ANIMAL CRUELTY FREE
Cruelty-free certifications started popping up in the 1990s, and they have been on the rise ever since. Our impact partner and regenerative lifestyle brand Anato is certified cruelty-free. But what does that mean exactly? Well, that question is a little tricky to answer. At the moment, there is not an official government definition of cruelty-free, so organizations who want to accredit these certifications must create their own definition and set standards for their specific cruelty-free certification. In addition to a lack of a formal definition, brands are not required to label products that have been tested on animals. As a result, it can be difficult to know whether a product is cruelty-free or not.
What is it?
Due to the lack of government regulations, it is important to be informed on what organizations to look out for when purchasing cruelty-free products. There are two well-known certification organizations: Leaping Bunny and Beauty Without Bunnies. While both of these organizations may have different standards for accreditation, they both require that the brand as a whole is certified rather than a single product.
Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free brands and is considered the gold standard in cruelty-free certification for personal care and household product companies. Leaping Bunny was founded when eight national animal protection groups came together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) which promotes a uniform comprehensive standard and a globally recognized logo. This organization requires independent audits to verify the cruelty-free claims, as well as, an annual audit to ensure the company continues to be eligible for the certification.
Beauty Without Bunnies is PETA’s cruelty-free certification program. Companies who would like to be accredited this certification must either sing PETA’s statement of assurance or provide a statement that verifies that they do not conduct or commission animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products both presently or in the future. There are two types of designations a brand may be accredited: global animal test-free or global animal test-free and vegan. The global animal test-free certification means that accredited companies and brands have verified that in no part of the product’s production process do they or their suppliers conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and pledge to never do so in the future. The global animal test-free and vegan certification requires companies and brands to meet the same requirements and verify that their entire product line is free of animal-derived ingredients.
Though perhaps not incredibly well-known, Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) is an independent, non-profit organization that is based in Australia. This organization requires companies seeking accreditation to sign a legally binding contract that holds a strict policy on animal-derived ingredients and that none of the company’s products and ingredients (including those provided by its suppliers, have been tested on animals.
Why does it matter?
Cruelty-free certifications, especially ones accredited organizations with globally recognized standards, matter because anyone can claim to be cruelty-free. However, that statement is completely meaningless without the proof to back it up. Consumer education on which logos to look for in their products not only helps make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy, but it also helps end animal testing around the world. Similar to other positive impact certifications, certified cruelty-free products encourage manufacturers and service providers to adopt a cruelty-free ethic when consumers favor cruelty-free products over what is considered the norm. According to Humane Society International, more than 500,000 animals suffer and die for cosmetics testing every year. One of the easiest ways to shrink this number is by consumers voting with their dollars through purchasing cruelty-free products.
Cruelty-free accreditation contributes to meaningful change by working towards a kinder world for all living beings. All consumers have to do is know which logos to look for and make the switch to certified cruelty-free products, and therefore, push for a kinder future.