A recent study set up by researchers from Ethical Consumer has rated many UK brands based on how ethical their production is, meaning that many items within your makeup bag may not be animal or environmentally friendly.
In many cases the brand themselves are not necessarily the issue, as Ethical Consumer focused their study also on the brands parent companies, finding the real problems. Many brands have taken to advertising that they themselves do not test their products on animals, yet their parent companies may allow products or ingredients to be tested on animals.
When you visit the Ethical Consumer website you can easily access their results for health and beauty brands, with ratings for items like deodorant, makeup, painkillers, perfumes and aftershaves, sanitary protection, skincare and toothpaste. Each category provides a table with all of the studied brands rated out of 20, with the best brands in the makeup study – Odylique and Green People – scoring between 17.5 and 16.5.
Several brands that work with Boots were at the very bottom of Ethical Consumers board, including Sleek Makeup who scored the lowest – one point out of 20 – because of their parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). While WBA themselves do not test their products on animals, they have many suppliers who do, and therefore by association bring the brands ethical rating down.
Other Boots brands like No7 and Soap and Glory have the same problem, meaning that overall Boots brands scored under 5 points out of 20, and showed the company as a particularly unethical brand itself.
Superdrug products also rated low on the study, with many products scoring only 2 points out of 20 because of the companies environmental reporting (or rather the lack of it). When researchers asked Superdrug for a report on their environmental activities, the company told them it did not produce its own reports. As Superdrug has announced many commitments to becoming more environmentally friendly, but given no specific dates or goals for this, the Ethical Consumers researchers felt it best to rate the brand low in the scale.
Benefit scored 1.5 out of 20 on the scale, due to it’s parent company LMVH and the fact that they did not sign up to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. In fact, Benefit received Ethical Consumers worst rating for it’s palm oil policy, as many companies have been targeted recently for their lack of care in locating and obtaining palm oil for their products, leaving many rainforests destroyed.
Brands like Maybelline and Yves Saint Laurent didn’t escape the slating, as their parent company L’Oreal was dragged by the researchers and earned the brands a dismal 3 out of 20, as L’Oreal’s commitment to ending their use of microbeads by the end of 2017 did not satisfy the Ethical Consumers committee, as they clearly believe the use of such harmful materials should be halted immediately if not already.
Many brands that were rated and lost points due to animal testing have faced trouble as the companies themselves usually don’t test on animals, yet are required to allow their products to be tested in this way because of Chinese laws, as many Chinese authorities continue to enforce the need for testing on animals still to this day. Although several companies say they are working with the Chinese authorities to change this policy, it cannot be guaranteed when animals will be free from the cruelty of the cosmetics industry.