bloggers here in France give it a (too much?) importance… In fact, to be accredited at CCF, you have (all you have to do is) to fill in a file… and trust the certification bodies like ECOCERT so that the file’s content is verified and valid… There again, the mere fact of being certified by ECOCERT (or QUALITE FRANCE) is a more serious guarantee of the quality of our products.

Are your products Vegan ?

Not all of them !

Some of our products contain beeswax, others contain carmine as dye…

For easier referencing, we have used a logo on our online store to enable you to easily identify our vegan products.

logo-VEGANHere’s what the vegan logo looks like for our products.

And China then? Are you there or not?

“Hello, I would like to know if you distribute in China. – Yes, we do. – Well, then you are not Cruelty Free!!!  – Well, yes, we are!!!!!”

Explanation…

According to Chinese regulations, being established in China involves testing products on animals. Except that since June 30, 2014, the Chinese administration has stopped demanding animal tests for distributed cosmetics. We are taking advantage of this relief to take our first steps on the Chinese market while waiting for a complete stop of the tests.

Our products are not imported but distributed in China. The only distributor with a Couleur Caramel exclusivity contract for the Asian market is located in Hong Kong, with warehouses in Vietnam; it sells our products ONLY through the Internet, products that therefore leave warehouses to arrive directly in the mailbox of consumers!
Moreover, our Asian distributor (like all our distributors around the world) fully shares our values and ethical positions: it could not be otherwise.

Unfortunately, some of vegan blog publishers, out of ignorance of Chinese laws and their subtleties, have questioned our sincerity about an establishment in China, giving rise to a rumour that we would like to debunk. Unfortunately, the rumours… Then:

  1. NO ! We ARE NOT IMPLANTED IN CHINA, simply because it is OUT OF QUESTION to allow even only one of these animal tests on our products.
  2. NO ! We will NOT establish ourselves in China UNTIL the regulations change on this subject!

There! We said it! We sincerely hope that you will help us to track down and silence this hurting rumour by telling us for example about any article evoking our hypothetical physical presence in China. Do not hesitate, when you are in the presence of this rumour, to leave a small comment mentioning this page. It is a huge favour that you would do us!!!

And what about the REACH plan?

What is the REACH plan?

The REACH plan has been set up by the European Chemicals Agency (or ECHA). Its objective is to ensure that the substances used by the industry (thus in industrial cosmetics) do not present any danger to the human being or the environment. This plan allows animal testing when there is no alternative. The problem is that this rule would pass over the European cosmetic regulations and the laws of the nations, including those aimed at banning animal testing. And thus arouses doubt among some consumers who ask us for clarifications.

Again, our answer is very simple: this question could be relevant if we were to use new ingredients, or ingredients from chemistry. But this is not the case; the issues raised by REACH do not concern us: the ingredients that appear in our formulations are already known and their safety has already been proven for a long time.

Even though this regulation would change, exposing certain ingredients to tests, we would do what’s necessary (formulation/ingredient modification) in order to respect animals. How could it be otherwise?

What happens during a product certification?

There are numerous stages of certification that must be strictly adhered to:

  • validation of raw materials: they must comply to Ecocert and Qualité France, they must be non-GMO (genetically modified), non-CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic to Reproduction), not tested on animals and of natural origin, except for conservatives.
  • validation of formulas (product’s composition)
  • validations of packaging (they must be recyclable or bio-degradable).
  • validation of casing (control of editorials, lists of ingredients and notices).

Non-compliance with charters and repositories would result in the immediate withdrawal of non-certified products and consequently the withdrawal of products from the market.

I am allergic to rosin. Is there any in your products ?

No, no product in the range contains rosin, nor do they contain toluene, phenoxyethanol or formaldehyde.

Are your products made in China ?

NO! No Couleur Caramel products are manufactured in China!
Our products are manufactured in France or Italy by laboratories that meet the specifications laid out by ECOCERT. These production sites are controlled and certified by this standard.
However, some of our packaging is “made in China” in case we do not find an alternative in Europe. But this implies that our on-site suppliers adhere to strict codes of good conduct on both the production method and the materials used.

Do Couleur Caramel lipsticks contain lead ?

You have probably already read that the vast majority of lipsticks contain lea.
Why? Because it is already present in our environment (water, soil…) in a natural way and that unfortunately these quantities are increased because of human activity.
In the lipsticks, some thresholds are tolerated but this must remain in the order of just traces.
If you want to play chemist apprentice using reagents to test your lipsticks, you are likely to be disappointed as it is highly probable that they contain lead, even if it’s just in small amounts !
To reduce both health and environemental risks,  opt for Cosmebio, BDIH, Nature et Progrès-labelled lipsticks and those certified by a certification body such as Ecocert or Qualité France.
Composed of organic ingredients, free of synthetic dyes, fragrances or preservatives, these organic lipsticks will further respect your health and the environment, without losing their effectiveness.

Where can I find the list of ingredients of a product from your brand ?

For organic product formulation, ingredient lists (INCI) may need to be changed for the following reasons:

  • Texture improvement
  • Raw materials not accepted by ECOCERT following a reviewing of the repository
  • Raw materails not supplied by the supplier

When we make these changes, this implies that the INCI list (the one you have on a packaging) is no longer the same as that on a previous production. If we put our ingredient lists (INCI) on the site and, after ordering, you receive a product whose INCI list is different, this poses a problem.
That is why if you have known allergies to a substance that is potentially present in a cosmetic product, we recommend that you go to a point of sale. You can get a piece of advice, you can test and check that the ingredients that make up the product are in line with your expectations.

I see that squalane is listed in some compositions...

The squalane that we use is a very pure derivative of olive squalane; it is thus of botanical origin.
Ecocert certification excludes the use of squalane of animal origin.
That said, even before having our products certified organic, we did not use squalane of animal origin for ethical reasons.
Moreover, the high quality of the olive squalane makes it an irreplaceable raw material in a quality cosmetic product.

Why the name Couleur Caramel ?

The name Couleur Caramel was simply to make reference to the colour of our kraft packaging, the brand’s trademark!

Our brush bristles

The brushes of the Couleur Caramel brand are either made of synthetic bristles, or of pony hair or even of goat hair. These hair come from mowing that are responsibly carried out of course: with the attention we bring to our products, our accessories, our packaging, or our distribution network cannot be otherwise.

A question ? A precision ?

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