One of the points that make cruelty-free shopping quite confusing is how parent companies impact cruelty-free brands. Does this mean that a brand loses its cruelty-free status? Or can a brand be cruelty-free even if its parent company isn’t?
This article is meant to inform you on the ‘behind the scenes’ of cruelty-free brands and their animal testing parent companies. It’ll shed light on how this works and what options you have when it comes to purchasing cruelty-free beauty.
Let’s dive into what parent companies are and how this all works first; then, we’ll answer the question of whether a brand can be cruelty-free if its parent company does tests on animals. Let’s go!
What Is A Parent Company?
This might be a very obvious question to answer – but if you’re not fully into the business side of companies, it could be that you’re wondering what a parent company is in the first place.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘parent company’ thrown around in business news or while browsing your favorite brands. But what does it mean exactly? Well, a parent company is a large corporation that owns a majority stake in smaller companies, also known as subsidiaries.
A parent company’s role is more than just owning shares. It’s involved in strategic decisions and financial support and often shares its resources and expertise.
It might sound like a high-level corporate chess game, but it’s a common business model that impacts most industries, including the one we’re interested in – the beauty industry.
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Its Influence On A Cruelty-Free Brand
When we’re talking about cruelty-free brands, the role of the parent company becomes even more crucial. Some cruelty-free brands are owned by larger corporations that may not share the same ethical stance. This is where it gets tricky for us.
If you’re committed to supporting only cruelty-free brands, it’s important to recognize that buying their products indirectly supports their parent company.
That means, even though your favorite lipstick wasn’t tested on animals – if it’s produced by a brand owned by a corporation that allows animal testing, your purchase is indirectly supporting that practice.
This isn’t to say you should stop buying your favorite cruelty-free products, as they’re still cruelty-free. It’s just a layer of the issue that’s worth being aware of.
Can A Brand Be Cruelty-Free If Its Parent Tests On Animals?
In the beauty industry, brands frequently find themselves under the umbrella of larger companies. Oftentimes, we’re talking about renowned global corporations like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, or Procter & Gamble.
This raises a crucial question: Can a brand truly be cruelty-free if its parent company tests on animals?
The acquisition of cruelty-free brands by parent companies that aren’t cruelty-free is common. It’s important to remember that these parent companies, while not cruelty-free themselves, may own several brands that are.
In essence, they are unique corporations. They act as independent branches, operating separately from their parent company. In some scenarios, they’re even sold to other businesses, including those that are cruelty-free.
Why Would They Want To Partner?
You may wonder why a cruelty-free brand would agree to do business with a company that doesn’t have the same ethics. I get this! But we have to realize that parent companies often come with a wealth of resources.
This can provide a much-needed boost for smaller, cruelty-free brands. They often gain access to larger research and development budgets, higher production capabilities, and a broader marketing reach. It’s not uncommon for these cruelty-free brands to experience significant growth post-acquisition.
With the help of parent companies, cruelty-free brands can expand their reach on a global scale. They can tap into established distribution channels and gain exposure to new markets. This can lead to a surge in brand recognition and sales.
Maintaining Ethical Standards
Supporting cruelty-free brands with non-cruelty-free parent companies can be a complex decision. You’re left with a few options:
- You could boycott them, given they’re part of a larger intermingle that uses animal testing.
- Alternatively, you could support some based on each parent company’s ethics or if there are no cruelty-free alternatives.
- Finally, you could support them since they are 100% cruelty-free, signaling to their parent company that consumers prefer cruelty-free brands.
It’s worth noting that a majority of conscious consumers in the cruelty-free community purchase from cruelty-free brands, even if they’re owned by a parent company that tests on animals.
This is the stance of us here at Conscious Bunny as well. We believe that supporting all cruelty-free brands gives the right signal and paves the way toward a more ethical beauty industry.
A minority of shoppers choose to boycott brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals. This is why you’ll notice that we often mention whether a brand has a parent company or not.
It’s up to our readers, you, to make a decision that fits them and their values (lifestyle, budget, and availability as well) the best.
Conclusion On How Parent Companies Impact Cruelty-Free Brands
You’ve now got a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between parent companies and their cruelty-free brands. It’s clear that a larger parent company can offer a lot of advantages to a cruelty-free brand, but it’s not without its potential pitfalls.
The key takeaway here is the importance of staying informed. You’ve got to know who owns the brands you’re supporting and what their stance is on animal testing. In doing so, you’re making a conscious choice to back ethical practices in the beauty industry.
Remember, transparency is everything. You have the right to know about a brand’s testing policies, their supply chain, and who they’re affiliated with.
If you’re not comfortable with a cruelty-free brand being owned by a larger corporation, there’s always the option to boycott them and only support independent brands.