A-Z Of International Cruelty-Free Brands To Add To Your Beauty Regime
Let fluffy bunnies lie. Make simple swaps to your beauty regime with these cruelty-free beauty buys
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t slightly bothered by the fact their foundation/bronzer/mascara had first been used on one of our fluffier friends.
According to a report listed on The Humane Society International, 115 million animals are used and/or killed in laboratory experiments every year. This includes mice, rats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, farm animals — even cats and dogs.
It’s an eye-watering statistic, driven by countries like China where animal testing is mandatory to meet its safety standards for the sale of cosmetic products.
Because of China’s huge importance as a market, many brands continue to export there. Even though such brands may claim (and be) cruelty free in home markets, the hard truth is this: any company that sells its goods in physical stores in mainland China cannot be cruelty-free certified. Unless, of course, they’ve figured out you can side-step the rules by selling direct to consumers in China via online platforms.
But interestingly, China’s animal testing law does not apply to online shopping. If a Chinese customer purchases a beauty product on a foreign shopping site, that product doesn’t have to be tested on animals.
Territories not part of mainland China, including Hong Kong and Macau, are also not governed by the mainland laws requiring testing; therefore brands that are sold physically in any of these regions can be deemed as cruelty-free. The same applies in the island state of Taiwan.
US brand Nars was recently under fire for its controversial decision to start selling products in physical stores in China once again, therefore ridding the brand of its former cruelty-free status.
Its change of heart goes against the trend, of a number of global brands moving away from animal testing, or making promises to. Earlier this year, Estee Lauder announced it was forging a new alliance with Cruelty Free International, and has since pledged to bring an end to cosmetic testing on animals by 2023.
US beauty blogger Suzi, aka Cruelty-Free Kitty is one who wastes no time in exposing brands that are owned by a parent company that isn’t cruelty-free. This means that while a brand itself may not test on animals, the umbrella company it sits under does. Her comprehensive list includes 142 cruelty-free beauty brands (many of which are available in New Zealand), as well as a number of downloadable cruelty-free brand guides.
Cruelty-free shopping guides are also available on the Leaping Bunny or PETA website.
Beautybliss.co.nz also makes easy work of cruelty-free shopping; its website features a cruelty-free edit of more than 620 brands that aren’t tested on animals.
THE NZ SITUATION
In New Zealand, government reforms in 2015 to the Animal Welfare Act 1999 saw a ban on testing cosmetics on animals here. That’s good news for buyers of brands whose provenance live here, but the legislation does not cover the many other beauty brands imported from overseas. (A recent report conducted by the Ministry Of Primary Industries into the statistics on the use of animals in research, testing and teaching in New Zealand June is available to view at NZavs.org.nz).
We have not included New Zealand brands in our cruelty free A to Z, because most of the source material we’ve drawn on focuses on international brands. Although a few NZ brands are on international lists, the surveying is not comprehensive due to the large number of small brands we have. Rather than list just a handful of local brands, while omitting others that are compliant, we instead recommend that consumers wishing to check the status of locally manufactured cosmetics, are best to visit brand websites or to ask companies direct if they export to China.
Kiwi animal charity SAFE launched its SAFEshopper app in 2015, which aims to help New Zealanders to use their consumer power to select cosmetic and household products that haven’t been tested on animals. Participating companies do not conduct any animal testing of any cosmetic or household product ingredients, nor do they sell their products to countries that require this testing by law.
With all of the above in mind, we’ve searched high and low to bring you our A-Z guide of cruelty-free beauty brands available in New Zealand.
Please note — excluded from this list are cruelty-free brands that are owned by a parent company that hasn’t been certified as cruelty-free.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Chi Chi Cosmetics
Dr Dennis Gross
Eye Of Horus
Hask Argan Oil
I Heart Revolution
Jeffree Star Cosmetics
Kat Von D
Malin + Goetz
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Nude By Nature
Soap and Glory
The Body Shop
Wet N Wild
Okana Is The Natural Skincare Brand That Celebrates The Joy Of Less
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