Who knew many condoms and lubricants contained animal byproducts? Whilst this news might come as a surprise to some, fear not because Dustin Leonard is making it his mission to create a brand of cruelty-free love-socks and lube that contain no animal by-products and aren’t tested on animals.
“A vegan condom doesn’t contain any animal products or byproducts and hasn’t had any of the components tested on animals. Because condoms are a ‘medical device’ government organisations often require stringent testing and some companies test on animals to acquire the relevant certification,” Leonard told The Huffington Post Australia.
“Some lubricants are also packed with parabens and other unfriendly ingredients. Parabens are commonly used in cosmetics as preservatives to prevent bacterial overgrowth but can interfere with our normal rhythmical, hormonal process by binding to the same cell receptors as estrogen.”
The rubbers contain no animal products (or byproducts), and haven’t been tested on animals. The lubricant consists of aloe vera that’s pH balanced, petrochemical and paraben-free, making it a good alternative for sensitive skinned folk.
“They’re also flared at the end for better fit and comfort and our ultra thin condom is basically as thin as it can be and still pass international manufacturing standards. To our knowledge we are the only vegan sexual health brand for sale in major retailers across Australia.”
Leonard’s company HERO is a social enterprise that works on a one-for-one basis — for every sexual health product sold here, one is sent to Africa. Since its launch, more than half a million free condoms have been sent to the HIV/AIDS-ravaged continent.
He’s faced stiff competition from multi-billion dollar rivals to secure lucrative distribution deals with Coles and Woolworths. Leonard is now in discussions with major retailers in the United Kingdom and China, with plans to launch in those markets later this year.
While HERO aren’t the first vegan condoms to hit the market (this is a fairly exhaustive list), it’s a brilliant social enterprise, and certainly one to… get behind.