When it comes to cruelty-free beauty there are two camps. Boycott brands with parent companies that test on animals or buy from brands with parent companies that test on animals to “vote with your pound”.
What is a parent company?
A parent company is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operation by doing and influencing or electing its board of directors. The second company is deemed a subsidiary of the parent company.
Parent company – Wikipedia
(excuse my wiki reference and don’t tell my students)
An example is Too Faced its Parent Company is Estée Lauder which is a company that sells in China. To sell cosmetic products in China they must be tested on animals before they enter the consumer market. This means that brands owned by Estée Lauder that can be found in china allow their products to be tested on animals before they hit the shelves.
You can find more information on how this works at this amazing cruelty-free beauty blog, Cruelty-Free Kitty
What does this mean for brands such as Too Faced, Urban Decay and Body Shop? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Some say it is important to support the brands that although have a Parent Company that tests on animals to show companies like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal that we want cruelty-free brands then hopefully they will be more inclined to ditch companies that test on animals and invest more in ones that don’t. Also, Parent Companies may learn from cruelty-free brands; how to source ingredients ethically, an alternative to animal testing etc. I’m not sure how much I agree with this as part of me thinks that large companies have enough money and resources to learn about this is they wanted to.
Other say, don’t buy from them as at the end of the day you are still ultimately giving money to people that test on animals. Even though Too Faced have pledged to stay out of the Chinese market, profits from their sales regardless will go to the Parent Company that does.
So, what to do? Firstly, do your own research then go with your head and your heart. For me, I can’t bring myself to buy from companies that are owned by parent companies and I am doing my best to stick to this. Inevitably I will slip up but I will learn from my mistakes and do my best to live by what I believe in. There are so many companies that don’t test on animal and it is fun to discover them.
What do you think? Vote with your money or boycott?