Ethical Inking: Comprehensive Guide to Vegan Tattoos

vegan tattoo ink

In a world where information is so easily accessible, it’s no wonder people are becoming increasingly conscious about the foods they choose to eat. Whether it’s avoiding produce that has been genetically modified or choosing hormone-free alternatives, adhering to an organic lifestyle has become all-encompassing. It comes as no surprise then that veganism, a lifestyle devoted to abstaining from any animal products, has sustained a recognizable surge in popularity in the last couple of years. In fact, veganism has grown 500% since 2014 in the United States alone! Just three years ago, a mere 1 percent of people identified as vegan, but recent statistics have shown that the percentage has raised to 6 percent. Veganism is defined by a lifestyle devoted to moral-responsibility that goes beyond ethical eating but incorporates cruelty-free philosophy into all aspects of life. This means that everything from shampoo to clothing – and yes, tattoo ink – all have to come in accordance with strict animal and cruelty-free guidelines.

Tattoos are undeniably a beautiful way to express yourself, but it is important to note that not all tattoo inks are created equal. While tattoo ink seems like an unlikely culprit for vegan scrutiny, many popular inks contain bone char, gelatin and glycerin. Bone char is typically used to make black ink, the most commonly used color in tattoos. As an ingredient made from burnt animal bones to achieve the darkest shade of black, bone char is as unpleasant as it sounds. Gelatin is an animal product found in several non-vegan products and foods. It is made from the boiled connective tissue of cows and pigs and serves as a binding agent in many varieties of inks – grizzly, we know. Lastly, glycerin is found in several popular ink brands and is a derivative of animal fats that acts as a stabilizer and makes the ink easier to deal with. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to go the rest of your life tattoo-less, for there are several plant-based inks that are completely devoid of any animal products!

In an effort to support veganism as an emerging lifestyle, many ink companies are readily choosing more natural and organic ingredients in their products. Keep in mind that tattoo inks are not FDA regulated, so many products may contain ingredients that are damaging to the skin. To ensure the ink you choose is safe for your skin, consider having a talk with your tattoo artist or with a representative from the ink company itself. Also, be cautious of where the tattoo ink is made, for the products made in China and Japan do not have to meet the same strict guidelines as those from other countries.

A common misconception about plant-based inks is that they fade faster. However, vegan inks do not fade any faster than conventional inks with animal products, and the longevity of your tattoo ultimately comes down to how you care for it. Practicing good aftercare routines and preventing fading from sun damage is key in maintaining the vividness of your tattoo design and can make it look fresh and bold for years and years. In an effort to support the vegan lifestyle, we provide several vegan and plant-based inks on our online shop.

Kuro Sumi Japanese Outlining Ink - 12oz

One of the most popular animal-free inks we feature is Kuro Sumi ink. This ink is made right here in the United States and is widely recognized for its bold and bright colors. The product has origins in Japan, hence its name, and the color is derived from burnt plant materials, making it completely vegan-friendly! We carry two kinds of Kuro Sumi ink, an outlining ink and a shading ink, both of which are able to be used in a wide variety of eye-catching tattoo designs and styles. Kuro Sumi has quickly made its way into the hearts of tattoo fanatics and artists alike as it is incredibly easy to use, heals beautifully and retains its bold, black color for an extremely long time!

Eternal Top 25 Color Set-1oz

We also proudly include a wide variety of Eternal Inks in our inventory. These inks are a popular choice among tattoo artists everywhere and pack a real vivid punch of color. Featuring a wide variety of deeply saturated colors that are pleasing to the eye, these inks are made entirely of natural pigments, deionized water and hamamelis water, making it completely devoid of any animal products. An additional benefit of these inks is that none of them are tested on animals and they are regularly evaluated for testing and quality assurance. Whether you’re looking for a traditional black tattoo or a design with a bright pop of color, Eternal ink is the perfect choice for tattooed vegans everywhere!

Intenze Tattoo Ink 10-Set - 1 oz

Intenze, an eminent brand of tattoo ink, was the first ink manufacturer to sterilize their ink and raise the industry’s health standards to brand new heights. Not only do they practice clean and safe protocols, but all of their inks are 100% vegan! These products are made entirely in the United States, and the company adheres to cruelty-free practices through their decision to never test on animals. Featuring a full rainbow of beautiful colors, Intenze inks are perfect for all you color-lovers out there! Whether you add a little or a lot of color, these inks will give your tattoo designs the ability to stand out against the crowd, no matter where you find yourself!

Alla Prima Periwinkle Ink Set

Alla Prima are plant-based tattoo inks that have been trusted by several tattoo artists for years. Known for their easy manipulation, bendability on skin and their fade-proof formula, Alla Prima inks have become one of the most widely used colored inks in the industry! These inks, which include a wide range of plant-based ingredients, are easily recognizable with their vibrant bright inks and dark, bold black inks, making them perfect for a far-reaching array of tattoo styles and designs!

Starbrite Chocolate Brown Tattoo Ink - 1oz

The tattooing possibilities with Starbrite inks are truly endless. Whether you are looking for a complete set of colorful inks or for individual bottles, these plant-based tattoo inks will surely give you a vibrant, beautiful tattoo design. Starbrite color tattoo ink is fully compliant with U.S. FDA requirements regarding sterilization, testing, bottling, labeling and shipping, and their pigments have a worldwide reputation for being some of the finest, cleanest tattoo inks available anywhere!

Here at Element Tattoo Supply, we are happy to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, including veganism, and pride ourselves on our expansive collection of plant-based tattoo inks. Did we miss your favorite vegan tattoo ink in our guide? Share your thoughts and your favorite plant-based ink brands in the comment section below!

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