Let’s look into the ELEMIS brand’s current animal testing policy and cruelty-free status in 2020.
Is ELEMIS Cruelty-Free?
Is ELEMIS a cruelty-free brand? NO! ELEMIS is a British luxury brand and it has been termed cruelty-free as it does not support animal testing directly or work with suppliers that do and does not have stores in mainland China. As per the store locator on their website, they have their spas and salons in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR China, however these are independent of the People’s Republic of China and hence the mandatory law of animal testing on cosmetic products does not apply to Hong Kong, Macau as well as Taiwan.
BUT! ELEMIS was acquired in January 2019 by the L’Occitane Group, a company that sells in China and is also on the PETA list of companies that test on animals.
And in light of this acquisition, ELEMIS cannot be considered a cruelty-free brand.
Is ELEMIS Sold in China?
Are ELEMIS products available in China? YES! ELEMIS is now owned by the L’Occitane Group, a company that has stores in mainland China.
The Chinese law states that products that fall under the cosmetic category which include make-up, perfume, skin-care, sunscreen etc (except oral care and soaps) and are manufactured outside China have to undergo mandatory testing on animals before they can be permitted for sales in stores in China.
Apart from pre-market tests, products are also pulled out from shelves and tested, especially after a consumer complaint.
And this is the main reason why products that sell to mainland China cannot be considered completely cruelty free as it always runs a risk of being subjected to animal abuse.
So yes ELEMIS is available in China and as per the financial reports of the L’Occitane group, the acquisition contributed to an increase of 8% growth in the Chinese market in the second quarter of the FY2020. (source)
Is ELEMIS Vegan?
Is ELEMIS Vegan? NO!
A brand can be considered Vegan if, one, it does not have any ingredients (active or inactive) that are derived from animals and two, if it is not involved in any form of animal cruelty or abuse.
ELEMIS is sold in China, where testing cosmetics on animals is required by law and since the brand or its parent company abide by these laws, they are indirectly involved in animal cruelty.
Also ELEMIS has many products that contain animal derived ingredients like Beeswax, Honey, Milk proteins and Milk Lipids. The products also contain certain alcohols like Cetyl, Stearyl and Lanolin and these are fatty alcohols made from animal tallow.
ELEMIS neither has vegan friendly products nor is it cruelty free and hence it is NOT a vegan brand.
What Is ELEMIS’ Animal Testing Policy?
ELEMIS’ animal testing policy is mentioned as an FAQ on its official website and it states;
ELEMIS have been against the use of animals to test beauty products since our inception over 30 years ago. We do not test our products, active ingredients or raw materials on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process, and we require all our suppliers to fully respect the same rigorous standards.
Our number one priority is the health and safety of our consumers. All our product formulations have therefore been tested extensively over time through alternative methods, including product safety tests and user/clinical trials.
We are deeply committed to ending animal testing for beauty products globally and we support collaborative industry-wide efforts to achieve this goal.
In China, where ELEMIS is sold, all imported beauty products must be submitted for compulsory testing on a limited animal panel in government laboratories before they can be approved for sale in the country. Specifically, the Chinese authorities require a regulatory dossier including results from one-off tests (which vary based on product category) in order to issue a Hygiene Permit for each new imported cosmetic product. The authorities also stipulate that cosmetics may be subject to random, post-market sampling tests for auditing purposes. These regulatory requirements apply to all cosmetic products not manufactured locally.
As much as a brand advocates their efforts to support changing laws and end cruelty, when they themselves have a part to play in the very same process that they are against, all for the sake of expansion and growth and profits then their efforts begin to seem hypocritical in nature.
Is ELEMIS Owned By A Parent Company?
YES! ELEMIS is now owned by the L’Occitane Group after an acquisition deal where they bought the 1990 founder-led ELEMIS brand.
What Does ELEMIS Sell?
ELEMIS is a luxury skincare brand for men and women offering a range of products like anti-aging creams, masks, exfoliators, eye-care, sun care, facial oils, shaving products etc.
What Is ELEMIS’ Current Cruelty-Free Position?
ELEMIS’ position in 2020 is that it is NOT a cruelty-free brand.
ELEMIS is categorized as a not cruelty-free brand because it adheres to one or more of the 5 criterias
- A company directly engages in animal testing
- A company’s supplier’s engage in animal testing
- A company permits a third party to test on their behalf
- A company tests on animals when required by law
- A company sells products in stores in mainland China despite being aware of the country’s mandatory animal testing policy
I Use ELEMIS Products. What Can I Do to Help?
Talk to the brand! Let them know that their decision to expand to untouched markets may certainly have helped positioned the brand’s name internationally, however it has left its usual customer base that cared about ELEMIS’ cruelty free stance with a bitter taste.
Bigger brands have the ability to bring about change and put pressure on governments to change their existing laws and show to the world that they really care about the planet and not just their market share and initiatives to ban animal cruelty is not something just for the papers.