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 short text to shed light on our commitments and actions…

Why certify our products ?

To ensure our commitments are upheld…

If consuming ethical, natural products is part of a personal endeavour combining accountability and high standards, how can you be sure that these products meet your expectations ? Labels shed light on these uncertainties.

But all labels are not created equal: some are self-proclaimed, others are issued by bodies with no budget or resources to check on their members, others simply validate part of the production chain…

During the creation of the brand and in the interests of transparency, wewanted to offer consumers graphic markers using logos to quickly inform the consumer on the product: 100% natural logo, “small rabbit” logo = products not tested on animals…Since then, however, regulations on animal testing have changed. It then became inappropriate for us to claim our products to be cruelty free since the law now prohibits the testing of animals for all raw materials used in cosmetic products and all finished cosmetic products ! (consult the European Cosmetics Regulation N° 1223/2009)

And in addition: the claim “finished product not tested on animals” goes against point  1.1 of the appendix to Regulation 655/2013 of July 2013: “Claims which suggest that a product provides aparticular benefit while, in doing so, simply satisfies the minimum requirements of the legislation are not permitted”. This is to be understood to mean that placing the claim cruelty free on the packaging of our products nowgoes against European law. This also means that our competitors who still list this claim are simply meeting the obligations of the profession…

Ensuring our supplier also comply with these commitments…

To reassure our customers, we have chosen to subscribe to 2 accredited certification bodies: Ecocert and Bureau Veritas (Qualité France), whose main missions 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 their comprehensive work and controls.

Ecocert, for example, controls and validates all steps in the manufacturing process, several times a year, from the first stages in the country of production to the finished products ! This ensure that our suppliers and manufacturers meet 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:

The ECOCERT auditors have access to all our data and websites (in over 80 countries around the world): both those of companies and of their suppliers and manufacturer ! They carry out their controls independently, at least once a year. Their terms and conditions of certification are some of the strictest and any breach or default in the manufacturing chain will result in a request for the IMMEDIATE recall of the products under investigation under the threat of heavy penalties.

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Here we answer the most frequently asked questions but, you you can ask yours by filling in the form opposite. If the question you ask comes up often, we will add it to our FAQ.

What does ECOCERT control exactly ?

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

  • raw materials are strictly controlled, with audits of all manufacturers, wherever they are in the world. ECOCERT requires the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured using environmentally-friendly processes. Gone is the use of pesticides, chemical fertilisers, GMO cultivation, etc.
  • sourced ingredients: ECOCERT verifies, amongst other things, the absence of parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicone, polyethylene glycol (PEG), synthetic fragrances and dyes etc.
  • finished products, packaging, the biodegradable nature of packaging, storage… Nothing is left out, even the packaging cannot be produced without being validated by the body.

With ECOCERT, we are assured that each stakeholder meets our specifications as the ECOCERT auditors’ scope extends across the entire production chain. Their certification conditions are very strict and any failure or defect in the production chain will result in a demand for the IMMEDIATE withdrawal of the incriminated products, failing which substantial penalties will apply.

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

ECOCERT and QUALITE FRANCE are two accredited bodies that control and certify products derived from organic farming.

There are however several differences between the two entities: The ECOCERT standart, for example, does not yet allow the certification of products containing carmine (a dye extracted from cochineal, which gives a “carmine red” pigmentation), even in minute quantities. The use of this natural dye in a few of our products is, however, authorised by Qualité France. We therefore certify these products with Qualité France.

Taking it one step further: any product certified by one of these bodies then has the right to use the Cosmébio label (after subscribing to the label). This is because these bodies base all their specififcations on the Cosmébio charter.

Are your products Cruelty Free ?

YES ! Absolutely !

None of our products, neither the ingredients nor the raw materials that they are made from, have EVER been testd on animals – not in France nor anywhere elese in the world. This is a pillar of our ethical values which we adhere to strictly.

The ingredients we use (grapeseed oil, rosewater, tea extracts, etc.) have been proven to be safe for millennia: so, there is no need to test them ! If, however, they are deemed necessary, we would use alternative methods (tests on volonteers).

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

As stated previously, testing on animals is now prohibited by the European cosmetics regulation (CE) N°1223/2009. We therefore no longer want to be labelled, even if this implies doubts on the part of consumers. ECOCERT and QUALITE FRANCE certifications are sufficient to assure you of the ethical and biological quality of our products. Appearing on the lists of labels is only a plus, not a necessity.

Below are a few more details about the main labels we have subscribed to or been associated with:

– One Voice: The aim of this association is the global defence of animals around the world (see their website) and we stand with them in their fight for a greater respect of animal species. But while this association is engaged in the process of banning animal testing in cosmetics, it is no way a certification body an animal cruelty. In summary, it’s not because we no longer display this logo that we have changed our policy of being against cruelty towards animals !

