Providing Everyone a Clear Conscience
Stephen Bartell always made it a point to only buy cruelty-free products. So when he realized that he couldn’t find contact lens products that were not animal-tested, he set out to create them himself. That was eight years ago. Today, his company, Clear Conscience, sells multi-purpose contact lens solution in more than 1,000 locations across the country.
Finding a supplier for saline solution was fairly easy. But developing a cruelty-free multi-purpose solution presented more challenges. “I had to go over an ocean,” Bartell said of his attempts to find a company in the United States that had no ties to animal testing. Bartell finally found a company in the United Kingdom that manufactures the multi-purpose solution and ships it for distribution in the United States.
Bartell is an environment and natural resource lawyer based in Washington, D.C. He became interested in animal rights issues as a freshman at the University of Miami. He spoke out against the use of primates at the university’s medical school and began joining both local and national animal rights organizations. Bartell donates 10 percent of the proceeds from sales of his contact lens solution to about a dozen different animal welfare organizations.
Clear Conscience is certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (www.leapingbunny.org), an independent organization that audits companies that claim to be cruelty-free. Their certification assures consumers that Clear Conscience and all affiliated companies and suppliers have never used animal testing.
“Clear Conscience is dedicated to providing the approximately 32 million Americans who wear contact lenses with products that are completely safety tested without the use of animals,” Bartell said. “We want those who wear contact lenses around the world to be able to have clean, clear contact lenses and a clear conscience.”
Clear Conscience is available at the country’s two largest natural products supermarkets, Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats Market, and in at least 500 independent health food stores. It’s also available online at www.ClearConscience.com.