‘Against Animal Testing’- A marketing slogan?
The other day while driving past a leading “natural” cosmetic Shop’s store, I saw a large poster proclaiming their support for a global ban against animal testing. I have also lately seen a few Indian brands proudly claiming that their products are free from animal testing. Is that a big deal?
Not really, considering that India has officially banned testing of cosmetics on animals since 2014 and followed it up by banning the testing of soaps and detergents on animals. Therefore, all cosmetics manufactured & sold legally in India are supposed to be free from animal testing.
In view of the above, it seems that these brands are playing on the lack of updated knowledge of Indian consumers and trying to score brownie points.
Interestingly European Union had started phasing out animal testing on cosmetics as early as 2004 and by 2013 there were no products that had been tested on animals. It also meant that many brands which had built their consumer base through their call for ban on animal testing, were now in search for a new cause to embrace. Their life was made more difficult by new EU cosmetics labeling regulation which disallowed the use of “Not tested on Animals” claim on labels. Why do you need to claim something that each cosmetic product was following? It is like a car manufacturer advertising their car has seat belts when all cars are mandated to have seat belts. Perhaps something similar should be done in India in which case this would make the marketing teams of some brands wake-up and think of new marketing ideas.
I am completely for a global ban on animal testing and there are two key economies which still allow animal testing i.e. US and China. In fact, China introduced laws requiring testing on animals for registration of cosmetics products intended to be sold in China. I learnt about this when our certifier BDIH, Germany wrote to its members warning them against allowing their products for sale in China as this would mean a tacit support for animal testing, which BDIH completely prohibits. It is one of the requirements for getting a BDIH certification that the brand commits itself to a 100% No Animal Testing policy, something SoulTree has followed since its inception. As a result of coming to light of China’s animal testing policy, some of the major BDIH certified German brands withdrew their products from the Chinese market, even at a high cost and future losses. BDIH members proved that they placed ethics above business interest. Read more on this subject here http://organic-market.info/news-in-brief-and-reports-article/Animal_testing_in_China-not_with_Logocos,Lavera_and_BDIH_.html
Today a brand’s stance on animal testing can be gauged by whether their products are sold in China or not.
This brings me to my main point that an ethic, a principle has been turned into a marketing gimmick by some brands. It became more than that, a joke, when the most famous Shop, poster boy of fight against Animal Testing was sold to a cosmetics conglomerate which has a plethora of brands which allow or perform animal testing. Find out their names in this list
You will also find the parent company of a luxury Ayurveda brand on this list. Perhaps they should try convincing their parent to embrace the compassion of Ayurveda and adopt responsible luxury.
How can a brand be against animal testing when its owners are for it!
It’s like someone who eats non-Vegetarian, brandishing his little finger and saying, that part of me never touches anything from animals.
In the end, I still don't have a problem in some brand raising the banner of ban against animal testing but I have a problem when someone wears a T-shirt with a cute bunny during the day but at night wears a mascara that might have been tested on that bunny’s cousin.