Veganuary calls for reassessing the impact of our choices, from the clothes we're wearing to what's on our Ocado shopping list. (Shoutout to the best in the game, THIS Vegan Bacon Rashers).
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, it’s important to have a positive impact on our planet and the animals we share it with. Condoms are a great choice when having safe sex, but lots of people don't actually know that not all condoms are actually cruelty free or vegan. Join us for the facts...
4 Reasons why standard condoms are bad for people and animals alike.
So, are condoms vegan? Well, most condoms are made out of latex, which is a milky fluid found in many plants. The latex used to make condoms typically comes from the rubber tree. Whilst this all sounds very plant-powered, unfortunately, this is often the first and last stage of the condom manufacturing process that is both human and animal-friendly. Here's why...
Casein is a protein derived from cow’s or goat’s milk – it’s used to soften the latex making it more comfortable for human use. So why is this problematic? We know that the dairy industry takes the calves away from their mothers as early on as the day they are born. This is because the longer the calf stays with their mother, the stronger the bond and the stronger the resistance from both calf and mother. This separation is extremely distressing for both calf and mother whatever age the calf is.
2. Animal Testing
The only animal in the bedroom should be you. As condoms are a medical device, they’re often tested on animals to pass the rigorous testing required to secure certification. There’s a chance the condom you’re using has been tested on bunnies and horses.
The times of using animal intestines for personal contraception is almost behind us, though unfortunately there is still one condom company out there which makes condoms using lambskin. Not only are Trojan NaturaLamb condoms not vegan, they’re also not 100% effective at protecting you from STDs because the skin has tiny holes in it, allowing the STDs to pass through.
4. Nasty Chemicals
Though chemicals are not technically related to veganism, most vegans and many non-vegans strive to use products that are vegan, natural and organic. Many condom brands contain harmful chemicals like benzocaine and spermicide which cause vaginal dryness. Benzocaine, in particular, is a numbing agent designed to make a man last longer that can lead to vaginal irritation. Learn more about natural, chemical-free condoms.
So what makes vegan condoms different?
100% Plant-based ingredients
Starting with the obvious, a vegan condom doesn’t contain any animal by-products or animal products. It’s not necessary to use casein to create a silky smooth condom so we don’t use it; instead, HANX condoms contain a vegetable binding extract.
Online searches for vegan condoms are not completely foolproof. The only way to be 100% sure that the condom you’re using is vegan certified is by checking its certification. Look out for The Vegan Action Foundation badge or The Vegan Society badge which you can find on all HANX condom boxes - we proudly certified by The Vegan Society.
It can be easy to confuse ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’ products. Though the two are closely intertwined they are separate concepts. When a product is vegan, it doesn’t contain any animal-based ingredients. When a product is cruelty-free, that means it hasn’t been tested on animals. It is possible for condoms *tested* on animals to be technically vegan, though of course, this doesn’t necessarily take into consideration the treatment of the animals used to make the product. If you’re vegan, be sure to double-check whether a condom is actually certified as this will cover both bases. The Vegan Trademark is an internationally recognised standard for products that are free of all animal use, in ingredients and testing. We are proud to be both vegan and cruelty-free - no animals were hurt in the making of HANX.
The latex used in HANX condoms comes from sustainable rubber tree sources and we use sustainable manufacturing practices. We believe that safe working conditions & fair wages are a basic human right, and we have a responsibility to look after the communities who contribute to the creation of HANX. For that reason, HANX is and always will be fair-trade.
As they are natural, vegan condoms feel better for both partners. HANX condoms are ultra-thin and free of nasty chemicals. We leant on our Co-Founder Dr Sarah Welsh's experience in gynaecology and obstetrics to formulate a condom that doesn't cause vaginal dryness or discomfort, or cause Thrush.
6. Better taste
If you’re a fan of oral sex, then you’re probably no stranger to that awful latexy taste some condoms leave behind... or even worse, a novelty banana synthetic aroma. We believe condoms should be the best supporting actor to your Oscar-winning antics, so we've formulated HANX condoms to be clean-scented (it reminds us a little bit of Nivea hand cream!) and to be natural, neutral flavoured. There’ll be no nasty surprises down there...
Are vegan condoms reliable?
Yes, vegan condoms have to meet the same government standards as non-vegan condoms, which means they must be 98% effective against STIs and pregnancy. One thing to watch out for if you're using your vegan condoms with lubricant: make sure to check the ingredients as some lubes can start to break down latex. (Shameless self promotion: our water-based lube is condom and toy friendly!). Find out more here.
How much do vegan condoms cost?
The production of organic, vegan, chemical-free condoms is a little more expensive, and so a box of HANX is on average a pound or two more than non- vegan condoms. As our Co-Founder Farah Kabir always says: we know every single ingredient in our 15 step facial skincare routine... so why don't we know exactly what we're using in our vagina? Put simply: when you’re putting something into or on your body, it’s important that you can trust that it's not going to do you any harm.