Beauty Without Cruelty

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Beauty Without Cruelty Stall in Adyar.

Beauty Without Cruelty is an animal rights movement and a British company that manufactures vegan cosmetics without animal-derived components or animal testing. It was established by Theosophists Lord Hugh Dowding and Lady Muriel Dowding.[1] The Theosophical Order of Service works with BWC, which has centers in Adyar and Varanasi, India.[2]

According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

In the late 1950s Muriel Dowding, with like-minded friends, founded Beauty without Cruelty, originally to campaign against existing cruel practices in the fashion and cosmetics industry. She helped to publicize the ingredients of cosmetics, in particular the use of whale oil in lipsticks and civet in scent, and the testing of cosmetics and shampoos on animals; she also compiled lists of brands free from cruelty. Beauty without Cruelty held its first official meeting in autumn 1959. Imitating the practice of animal rights campaigners such as Louise Lind af Hageby, Muriel Dowding organized alternative fashion shows in London, New York, and Amsterdam, demonstrating synthetic and cruelty-free alternatives to furs. The Beauty without Cruelty fashion and cosmetic business followed, and boutique premises were obtained in the 1960s.[3]


  1. Dowding, Muriel. The Psychic Life of Muriel, the Lady Dowding: an Autobiography. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Pub. House, 1980.
  2. C.V. Agarwal, "Networking in India Against Animal Cruelty," TOS In-Touch Online newsletter, January 2009. Available at TOS In-Touch Online.
  3. Hilda Kean, "Dowding , Muriel, Lady Dowding (1908–1993)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008. Available at Oxford DNB, accessed 6 Nov 2013.

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