Rethinking the value chain | Everyday products made from unexpected animals

27 February 2019 - 07:00
By thango ntwasa
Image: 123RF/michaeljung.

Coming up with an innovative idea is difficult, especially when considering there just isn’t anything new under the sun. Quite often, entrepreneurs break new grounds by finding ideas through the value chain. And what better way to make innovative solutions than with innovative uses for different animals.

If you thought getting the land was a great way to make more money, here are six innovative products that can help inspire you to make cruelty free products made from animal parts.


How is it made: A number of companies have been known to use spermaceti, which is taken from the inside of a whale’s head.

Alternatives: Jojoba oil is a great place to look. According to the United Kingdom based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) website, the International Jojoba Export Council has even signed a treaty with the WDC to promote the use of Jojoba oils as an alternative to spermaceti.

Paint brushes

How is it made: The bristles from the brushes (for household use and make-up) are actually animal furs, commonly taken from horses.

Alternatives: Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has shared that there are options to using synthetic brushes for the bristles. The best option for household use brushes is Taklon which is noted by Peta as the best option for synthetic bristles.


How is it made: Plywood contains blood albumen glue, a substance obtained from fresh animal blood.

Alternatives:  There are a number of vegetal alternatives being produced, one of these contains corn gem.Science Daily shared that an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist had researched this solution. Chemist, Milagro Hojilla-Evangelista, determined that the substitute can also replace wheat flour which is also used in the production of plywood.


How is it made: To ensure that the sugar gets whitened, manufacturers use bone char which is made up of burned animal bones.

Alternatives: Unfortunately there are no official bone char alternatives; however sucanat (unrefined sugar) and turbinado sugar (raw sugar) which do not use bone char are good to use.