If you’ve been following my blog, you know that one of my gripes is companies making false claims about their cruelty-free status. You might remember my post about Butter London’s misappropriation of the Leaping Bunny logo (and by the way, Butter London still remained silent about the whole ordeal to this day). There was also the Sonia Kashuk confusion, when the company dismissed my e-mails and refused to go in-depth about their cruelty-free claim during a Reddit AMA. Luckily, I received an e-mail from a rep immediately after, and they addressed all my questions and solidified their cruelty-free status. I’m hoping that TokyoMilk’s story will also have a positive outcome, and that they’ll bring much appreciated clarification to those who feel strongly about animal testing.
Let me start off my saying that I love TokyoMilk. It’s a great, innovative brand with an awesome aesthetic that offers designer-level perfume at affordable prices. Cruelty-free fragrance is hard to find, so when I researched TokyoMilk’s animal testing policy and found positive things, I was thrilled.
However, I have reached out to TokyoMilk several times and have never heard back from them. I’m not saying that just because a company doesn’t reply to e-mails, they might not be cruelty-free, but hear me out.
In May 2014, Puri from Blushing Biddies made the announcement that TokyoMilk is cruelty-free after speaking to a TokyoMilk rep on the phone. The rep claimed that TokyoMilk was in the process of getting certified by the Leaping Bunny. Awesome! When asked for an estimate, the rep said that the certification should be expected within the next year. Good enough, right? Nope! As it turns out, TokyoMilk customer service has been claiming to be in the process of getting certified by the Leaping Bunny since at least November 2012, as noted by the following reply to Miss Athropia found here:
Thank you for reaching out to us. We here at the Margot Elena Company & Collections and our affiliates – Love&Toast, TokoyMilk and Lollia DO NOT test on animals nor do we support the practice in doing so. None of the parties we work with test either. In answer to your certification inquiry, this is a project we are actively involved in right now and encourage you to continue checking back with. We hope that this has answered your questions, please do not hesitate to contact us with additional inquires or concerns.
Close to 3 years for getting Leaping Bunny certification!? I know that getting certified is not an easy process, but this makes me raise an eyebrow. Even if that’s truly the case, why is it taking so long for TokyoMilk to gain certification? Are they testing on animals right now? Do they have to change suppliers? Since the company has remained silent about it, sadly all we can do is speculate.
There are three possible conclusions that I see based on these claims:
1) TokyoMilk is not in the process of getting certified, and only use that claim as a marketing tactc. Whenever a custmer asks them about their animal testing policy, they blurt out “don’t worry, we’re totally going to get certified!”
2) TokyoMilk really is in the process of getting certified by the Leaping Bunny, but their application is taking longer than usual because they’re not currently cruelty-free. Maybe their suppliers test on animals. Maybe they have to adopt some changes before they can become cruelty-free.
3) TokyoMilk really is in the process of getting certified by the Leaping Bunny, and they’re currently cruelty-free. If this is the case, I wish TokyoMilk would speak up.
So which is it, TokyoMilk? I’m eagerly awaiting a reply from you. I believe that we cruelty-free shoppers and customers of TokyoMilk deserve an answer.
UPDATE: I just heard back from the Leaping Bunny, who I contacted regarding this matter. I was told that TokyoMilk filed an application about 2 years ago, but the person who was in charge of this no longer works at TokyoMilk. The Leaping Bunny tried to follow-up several times, but hasn’t heard back from TokyoMilk.
Take what you will out of this. TokyoMilk is not going to be on my cruelty-free list until they’re Leaping Bunny certified, and they’re currently making no efforts to gain certification despite claiming to.
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.