To Buy or Not to Buy? My Stance on Cruelty Free Brands Owned by Parent Companies That Test on Animals

It can be simple enough to shop cruelty-free by sticking to purchasing products with official certification labels on their packaging. However, one of the most common objections I face as a cruelty-free blogger is a cruelty-free consumer’s disgust when it comes to purchasing from brands that are owned by a parent company who sells in China, where it is still required by law for cosmetics to be tested on animals. A tricky subject to understand, here is all you need to know about non-independent cruelty-free cosmetic brands.

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Better Than Sex mascara by Too Faced, certified by PETA but owned by Esteé Lauder

1. A cruelty-free brand is a cruelty-free brand.

Any company who is officially certified by one of the three official certification companies (Leaping Bunny, PETA or Choose Cruelty Free) does NOT sell their brand in China, does not allow their suppliers/manufacturers/third parties to test on animals on their behalf, and does not conduct tests on animals themselves- regardless of whether their parent company does. While each of these certifications is official, the Leaping Bunny is the most reliable as it scrutinises the entire supply chain and includes independent audits.

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2. Your money does go to the parent company.

Ultimately, if you purchase from a cruelty-free brand that is owned by a parent company, a portion of your spending does go to the parent company. It is at the consumer’s discretion whether or not they wish to purchase from these brands, and it is an understandable ongoing debate that buy purchasing from these brands, you are helping to fund further animal testing under the regulation’s of the parent company- which is the opposite of what we want.

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3. Purchasing from a cruelty-free brand that is owned by a parent company that tests on animals sends a powerful message.

The consumer market speaks loudly in the world of business, and by choosing to purchase products from the cruelty-free brands and NOT the parent company’s, you are politely but efficiently showing the parent company that you value ethically-produced cosmetic products.

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So… to buy or not to buy?

This decision is entirely up to you. As my first point says, a cruelty-free brand is a cruelty-free brand. They do not sell in China. They do not condone animal cosmetic tests. They do not test on animals, and have had background checks in the process of acheiving their official certifications. However, it is always best to stick to purchasing independent, certified cruelty-free cosmetic brands, as that way you are being 100% cruelty-free. But realistically, many cruelty-free brands that are owned by a parent company are still extremely popular in the consumer market- so if you decide to continue purchasing them, give up purchasing from their parent company, as this will send a loud message to them.

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Flawless and Pawless is Ireland's cruelty-free cosmetic blog created by 23 year-old cosmetic expert, Ailsha Davey. With eight years working in the beauty industry in Dublin as a professional make-up artist and cosmetic expert, Ailsha discovered some of the horrors of cosmetic animal testing- and the lack of knowledge within the Irish market about it. Flawless and Pawless has been set up to spread awareness across Ireland of cosmetic animal testing, as well as to provide suggestions for cruelty-free alternatives to the Irish market's favourite cosmetic products.

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