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Target’s Cruelty-Free Filter Has A Big Problem

by Suzana Rose

Feb 16, 2021

As the cruelty-free movement grows, brands and retailers are trying to label their products and offer cruelty-free options. Unfortunately, just like brands mislead us when it comes to their cruelty-free status, retailers can do the same.

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A prime example is Target. With its new cruelty-free filter, Target is trying to accommodate cruelty-free shoppers and make it easy to find brands to support. The intention is good, but it's important to note that their cruelty-free filter isn't 100% reliable.

In fact, some big brands come up as being cruelty-free when they're not, either because they lost their cruelty-free status or because they were never cruelty-free. Target also conveniently promotes their own brand Up&Up as being cruelty-free even though they refuse to provide any information about their animal testing policy.

What's Target's cruelty-free filter?

When shopping for beauty or personal care on Target's site, look at the left sidebar. Under "sustainability claims and certifications", check the "cruelty-free" box.

How do brands get marked as cruelty-free on Target's website?

The filter itself is listed under "sustainability claims and certifications". Note that both certified brands and brands that only claim to be cruelty-free are added.

We all know how misleading a cruelty-free claim can be, plus we know that some PETA-approved brands aren't truly cruelty-free. For these reasons, although Target's intention is good, their cruelty-free filter isn't the best indicator.

Brands That Aren't Truly Cruelty-Free

Here's a list of brands that come up as cruelty-free on Target's site, even though they're not truly cruelty-free:

  • Up&Up (Target's own brand): not enough information provided.
  • Wet n Wild: no longer cruelty-free after selling in China.
  • Physicians Formula: no longer cruelty-free after selling in China.
  • OGX: hasn't been cruelty-free since 2014.
  • Renpure: not cruelty-free due to selling in China.
  • Biosilk: not cruelty-free due to selling in China.
  • The Honest Company (Honest Beauty): in the grey area due to lack of transparency.
  • Soap and Glory: in the grey area.
  • Palmer's: has distributors in China.
  • Maui Moisutre: not enough info provided about suppliers and third parties.
  • Sun Bum: in the grey area.
  • Batiste: refused to provide information.

What should we watch out for?

I suggest you avoid any of the brands above if you're looking to support brands that are truly cruelty-free. For makeup, you can choose brands like ELF or Pixi Beauty over Wet n Wild and Physicians Formula.

Remember that just because a brand is listed on PETA's site, does not mean it's truly cruelty-free. Especially recently, PETA has been marking brands like Dove as cruelty-free although they're selling to China.

Target's hair care section is particularly misleading, with brands like OGX and Maui Moisture displayed front and center. Batiste isn't confirmed to test on animals, however they're in the grey area as they didn't provide enough information.

Instead of these brands, choose Giovanni, Hask, or DermOrganic which are truly cruelty-free.

Which brands are truly cruelty-free?

When in doubt, you can visit our homepage and type in any brand you're looking for to learn their true cruelty-free status. Stay vigilant when shopping cruelty-free!

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Download our list of 600+ verified cruelty-free brands straight to your device. Bring it with you everywhere you go, and never worry about supporting animal testing again. Click here to download

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