When I contacted Burt's Bees in 2016, I received the following answer:
"We are happy to shed light on this matter for you. Currently, we are selling a limited number of our products in mainland China. The formulas for these products, classified as "non-special use cosmetics," are currently made in our US facilities, using only ingredients listed on the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC), and then the products are packaged in China. For more information on individual ingredients, visit our guide here. Please know that we are proceeding only in the instances where we can maintain adherence to our no animal testing policy."
This answer would mean that Burt's Bees is not cruelty-free according to our criteria. However, shortly after I received that response, Burt's Bees changed their policy and claimed to only sell products to China online, which bypasses any animal testing.
Burt's Bees has currently been moved to our list of cruelty-free brands for the following reasons:
- They have been claiming to sell to China online-only since their initial statement I received in 2016
- Their products have not been spotted in China during this period
- They are still listed on Leaping Bunny's list which means they have recommitted to the programme every year
Currently, all signs point to Burt's Bees being cruelty-free. Please note however that they're owned by Clorox, a company that isn't cruelty-free.
When Korres was acquired by a big corporation in 2017, they mentioned plans to expand to Asia, including mainland China. For this reason, the brand was moved to the grey area until we could confirm that they won't be available in the country in physical stores.
Today, Korres sells products in China online-only, which bypasses any animal testing. I'm happy to announce they've chosen the cruelty-free route in order to expand to China, and they're back on our cruelty-free list.
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