Rituals is in the grey area.
This means that it's currently unclear whether or not the brand is cruelty-free, since they haven't provided enough information. Some brands that fall under this category refuse to share their complete animal testing policy or answer questions about their cruelty-free status.
At a Glance
|Finished products tested on animals||No|
|Ingredients tested on animals||No|
|Suppliers test on animals||No|
|Third party animal testing||Uncertain|
|Sold in mainland China|
This brand was highly requested, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a straight confirmation that Rituals does not test on animals where required by law, or does not have plans to expand to mainland China. For this reason, they’re in the grey area.
The initial animal testing policy I received stated that Rituals fully meets “the regulations within the country of sale”. As you know, when brands use this phrasing, it typically means that they do test on animals in mainland China, where it is required by law.
I was able to find an article stating that Rituals opened 2 stores in Hong Kong in 2019. Hong Kong is not part of mainland China and does not share the same animal testing policy. However, it’s a possibility that Rituals is planning on opening more stores in China. This would mean that they do test on animals where required by law, so I followed up with them in an attempt to receive a straight answer to this question. Unfortunately, they were never able to provide that answer, and instead dodged my question by claiming that they currently are “not required” to test on animals. They also claimed that they “don’t believe” they have distributors in mainland China, which is not a confirmation.
Because of their initial phrasing as well as the red flags concerning China, I would not purchase from this company if I wanted to be certain to support cruelty-free brands.
You can read my full exchange with Rituals below.
Cruelty-Free Kitty: Could you please share your animal testing policy? Our readers at Cruelty-Free Kitty have requested us to look in your brand in order to add you to our cruelty-free list and we have some questions!
Customer Service: Hey Suzi! How lovely that you are worried about animal testing and have the same values as us! I am pleased to inform you that Rituals does not do any animal testing 🤗 Regards, Clara
CFK: Hi Clare, thanks for getting back to me! Here are our questions. I hope you can provide some clarifications, or point me in the right direction with the right contact. Thanks in advance!
Does your brand test on animals, for either finished products or ingredients?
Do your suppliers test on animals? How do you ensure this?
Do any third-parties test on animals on your behalf?
Do you test on animals where required by law?
In which countries are your products sold (excluding online sales)?
CS: Rituals Cosmetics is against animal testing and has been from the start in the year 2000. We have never tested any of our individual ingredients nor finished products on animals and we do not work with suppliers that do so. Instead, we enlist the help of enthusiastic volunteers, independent dermatologists and safety institutions to ensure our products fully meet the required European regulations as well as the regulations within the country of sale.
CFK: Does this mean you test on animals if the regulation requires it? Is Rituals sold in mainland China? Thank you.
CS: I do not understand how it would be required by any regulation since we are established in the EU. Under directive 1223/2009 it is prohibited to test finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals as well as selling finished cosmetic products and ingredients which were tested
CFK: You mentioned at the end: “as well as the regulations within the country of sale.” This would mean that if your products are sold in countries which require animal testing, you comply with these regulations. In this correct? Are your products sold in stores in China?
CS: We only have a store in Hong Kong which is not considered to be mainland china 🤗
CFK: Thank you! Do you have distributors in mainland China? Do you test on animals where required by law?
CS: I do not believe Rituals has distributors in China or that any law obliges us to test on animals, however, I will take your initial questions to the correct department so they can give you more detailed answers! 🤗 Would you like to add any question to the initial set of questions? 😊 Please let me know your email address so that I can properly inform you with the answers. Regards, Clara
CFK: Yes, I do have another question: Do you plan on having distributors or stores in mainland China during the next 5 years? I see that Rituals has started expanding in that market in 2019. Email [our email]. Thanks Clara, I appreciate your help and patience.
They never emailed me, so I followed up.
CFK: Hello Clara, any update on the situation? I still haven’t heard back from Rituals. Thank you!
CS: Ofcourse, as you know, we never test on animals, and we do not allow any of our distributors to test our products on animals. We do not work with suppliers that test on animals. We also do not have any third-parties that test on animals on our behalf. We are not required by law to test our products on animals, we have the help of enthusiastic volunteers, independent dermatologists and safety institutions to ensure we comply with European standards. We have been able to start a shop-in-shop in Hong Kong via a travel partnership, and have been able to arrange a solution so that we do not need to test on animals to do so. 😊 And ofcourse, we have ZERO plans to start testing on animals in the future. I understand your passion for these issues and want to commend you on your work! I do not know of any plans to expand to mainland China, but I do know the above, and I hope it will help comfort you. Sustainability and ethical practices are and will remain a priority for us at Rituals.
CFK: Hi Erik, thank you for your time. Unfortunately the initial response I received claimed that Rituals complies with all regulations in every country it is sold, which would mean they do test on animals where required by law.
CS: We are not required by law to test our products on animals 😊