Origins 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.
Origins is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is not cruelty-free.
At a Glance
|Finished products tested on animals||Yes, where required by law|
|Ingredients tested on animals||Uncertain|
|Suppliers test on animals||Uncertain|
|Third party animal testing||Yes, where required by law|
|Sold in mainland China||Yes|
Origins's Official Animal Testing Policy
“Our belief is that science can end animal testing.
We don’t believe in testing on animals. We believe in the power of nature and the proof of science. And we know science has proven it’s unnecessary to test products for safety on animals. So we don’t do it. Instead, we use volunteers to test out our products. And they help us make sure everything is totally safe for you.
Some countries where Origins is sold require animal testing on all imported cosmetics as part of their regulator safety process. As a brand rooted in science, we’re doing everything we can to put an end to animal testing worldwide through science. That’s why we’re partnering with The Institute for In Vitro Sciences (http://wwww.iivs.org) in their mission to ensure alternative testing becomes the global standard.”
What This Means
Origins is starting their statement with bold and positive claims, but unfortunately they’re meaningless. Even though they “believe” that science can end animal testing, and that animal testing is “unnecessary”, they also admit to allowing their products to be tested on animals in China. This also means that they financed these animal tests. If a brand truly believes that animal testing is unnecessary, they don’t fund animal testing in China. Instead, they either stay out of the market, or sell to China through e-commerce, which bypasses any animal testing. Many successful cruelty-free brands opt for those instead.
Although Origins claims to be rooted in science and against animal testing, we found these claims to be only partly true based on their actual policy. They also don’t mention whether or not ingredients are tested on animals, or whether or not their suppliers test on animals.
From Their FAQ
We can find Origins’ animal testing policy directly on their website by looking at their FAQ. This is what they claim under the “Animal Testing” section:
Origins was founded in 1990 by the Estée Lauder group. They offer skincare, makeup, and body care products that are “plant-based” (although they’re not vegan since they contain honey and beeswax). They are committed to planting trees in partnership with nonprofits.
Why We Classify Brands Like Origins 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.