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3 Top Tips For Starting A Cruelty-Free Business

With ethical living growing more popular by the day, yoga instructor turned award-winning business owner Louise Palmer-Masterton shares her thoughts on founding a cruelty-free enterprise

3 Top Tips For Starting A Cruelty-Free Business
In 2016, long-term vegan Louise Palmer-Masterton raised just under £100,000 on to launch plant-based restaurant Stem + Glory. Two locations opened in central Cambridge and the business soon flourished. By 2018, another £600,000 was in the bag thanks to Crowdcube, and a third location will be coming to London by the end of the year. We caught up with Louise to find out how she did it all:

"Cruelty-free is having its moment. From veganism to animal welfare and non-animal testing, more and more people are demanding transparency from businesses in terms of their practices. Even ethical business such as ourselves are having to dig deeper into everything, from supply chain to personal morals and motivations, to stand up to the rigorous challenge that being truly cruelty-free brings.

"So where do we start being cruelty-free? Well, of course, as with anything, I do believe we start with ourselves. I had my ‘aha’ moment as a teenager. I had a chance encounter with the Krishna movement and was introduced to the idea of compassionate eating for the first time. I gave up eating meat on the spot and never looked back. Not eating animals is a big part of being cruelty-free for me, and I personally feel you cannot claim to be cruelty-free if you consume or sell meat products.

"I think these kinds of ‘aha’ moments have the power to change the path of your life in a very transformative way. So, it helps to educate yourself about what is really going on in the world: in farming practices, how we treat animals, and how we treat each other. Take time to read about what actually goes on, without staying in your comfort zone with this information out of sight.

"So how does this look in a business?

1: On the surface, it is about your suppliers and the supply chain. Everything needs to stand up to scrutiny. Not stocking products that are tested on animals and having that as a company policy is important.

2: We, of course, also eliminate ALL animal products from our stock and supply chain. We only work with ethical suppliers who have done their own due diligence on their suppliers.

3: Beyond that, and perhaps even more importantly, being cruelty-free really starts with positive actions and interactions. And that comes from you. Be kind and be compassionate with everyone. Staff, suppliers, contractors anyone with whom you have professional dealings.

"I believe that if we want to live in a cruelty-free world, it starts with compassion to self and compassion to others - whoever they are. If all our thoughts and actions were grounded in love, the world truly would be a cruelty-free place."

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