Cruelty Free Brands And Parent Companies

I have been buying into cruelty free brands now for a while now but the one thing I have never touched upon was parent companies and animal testing. For anyone new to buying cruelty free skincare, makeup etc., it can be a little tricky and so confusing! If it makes you feel any better, I struggle with it too sometimes.

With this week’s announcement that Too Faced has now been brought by Estée Lauder, I think it is important that I talk about parent companies. Gemima wrote a very helpful post last year, Animal Testing & Parent Companies, which I think is important to mention as this ‘guide’ really helped me and it should be one that you read too.

A parent company is one that owns another or multiple companies, otherwise known as a subsidiary. The parent company has control over management and operation. In terms of animal testing, a parent company may have identical or completely different views on animal testing policies. For example, Jason is owned by the parent company Hain Celestial. Both the parent company and Jason are cruelty free and Leaping Bunny approved. Whereas, Urban Decay are Leaping Bunny approved which means they never test on animals however their parent company is L’Oreal who is one of the greatest offenders of animal testing.

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Now the big question is: “what if a parent company tests on animals?”

This all depends on you as a person and the values and ethics that you follow. It also raises arguments and concerns amongst the cruelty free community. Some think that if the brand is owned by an animal testing company, that brand will not be cruelty free. This in itself can be confusing for people who are just beginning to look for cruelty free brands and I know that this is something that can put many people off researching into where they buy their makeup and skincare from especially when your a young teenage girl just wanting to fit into a crowd at school.

Another point to mention from Gemima’s post is that when a brand is owned or brought by a parent company, the brand will often remain independent of the parent company in certain ways. This means that their products can be made separately and without being tested on animals. For example, the likes of The Body Shop, Urban Decay and NYX Cosmetics are all owned by L’Oreal however many people within the cruelty free community remain to buy from all of them companies. Liz Earle clearly prints the Leaping Bunny logo on the back of every product however they are owned by Avon and of course, Too Faced is now owned by Estée Lauder.

When asking on social media what other bloggers thought about parent companies, I received a mixed response. I’ve included some below which may help you come to a conclusion too. Many people agreed with Sarah from The V Nice Life, that is is important to still buy from the brand itself to show there is still a demand for cruelty free products.

So whilst Sarah would still by from the brand itself as long as it remains cruelty free, Victoria really struggles to support Estée Lauder because they are the biggest parent company and still decide to test on animals. Victoria, along with many others, thinks that this is ignorant and irresponsible.

Other people like Charlotte and Mica choose to only buy from brands with cruelty free parent companies.

Personally, I think it is a really hard decision to make especially as a beauty blogger in an ever growing community. You could say that you are supporting a cruelty free brand, whether it is a owned by a testing parent company or not, therefore you are sending a message to them that a large number of consumers don’t want products tested on animals. However, others state that we would be funding animal testing because the parent company is still performing certain actions that harm animals whilst reaping the profits from it’s cruelty free brand.

At the end of the day, it is completely up to you. Buying from brands with parent companies that test on animals will give you many more options. However, if you decide to only use products from brands with cruelty free parent companies then you are limiting the products that you are using and will need to find alternatives. Were they brought out by a brand to stop them from discontinuing? What are their values now?

Finally, I just wanted to mention that whether your someone who only buys from cruelty free testing brands including parent companies who don’t test on animals or you choose to buy from the likes of The Body Shop or Too Faced, your ethics and stance should not be brought down from other people in the community. It’s the same as the vegetarian and vegan argument which I am not going to go into now. You should feel proud for contributing to the community, even if it is a simple decision as to which company your going to buy your next facial wash or eyeshadow palette from.

What are your thoughts on brands with parent companies? Do you buy from them?

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  • Amy

    I still buy cruelty free brands even if their parent companies aren’t cos I view it the way I view a supermarket. I wouldn’t boycott the supermarket I buy my vegan products and fresh produce from just ‘cos they sell meat, dairy, and eggs. I’m not buying animal products but the company that sells said items is still getting my money which also means farmers who raise and kill the livestock etc. are also still getting paid. It’s the same with eating vegan food at non vegan restaurants, you got the vegan option but the restaurant has still got your money to pay the supplier they buy their animal products from. There’s a lot of loopholes that unfortunately mean we indirectly fund cruelty unless we stick to 100% cf companies. Big parent companies have started to realise there’s a large demand for cf products which is why they’re buying all the independent cf brands. It’s all a money making game.

    Amy | amiiliek

    • That’s such a good point to make Amy and there seems as though there is no running from it either which makes it more and more difficult. I suppose the only thing we can do is continue to support the cruelty free brands that we 100% know is cruelty free to show the testing parent companies that there is more of a demand for them over the other non cruelty free brands :) xx

  • Izzy K

    This is such an important topic to discuss and I really appreciate you raising awareness for cruelty free items. I’ve recently cut out any products that test on animals (even if it’s only their parent companies that do). I completely understand the logic of picking the cruelty free alternatives though, for a long time I used to buy from brands that were cruelty free but their parent companies weren’t. I thought it would kinda be like going into a supermarket that sells meat, and buying a vegetarian option, hence showing demand for vegetarian alternatives. Unfortunately I found out that that’s not quite how the parent company will see it. The money from all the brands that the company owns goes straight into the parent company’s pocket, regardless of it being cruelty free or not. Therefore, its unfortunately the same as supporting the parent company directly in my opinion. But I really liked the points you raised in this post. Hopefully if we all stick together and show that testing on animals is completely unacceptable, than companies will soon get the message and everything will be cruelty free one day :)

    http://izzyk1998.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://izzykreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

    • In an ideal world, I am sure we would love for every brand to not test on animals but in some countries it is required by law which I think is super sad! I think a lot of companies now are being brought out by testing parent companies which is so hard to avoid especially when your on a budget :) xx

  • Samantha Pinkie

    I’m currently trying to make the transition to a cruelty free cosmetic routine and parent companies are something I’ve discovered as a bit of an issue. It’s a hard one because you want to show your support and the demand for CF products but at the same time don’t want to give money to the parent company. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

    • I struggled with it at first but it is down to your personal preference and down to what you believe and what your ethics are :) xx

  • So glad you found my post helpful! I love how you’ve included other blogger’s viewpoints and that no one should be bringing anyone else down for their choices xx

    • It’s true though and thank you so much for your response :) xx