Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had another influx of PR emails promoting ‘cruelty free’ mink false lashes – obviously made of mink hair. Every time I get one of these emails, I call or email the PR back and try and set them right. There is literally no such thing as a set of cruelty free mink lashes. Generally, the email will tell me (hoping I will tell you) that the hairs are gently brushed from mink, or are ‘zoo by-product’. A quick FAQ check on a new to the UK brand declares this:

“Are the mink hairs used in our lashes sourced in a cruelty free way?

Our hair is harvested simply by brushing the mink coats. This process causes no pain or harm to the beautiful animal.”

The bottom line is that I’m not here to judge – if mink lashes are your thing, well, okay, but if you’re wearing them with the thought that it’s all fine because of this lovely, caring, gentle brushing, then you’ve been horribly misinformed.

Mink are wild animals – actually, quite aggressive – the thought that one could be gently brushed is laughable and akin to gently polishing a crocodile. You are just as likely to get bitten although the effects may not be as dramatic! Any brushing for mink hair, if that even exists and they’re not taken straight from mink pelts, can only be done in the context of a mink farm and there will be no ‘gentle’ about it. Mink would naturally object to this and fight tooth and nail for it not to happen unless they’re ill or caught in some movement restricting contraption. And, that’s genuinely not pretty. Think cages, dirty ones, literally no freedom for a wild animal that’s used to roaming, burrowing, swimming as it pleases – there’s nothing good whatsoever about a mink farm in terms of animal rights.

I’ve spoken with PETA both in the US and the UK and the organisation says this: “There is no such thing as “cruelty-free” mink lashes.  Mink fur used for the cosmetics industry in false lashes comes from animals that are bred on squalid factory farms and subject to unnatural confinement, abuse, neglect, and filthy living conditions.  These mink are not “gently combed” for their fur; on the contrary, they are abused and killed for their fur.  Mink suffer greatly even at the hands of so-called “humane” suppliers.”

So.. if you’re buying them and wearing them, you need the full facts to make a decision and please believe me, there is no cosy, joyful mink ‘brushing’ going on anywhere. It’s a crappy and meaningless existence for a mink on a farm where the end of their story is a coat. I’ve seen enough of these emails to know the mink lash thing is a ‘thing’ again and it’s surrounded with misconceptions and misleading information – and let’s not be shy – lies. If you have the facts, you’re making a decision fully armed with knowledge.

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