L’Occitane is NOT cruelty-free.
This means that this brand either tests on animals, pays for animal testing, or sells in mainland China. Some brands that fall under this category test on animals where required by law, which means they're not cruelty-free.
At a Glance
|Finished products tested on animals||Yes, where required by law|
|Ingredients tested on animals||No|
|Suppliers test on animals||Uncertain|
|Third party animal testing||Yes, where required by law|
|Sold in mainland China||Yes|
L’Occitane's Official Animal Testing Policy
“L’OCCITANE does not and has never tested its products, its active ingredients or its raw materials on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process.
L’OCCITANE is fundamentally committed to the abolition of animal testing of beauty products worldwide. In China, where our products are retailed, the local Chinese authorities request testing on some cosmetic products sold on the Chinese market, as they view it as the best way to safeguard their consumers’ safety. Our company does not conduct those tests; they are done by Chinese laboratories, approved by local authorities on a limited animal panel.
To move forward we decided to develop our relationship with the Chinese authorities to pledge the case for the end of animal testing for beauty products, through open dialogue. Since 2010 we have therefore engaged with the relevant authorities, as well as animal rights NGOs. Our goal has been to highlight alternatives techniques used in Europe where animal testing has been banned. This constructive dialogue has led to a series of advances in Chinese regulation including a decision to end this type of test as of June 2014, on so-called ordinary cosmetics that are manufactured and packaged locally (shampoo, perfume etc.), as well as on imported hygiene products (soap, toothpaste etc.). On the 11th Nov 2016, the Chinese authorities announced the first alternative animal test (AAT) in cosmetic raw material. This is another milestone step. Currently, more alternative tests are under development by NIFDC (National Institute for Food and Drug Control) L’Occitane cares about every small movement on AATs in China.
We remain of the firm opinion that it is by working from inside China that we will be best placed to further influence Chinese regulation and put an end to animal testing. L’Occitane will continue proactive work with cosmetic industrial organizations in China, to push forward more and more alternatives tests to be implemented in cosmetics.”
What This Means
Although L’Occitane as a company do not test their finished products or ingredients on animals, they nevertheless pay others to test their products on animals “where required by law”. This means that L’Occitane is not cruelty-free.
To learn more about animal testing laws in China, click here.
Even though L’Occitane is encouraging the Chinese authorities to seek alternatives to animal testing, they’re complying with the laws. Companies that are cruelty-free seek alternatives to selling their products in China. For examples, they can choose to sell their products online only, which bypasses any animal testing.
Why We Classify Brands Like L’Occitane As “Not Cruelty-Free”
The term “cruelty-free” is unregulated. This means any brand can claim to be cruelty-free without breaking the law, even if they test on animals.
Because of this, we communicate with brands directly to gather information about their full animal testing policy.
Brands who are classified as “not cruelty-free” break one or more of the Cruelty-Free 5:
- Their company engages in animal testing
- Their suppliers engage in animal testing
- They allow third-parties to test on animals on their behalf
- They test on animals where required by law
- They knowingly sell cosmetics in stores in mainland China, where animal testing could be performed
A supplier is any company that sells the brand raw materials, ingredients, or finished products. A third-party is an outside company or entity, whether or not it’s hired by the brand.
What’s The Deal With China?
Many beauty brands choose to sell their products in China. It’s important to note that these companies can not be considered cruelty-free.
As of 2020, China still requires most cosmetics to be tested on animals in order to be sold in the country.
As for products which can bypass these mandatory tests, the Chinese authorities may still pull these products from the shelves and have them tested on animals. Although the chance is small, we believe that companies can not be considered “cruelty-free” while taking this risk.