– Choose Cruelty Free: This Australian label warrants special attention as many internet users and bloggers here in France place a lot of (too much ?) importance on it…In fact, to be accredited with CCF, you must complete a questionnaire about the composition of products and the origin of raw materials they are made from. This questionnaire must be completed by the company and all its suppliers to ensure that no animal testing or mistreatment has occured during the manufacturing process. We use the product files, validated and certified by ECOCERT and QUALITE FRANCE, to complete this questionnaire. Again, the simple fact of being ECOCERT (and/or QUALITE FRANCE) certified is a more serious promise of the quality of our products.

Are your products Vegan ?

Not all of them !

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

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

logo-VEGANThis is what the Vegan logo looks like for our products.

Are you in China ?

According to Chinese regulations, companies implanted in China must conduct product testing on animals. However, since 30th June 2014, the Chinese administration has ceased to require animal testing for distributed cosmetics. We have taken advantage of the relaxation to make our first step in the Chinese market while awaiting a complete end to the requirement for animal testing.

Our products are not imported but distributed in China. The only distributor that has an exclusive contract for the Asian market is located in Hong Kong and has warehouse in Vietnam but commercialises our products uniquely via the internet. The products leave the warehouse and are sent directly to consumers’ mailboxes. There is no physical presence via points of sale in the country !
In addition, our Asian distributor (like all our distributors around the world) fully shares our values and ethical positions: we would not have it any other way.

Unfortunately, some bloggers have cast doubt on our sincerity in regards to an implantation in China, giving rise to a rumour that we are trying to dispel:

  1. NO ! We ARE NOT IMPLANTED IN CHINA, simply because it is OUT OF THE QUESTION to allow these animal tests on our products.
  2. NO ! We will NOT implant ourselves in China for as long as the regulation doesn’t change on this subject !

And what about the REACH plan?

The REACH plan was implemented by the European Chemicals Agency (or ECHA). Its im is to ensure that substances used in the industry (and therefore in industrial cosmetics) present no danger to man or the environment. This plan authorises tests on animals when there are no other alternatives. The problem is that this regulation umbrellas European cosmetic regulations and laws of nations, including those that set out to ban animal testing. This incites doubt in certain consumers who have asked us for precisions.

Our response is simple: This question might be pertinent if we were to use new ingredients or ingredients derived form chemistry. But this is not the case. The question raised by REACH do not concern us: the ingredients in our formulations are already known and their safety has already been proven long ago.

Even if this regulation changes, we will do what is necessary (modification of formulations / ingredients) to ensure no animals are subjected to testing.

What does product certification entail ?

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

  • validation of raw materials: they must be Ecocert and Qualité France compliant; 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 preservatives.
  • validation of formulas (product composition)
  • validations of packaging (they must be recyclables or biodegradable).
  • validation of outer packaging (control of editorials, lists of ingredients and notices).

Failure to comply with the charters and standards will lead to the immediate withdrawal of products from our certificates 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 when we cannot find an alternative in Europe. This means that our suppliers there respect strict codes of conduct in regards to the mode of production and the materials used.

Do Couleur Caramel lipsticks contain lead ?

You have no doubt read that most lipsticks contain lead.
Why ? Because it is already present naturally in our environment (in water, soil, etc.) and, unfortunately, these quantities have increased due to human activity.
In lipsticks, certain thresholds are tolerated, but this must remain in the order of a few 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 health and environemental risks, favour Cosmebio, BDIHand Nature et Progrès-labelled lipsticks that are certified by a certification body like Ecocert or Qualité France.
Composed of organic ingredients, free of synthetic dyes, fragrances or preservatives, these organic lipsticks are gentle on you and the environment, without compromising their effectiveness.

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

In regards to the formulation of organic products, the lists of ingredients (INCI) may change for the following reasons:

  • Improvement of textures
  • Raw materials not accepted by ECOCERT following a revision of the standard
  • Raw materails not suppliedes by the supplier.

When we make these modifications, this means that the INCI (the list on the packaging) is no longer the same as that on a previous production. If we were to place our lists of ingredients (INCI) on our website and after having placed an order you received a product whose INCI list was different, this would pose a problem.
This is why, if you have known allergies to a substance potentially present in a cosmetic product, we recommend that you go to a point of sale to be advised on this and also
e, to test and verify that the ingredients in the product comply with your expectations.

I see that squalane is listed in certain 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 don’t use squalane of animal origin for ethical reasons.
Futhermore, the highest quality olive squalane is an irreplaceable raw material in quality cosmetic products.

Why the name Couleur Caramel ?

The name Couleur Caramel was simply to make reference to the shade of our kraft packaging, a signature of the brand !

What about the bristles of brushes ?

Couleur Caramel-branded brushes are made either synthetic, pony or goat hair.
These bristles come, of course, from responsibly cut sources. Given the care and attention to detail we show for our products, it follows that we take same vigilant stance for our accessories, packaging and distribution network.

A question ? A precision ?

2 + 1 = ?