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Parent Company Amyris Sells Biossance, JVN, & Rose Inc: Are These Brands Still Cruelty-Free?

by Sara Kelley

Apr 10, 2024

Is Biossance Cruelty-Free

In a strategic move, THG, formerly known as The Hut Group, swooped in to acquire clean beauty brand Biossance. The $20 million steal is expected to bolster the retail conglomerate's beauty portfolio. Biossance was once a top selling brand at Sephora. The brand's signature Hemisqualane is a cruelty-free alternative to shark-derived squalene, and is estimated to save as many as 2 million sharks each year.

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The purchase was made in December 2023, just four months after Amyris, Biossance’s parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Many fans have been left wondering if THG is a cruelty-free parent company, and if Biossance would remain cruelty-free. As leaders in this field, we at Cruelty-Free Kitty are closely following this acquisition and what it means for Biossance’s cruelty-free status.

Is THG a Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Currently, THG is in the grey area regarding its cruelty-free status. This means that it’s unclear whether or not this parent company tests on animals, or owns brands that are tested on animals. Most brands that fall under this umbrella have been either unresponsive to us after multiple attempts, or have refused to provide additional details about their suppliers, ingredients, third parties, and so on.

In this case, Cruelty-Free Kitty is awaiting a response. We have directly reached out to THG to learn more about their animal testing policies. Since we are unable to confirm or deny their status, we are placing them in the grey area until we receive further information. We will be sure to update our readers as the situation unfolds.

What the Biossance Acquisition Means for Cruelty-Free Consumers

Although THG is currently in the grey area, Biossance is still certified cruelty-free by both PETA and Leaping Bunny.

A Leaping Bunny certification confirms that brands do not test any of their finished products or ingredients on animals. They also do not request that suppliers or third-parties test on animals for them. Additionally, these brands do not sell their products in any countries where animal testing is required by law, unless they are enrolled in Leaping Bunny's cruelty-free China Qualification Program.

Therefore, as long as THG continues to maintain Biossance’s Leaping Bunny certification, the brand will remain cruelty-free in our database. We have asked THG if they plan to continue renewing this certification and are currently awaiting their response. If THG ends Biossance's certifications, we will reach out directly for more information.

What Other Brands Did Amyris Sell?

Amyris, originally a pioneer in the biofuel industry, pivoted toward beauty and founded Biossance in 2015. However, Biossance isn’t the only cruelty-free beauty brand once owned and auctioned off by Amyris. Rose Inc. and JVN are two Leaping Bunny certified brands that have experienced similar fates to Biossance.

JVN Acquisition

JVN, a haircare company co-founded by Queer Eye’s Jonathan van Ness, was successfully auctioned off to Windsong Global in December 2023 for 1.25 million. We have contacted Windsong Global and received the following statements:

CFK: Will JVN remain a cruelty-free company?

WS: Yes - Jonathan van Ness is our partner in JVN and we will continue with all of the cruelty free initiatives.

CFK: What other beauty brands does Windsong Global currently own?

WS: We have investments in Revive, Algenist, Cosbar, and Pipette.

CFK: What is your animal testing policy?

WS: Windsong has a sector focus on beauty and each brand endeavors to be cruelty free, environmentally conscious, and ingredients that are clean.

Although Windsong Global owns cruelty-free companies, they have investments in Algenist, a company that tests on animals where required by law. While they do not retain full ownership of Algenist, their investments mean they are funding a non-cruelty-free brand. Therefore, Windsong Global is not a cruelty-free parent company. However, according to their statements, JVN will remain cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified under this new acquisition.

Rose Inc. Acquisition

Rose Inc. is another company that so far has remained cruelty-free post-acquisition. Originally co-founded by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rose Inc. sold for a cool $2.5 million to AA Investments in late 2023. It's still unclear at this time if AA Investments is a cruelty-free parent company. However, like Biossance and JVN, Rose Inc. currently maintains a Leaping Bunny certification.

Cruelty-Free Kitty Brand Updates

At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we're always researching the latest brand acquisitions. Given these three recent brand purchases, we will update each brand's listing as we gather more information. Our goal is to keep you informed so that you can continue making ethical shopping choices.

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

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