We're often asked if our products are 'cruelty free' so I wanted to put the record straight.
In fact, I'm not just putting the record straight on behalf of LifeJacket but on behalf of ALL cosmetics brands sold within Europe i.e. most of the products in your bathroom cabinet (presumably).
European law on animal testing
Cutting to the chase, LifeJacket products are 100% cruelty free and are not tested on animals.
Within the European Union (EU), the animal testing ban on finished cosmetic products sold within EU countries has applied since 11 September 2004. So, no cosmetic products on your shelves will have been tested on animals. In the UK, this remains in force post Brexit.
In addition, the testing ban on the component parts of cosmetic products (i.e. the ingredients) has been in place since 11 March 2009.
Animal testing is therefore a thing of the past when it comes to the cosmetics on our shelves. In fact, animal welfare is enshrined within the European Union's 'core values' and, like I said, lives on with the UK, post Brexit.
Animal testing in other regions
Beyond the EU, there are still various regulations across different territories that can bring complexity to the issue of animal testing and cosmetics.
For example, in the USA, certain categories we would consider as cosmetic (such as sun protection products) are in fact considered "Over the Counter" (OTC) products. As a consequence, OTC products in the USA can come with additional testing and regulatory requirements. Under federal law, brands can be forced to provide additional safety data to authorities. Some of this safety data might only be available by animal testing processes. This can leave manufacturers in a difficult position.
In another example, China is only this year removing the mandatory animal testing requirements for imported 'general' cosmetics. Previously, China required animal testing data for most cosmetics imported into the country.
But there can even be challenges in the EU...
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Commission only apply the rules or laws I mentioned earlier to cosmetic testing BUT, they do NOT apply to testing to determine if there is a risk to the environment or to worker safety tests of a given ingredient. Instead, this is done via the four processes of REACH (an enormous piece of EU regulation) which covers the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of all chemicals used. At a 2020 ECHA Board of Appeal ruling, it was decided that even for sole use cosmetics ingredients, animal testing may be required for the EU's REACH requirement! While this may be a noble cause, the result of REACH is the possibility that a legal requirement is then placed on a brand or manufacturer to provide data that requires animal testing.
A cruelty free approach
In reality manufacturers and brands work hard to ensure they stay true to all animal testing bans and go further by committing to "cruelty free" processes and endorsements for extra assurances.
The 'Leaping Bunny' logo is one example that's often associated with brands who have ensured no cruelty has affected animals.
LifeJacket is not only committed to ensuring compliance with the animal testing laws in all territories where we sell (as you might expect) but we always have, and always will, remain committed to the broader protection of animal welfare via cruelty free principles. We're also always keeping an eye out on any regulatory changes at play.
I hope that reassures you. If you have any questions about this, or any of our products, please feel free to reach out.