Interview with Vegan Fox creator Maija.
That was 5 years ago. The idea came from an ordinary question asked by many of our friends – which cosmetics are truly vegan? It started to become annoying looking through the ingredient list, so the solution seemed simple as that – let’s make our own real vegan cosmetic. We made a fundraise and used the support of Latvian Investment and Development Agency business incubators. At the start it was a hobby of small family business. But it grove incredibly fast. I had to make a very hard decision – to quite a well-paid job in a big company. The idea that I finally can do something what I deeply love is definitely worth it. I wish everyone to find a job or hobby that is truly yours.
I think I have to look for reasons in my early childhood. I had never had a pet. Instead of it I was helping to work in a farm. And all I really wanted during this time was to rescue all animals. I hated the circus since I was a kid, and I was afraid of rooms with hunting trophies. At that age of course I didn’t understand my fear. That feeling was inside of me over the years, so I can’t imagine myself using any cream which could be tested on animals. I am also very concerned about the environmental issues that are closely linked to cattle breeding. So it was completely normall to create cosmetics that were in line with my principles – nothing from animals, nothing (no product, no raw material) has been tested on animals.
We have been looking for a name for a long time and wanted to make it clear that the products are vegan. We have an old video on our Facebook profile, where a curious fox runs around in the woods and watches closely the person he meets. It has been filmed here in Latvia by our friend. It’s like the fox itself came to our name. So there was no doubt that Vegan Fox was the real name for us. Of course we are having a question – is the fox vegan? Yes, our one is!
There are many cosmetic brands in the world and everyone has the opportunity to find what they like best. There are fantastic opportunities to make your favourite cosmetics at home. Actually I was doing it in a past. Our products are manufactured and packed here in Latvia. We use natural oils, so some cosmetic products have relatively short shelf life. We do not use parabens, mineral oils and GMOs. Neither do we use gluten or soy. The real power of our brand is what we do in our free time. We are helping with animal shelters, organizing cleaning works, planting forests. All those works help improve live of animals. We do it all with friends, relatives, and children because we believe it makes sense and these small achievements bring us joy and satisfaction. The company does not make enough money to do anything truly impressive in the field of animal assistance, but it is your opportunity to help a small family business do more by buying our products.
Produce vegan, qualitative and ethical cosmetics and use the funds earned to support activities to make the world greener and animals safer. Everything we do now, only on a larger scale.
It seems even cool to us. We are clearly positioning ourselves and our clients need not doubt that they are making a good choice. Society is very diverse – for some part veganism seems like a show and fashion, but for others it is a complete sense and lifestyle. I trust my people will understand theirs and I really have no desire to sell to everyone and as much as possible, I want the right people to find the right products. One of our hard homework was getting the Vegan Society certification, it took a lot of time and energy to prepare all the necessary documentation, but it gives real assurance that all the products are vegan, that nothing has been missed.
I come from a big Latvian family where everyone has a joke in pocket about being vegan. I completely stopped eating meat 5 years ago when we started the Vegan Fox business. Slowly I transformed to a vegan lifestyle. The transition was easy and understandable, without the pressure to organism. The body has switched to a plant-based diet and now meat and fish are causing a mind and body backlash. I have always had low iron and blood pressure, but now my blood tests have improved. To be honest sometimes I cheat with a slice of cheese or a spoon of honey.
We have 5 children in the family and each has his own menu setting. My ally in veganism is 13-year-old daughter Nora, her main motivation is not to hurt animals. Other family members also prefer non-vegan foods, but I have accustomed to daily meals of legumes, vegetables, cereals, soy and salads and only rarely we make the meals that vegans would hesitate to. I believe that it is natural for everyone to make their own choices, I can help and support.
A step-by-step approach seems to me more appropriate. Slowly reduce the diet of meat, fish, dairy products and experiment with various vegan meals. Nowadays, there are fantastic opportunities – there are so many different sources of information on recipes, I am inspired by blogs and store offers. Just start and introduce yourself new traditions in kitchen. A very good choice is soy and legume products, which can really replace the meat. We experimented with our friends who thought they were eating minced meat sauce but actually had a 100% vegan dinner.
I’m glad if someone gradually cuts their meat consumption by half instead of suddenly trying out a week’s vegan lifestyle and then proudly announcing it’s not for him. I recommend that you choose as many vegan cosmetics, household chemicals and other everyday items as possible. You do not have to be vegan to do so.
Be safe, creative and respect nature and animals!