Today, Drunk Elephant, one of the most beloved cruelty-free skincare brands, was acquired by Shiseido. There had been rumors of the brand getting bought by a company that tests on animals for months, and the deal has just been reached. Shiseido has purchased Drunk Elephant for $845 million.
Shiseido is not a cruelty-free company, yet they own both cruelty-free (Bareminerals, Buxom) and non-cruelty-free brands (NARS, Laura Mercier, Cle de Peau).
Recently, it was a brand owned by Shiseido, NARS, that lost its cruelty-free status in order to enter the Chinese market.
Given this history, I was initially worried that Drunk Elephant — a brand certified by the Leaping Bunny — would also enter the Chinese market and lose its cruelty-free status.
I was pleased to read a message from Drunk Elephant’s founder, Tiffany Masterson. Luckily, she claims that Drunk Elephant will remain cruelty-free under the acquisition, as this was one of their core stipulations:
“And, we’ll remain cruelty-free. I wouldn’t have signed on for this unless both parties could agree. Fortunately, we wanted the same things; we share like values.”
However, even given these promises, there’s always a possibility of Drunk Elephant entering the Chinese market.
Drunk Elephant has been marked as being owned by a parent company that tests on animals in our brand directory. We will closely monitor new developments and reach out to the brand in the upcoming months to ensure that they won’t enter the Chinese market.
Here’s the full message from Drunk Elephant’s Instagram:
“So…some great news! I’ve decided to partner with Shiseido. I couldn’t be more excited that we’ve found someone who respects my vision and the brand identity and is willing to let us stay who we are. Shiseido is a really beautiful company with a beautiful culture.
I know what you’re wondering because I am a consumer and I always think/wonder the same things when brands I love are acquired. I want to reassure you. The formulations won’t be changing. I’ll remain in my same role. My same incredible and lovable entire team will stay with me. If it wasn’t announced, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference; that’s our main goal. Our prices will not be increased. And, we’ll remain cruelty-free. I wouldn’t have signed on for this unless both parties could agree. Fortunately, we wanted the same things; we share like values. I feel so honored to join this global powerhouse.
The best part in my opinion is that we’ll be able to act more quickly to accomplish a few things that you all have told us are very important to you and are also important to us: 1. Attain sustainability across the brand. 2. Get to the markets who have been requesting the products. 3. Share our philosophy in a louder way, spreading awareness so that we can hopefully help more people reconnect with their skin all over the world. 4. Ignite our anti-bullying campaign on a bigger stage.
We are feeling excited and positive and a little overwhelmed (in a great way)! As always feel free to ask any questions you may have or share any concerns. 💚
Finally, we’d like to celebrate by sending out a cozy token of our gratitude to some of our followers. This community has been the most loving, kind, supportive, inquisitive and lovely community I could ever have dreamt of and I will be forever grateful! Please share below something you’ve loved about Drunk Elephant, and that you agree should never change! We’ll choose 100 and notify you on the DM.
With love and gratitude 💚💚💚TM”
Suzana Rose is the founder and editor-in-chief of Cruelty-Free Kitty. She loves using her creative energy to run her ethical businesses, and when she’s not working, you can find her thrifting cute clothes, listening to podcasts, or rewatching her favorite episodes of The Office.