I have been a pet friendly blog for a year now but the one thing I have never touched upon was parent companies and animal testing. For anyone new, I started researching into buying cruelty free skincare, makeup, haircare etc. a random Summer’s night when I was in bed watching a film and Sunney was right next to me. I discovered the pain and torture that animals go through just to check whether our foundation will okay on our skin and I started crying. From that moment I knew I didn’t want to support those brands. I wanted to find more cruelty free friendly brands to support, however, little did I know how tricky and confusing it can be and I still struggle to this day.
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 really helped me to get a better understanding myself.
There are also so many helpful content creators that have helpful posts on blogs and Instagram that I regularly turn to when I am looking for a specific product. They all work so hard in staying up to date with the latest information that I take my hats off to them. Some of my faves are: mo’adore, Cruelty Free Kitty, Ellie, Logical Harmony and Vegan Beauty Girl.
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.
Now the big question, and one which is divided amongst the cruelty free blogging community 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 you are feeling overwhelmed standing in the middle of Boots with all the makeup stands around you and you are just wanting to pick up a mascara to replace the one that ran out this morning.
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, that is is important to still buy from the brand itself to show there is still a demand for cruelty free products.
as long as the brand itself remains cruelty free I'll still shop from it because I think it's important to show demand for CF!
— Sarah Kirby (@sarahkirbyblog) November 15, 2016
Other people like Charlotte and Mica choose to only buy from brands with cruelty free parent companies.
I personally don't purchase from a company with a non cf parent company anymore, but it just depends on the situation etc ☺
— charlotte (@charw95) November 15, 2016
I've been staying away from those companies as much as I can!
— 🌿Mica Day🌍 (@Mica_D) November 15, 2016
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 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 its’ cruelty free brand.
Overall, I believe it is completely down to you. I am not going to be the one to judge anyone for their decisions. Buying from brands with parent companies that test on animals will, of course, give you more options. However, if you decide to only use products from brands with cruelty free parent companies then you may be limiting yourself to the products that are available to you and how easy it is to get them. Whatever your stance is when it comes to animal testing and parent companies remember that it is your opinion and don’t feel upset or bothered if someone else’s opinion is different. It’s a similar discussion as the vegetarian and vegan argument. You should feel proud for contributing to the community, even if it is a simple decision as to which company you are gong to buy your next facial wash or eyeshadow palette from. Personally, I care about the welfare of the animals and this is something I’ve grown passionate about especially since doing my research but I do also want to share the availability of products that we have around us and raise awareness that the smallest difference can make a big change.
What are your thoughts on brands with parent companies? Do you buy from them?
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