Cosmetics: What’s Cruelty-Free?

Cosmetics: What’s Cruelty-Free?

Our Cruelty Free Guide strives to be the most ethical guide around. It has strict standards.

On this page:

Our Cruelty Free Guide promotes vegan products!

Any product listed on our Guide is vegan. One of NZAVS’ core beliefs is that “animals aren’t commodities; they are sentient and capable of a wide range of emotions including pain, fear and happiness. It is therefore morally wrong to exploit animals.”

If a product is not tested on animals but hurts animals in other ways (such as exploiting them for milk), it is not good enough for the Guide!

This rule only applies to the products listed on the Guide. Many brands have vegan and non-vegan products. When buying products not listed on the Guide, make sure to check that they are vegan, even if the company is cruelty-free and has products on the Guide.

What about animal testing?

There are many sneaky ways for a company to claim it is cruelty-free while it secretly tests its products on animals. The Cruelty Free Guide filters out those companies by thoroughly vetting any company that wants to join.

Companies listed on the Guide can not test their products on animals, their ingredients on animals, or pay someone else to test the product on animals.

Companies on the Guide can not use sneaky tactics with parent companies to bypass the above rules.

Finally, companies listed on the Guide can not sell their products directly in mainland China.

If a product is on the Cruelty Free Guide, you can rest assured that it is not tested on animals.

What about products sold in China? 

The Cruelty Free Guide does not include companies that physically sell their products in China. This exclusion does not apply to e-commerce, where companies sell their products in China via the internet.

To arrive at this position, NZAVS reached out to similar organisations around the globe to dig through all the available information.

China requires cosmetics that are imported and physically sold in China to be tested on animals. Any company selling products like this in China is testing on animals to do so. They are not allowed in the Guide!

E-commerce is a bit trickier.  Products sold over the internet to Chinese consumers do not have an animal testing requirement. They may still be tested for safety by Chinese authorities for ‘post-market’ testing. 

The exact methodology of this post-market safety testing is not clear. To date, NZAVS has not been able to obtain any evidence that animal testing occurs for this post-market testing. After extensive discussion with our colleagues internationally, we have decided to allow products that are sold via e-commerce into China – for now.

If evidence comes to light that animal testing does occur for post-market testing for cosmetics sold via e-commerce in China, this policy will be revisited. You can learn more about the issue here.

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