Today, transparency is key — and support for a brand doesn’t come blindly. A 2022 survey found that only 25 percent of consumers agree brands are transparent about the environmental and social impact of its products. But even as consumer confidence wanes, the genuine commitment to do better grows. So when a beauty brand like Garnier becomes Leaping Bunny approved, it’s safe to consider that a win for the future.
For Garnier to have been given the stamp of approval by Cruelty Free International under the Leaping Bunny Program, the leading organization working to end animal testing and the cruelty-free gold standard, the brand had to establish a continuous monitoring system to ensure that all of its suppliers and manufacturers comply with Leaping Bunny criteria, and all products, raw materials, and ingredients are checked for any new animal testing at least every 12 months. Garnier’s genuine commitment to better, safer, more ethical solutions doesn’t just stop at animal testing. Today, 99 percent of ingredients in Garnier products are vegan and not derived from animals. The brand also hopes to make other positive changes, like aiming to have 800 communities in the brand’s ingredient sourcing program, prioritizing less water usage, and making its global plants and distribution centers carbon neutral.
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, has spent her entire career fighting to dismantle animal testing, and while she agrees that there’s more work to be done, change is coming — it’s what motivates her every day. “Since I began my journey, it’s been so inspiring to see the growth in ethical consumerism, the number of brands seeking Leaping Bunny status, and the change that Cruelty Free International is driving with regulators and governments worldwide,” she says. “Everyone has the power to create the change they want to see — as a consumer and a citizen.”
So we know what the industry looked like before and what it looks like now, but what’s our POV for the future? Ahead, we ask three women about their hope for the future of the industry — and the difference they want to see.
Olu is a cosmetic chemist and licensed esthetician who dispels product and ingredient misinformation as a science communicator on social media.
On the evolution of product development:
“I hope product development (PD) will evolve throughout the lifecycle of product development, taking animal testing into consideration. The Cruelty Free International approval allows companies such as Garnier to observe how each step of PD can impact animals and how these processes can be improved.”
On the future of product testing:
“The future of product testing looks like innovation. Essentially, this is scientists and researchers finding new ways to improve testing or creating new methods that stray away from what we are traditionally used to. The opportunities for innovation within beauty and chemistry are endless, so I am always excited to see how processes can be created and improved.”
On the promise of transparency:
“I hope to see more brands and companies thoroughly detailing the processes they go through in a clear way for the consumer to understand. By brands explaining why they chose approvals, such as Cruelty Free International, describing what processes they have enlisted (i.e., testing, supply chain, etc.) internally and why, this can be a significant step toward improving transparency and building trust within the industry.”
Rodriguez is a model and clean beauty, whole body wellness content creator, who, amid the pandemic, revamped her lifestyle in order to optimize her health. This included the products she consumed and used on a daily basis.
On product and testing transparency:
“Product transparency as well as testing are super important to me because we should have the agency to choose wisely what we are putting on our bodies, and also be able to choose whether a product is aligned with our overall ethos.”
On the impact of cruelty-free products:
“Leaping Bunny-approved products are great to look out for if the consumer desires to avoid tacit participation in animal cruelty. I am hoping that Garnier’s commitment to cruelty-free products will influence other companies to start investing in our future.”
On standardized certifications:
“It allows consumers to make educated decisions . . . based on elevated standards. Leaping Bunny approved products are great to look out for if the consumer desires to avoid tacit participation in animal cruelty.”
Leneir is a young climate activist fighting for a solution-focused and justice-oriented approach to climate change. She is the founder of Sustainable and Just Future (SJF), a Gen Z nonprofit working to make environmental education accessible.
On animal testing in the beauty industry:
“I hate that animal testing was a normalized and even necessary part of the beauty industry for so long, and I’m very relieved to see so many companies moving to ban it completely. It might not be making a huge difference in a company’s impact on the environment, but I think we need more of an emphasis on ethics as well.”
On the importance of certifications:
“We’re always having this conversation about individual actions versus system change; corporations are a massive part of the world’s systems. Certifications can help improve companies’ sustainability practices even more — they have to let an impartial third-party look at their processes and judge whether or not they’re legit. You often see that when a company decides to go for a certification like cruelty-free . . . they’re willing to make additional improvements in order to meet the requirement.”
On the power of collective change:
“It’s really hard to see your impact as an individual when the problems feel so global. But when you get numbers that say, millions of products were sold this year that were certified cruelty-free, or 16 percent of the US market is now plant milk, it makes you feel like there’s a movement you can be a part of.”
How to Make Your Voice Heard
Become a cruelty-free advocate with Garnier by visiting the link here. For every click, Garnier will donate $1 to Cruelty Free International to help put an end to animal testing.*
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