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 cosmetic expert 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.
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- regardless 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.
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 large fraction 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.
3. Purchasing a parent company’s cruelty-free brand sends a powerful message.
However, with the above point said, 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.
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 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.