This is, for sure, one of my most asked questions by my readers. In many of my articles I emphasize the importance of the official cruelty free certification logos by the organizations PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Cruelty Free International (The Leaping Bunny Program) and Choose Cruelty Free.
As Flawless and Pawless focuses on cruelty free cosmetic brands available in Ireland, although there are some Choose Cruelty Free-certified brands sold here, in this article I will be highlighting the differences between the certification programs of PETA and The Leaping Bunny, which are more applicable to Europe.
For vegans, the only way to be 100% sure a brand is both cruelty free and vegan is for it to be certified by one of these organizations as well as one of the official vegan organisations, such as The Vegan Society or Vegan.org.
This organisation owns the most popular cruelty free certification in the US, with the likes of Wet N’ Wild and Urban Decay proudly holding their cute bunny logo under their name. However, there are a few issues that one should keep in mind when purchasing a cruelty free brands that is certified by PETA:
• The certification does not require an audit from a company or their manufacturers
• Only a simple questionnaire is filled out by the company and submitted for their cruelty free certification application
• Just because a brand is certified cruelty free by PETA does NOT mean the brand is vegan.
The Leaping Bunny
Run by Cruelty Free International, The Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized cruelty free program. Personally, this is the logo I trust the most. Here are the points to keep in mind about this certification:
• The certification process is rigorous and requires independent audits from companies and their manufacturers
• The certification scrutinises the entire ingredients line used by the company
• The certification gets a company to work to a fixed cut-off date, after which ALL ingredients used in their products MUST be 100% cruelty free
• The program regularly follows up with the brands they have certified to attain additional audits to ensure they are still 100% cruelty free
I understand a consumer’s concern about the Leaping Bunny’s ‘fixed cut-off date’, as it can of course mean that a brand that is certified by the Leaping Bunny once used ingredients that had been tested on animals. However, it does mark a huge modern difference in the Beauty Business industry- these companies who aim to be certified by the Leaping Bunny realise the importance and growth in the market of ethically-produced cosmetics, and have worked extremely hard to eradicate any questionable and disgusting ingredients from their products.
In conclusion, I do believe that both of the certification programs are reliable, however I would follow up any PETA-certified brands with additional evidence. If you are not cool with the fixed cut-off date for the Leaping Bunny program, I would recommend opting for just 100% certified vegan cosmetics instead.I hope this article answers your questions about these certification companies, and if you have any further questions or concerns please do get in touch with me!
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