FOREVER AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING
Growing up, we couldn't spend enough time at The Body Shop. Whether it was the variety of lip balm scents, tools to apply skincare or the natural products that were used - there was always a reason to swing by this beauty boutique. Central to the ethos of this brand was the fact that the brand has always been cruelty free and 100% vegetarian. It wasn't until we got older that we realized the importance of this stance and as many are still finding their way to bring these practices to their brands, The Body Shop has always embraced this concept.
In 1989, the brand launched its first cruelty-free campaign and in 1997, they were the first cosmetic company to be certified with the Leaping Bunny (The Leaping Bunny certification is the only internationally-recognized scheme that enables consumers to easily identify/ purchase cosmetic and toiletry products that have not been tested on animals.) logo.
This month, The Body Shop has partnered with Cruelty Free International, the leading non-profit organizaton working to end animal testing. Together, they are working on a campaign to collect 8 million signatures from people all over the world by 2020. To date, 80% of countries don't have laws against it - including the United States. By doing so, they will be able to petition the UN to request an international conventon that bans animal testing globally everywhere.
With this upcoming effort, you can lend your voice by signing their petition online, at The Body Shop stores and sharing socially @TheBodyShop #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting. To find out more about this initiative, we sat down with Megan Grant, General Manager, USA The Body Shop.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about The Body Shop. MEGAN GRANT: The Body Shop is an iconic British retail brand with an extensive and growing global presence. The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Brighton, England, and blossomed from Anita’s personal belief that business could be a force for good. Since its founding, The Body Shop has always created innovative, naturally-inspired products. We’re dedicated to enriching people as well as the planet, working fairly with farmers and suppliers, and are committed to helping communities thrive through our Community Trade program. In addition, The Body Shop was the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics back in 1989. We have never tested any of its ingredients or products on animals, and never will.
AM: What does Cruelty-Free mean and why has this been such an issue in the beauty industry?
MG: Cruelty-Free means not tested on animals, however, this is an on-going issue in the beauty industry because cruelty-free is a label term and not established by law (yet). While there has been considerable progress in animal testing, animal testing of cosmetic products and ingredients is legally allowed in 80% of countries worldwide. The only way to make sure that the practice is ended is to build on the groundwork carried out by Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop since 1989 to ensure that a global ban is established. As current, Cruelty Free International estimates that more than 500,000 animals are used for testing every year, and a global ban would bring to a close decades of animal suffering and would ensure that customers everywhere can shop with the confidence that no animals were harmed for their cosmetics.
AM: How do you know if your products are in fact Cruelty-Free?
OUR FAVORITES FROM THE BODY SHOP THAT ARE PERFECT FOR THE SUMMER | Ultra Fine Bath Lily | Round Cotton Pads | Moisturizing Lip Care Stick | Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter | Wild Argan Solid Oil Lips | Limited Edition Piñita Colada Shower Gel | Brazilian Cupuaçu Exfoliating Scrub In Oil | Matte Kajal White Eyeliner |
MG: Make sure that the ingredients are cruelty-free and the product is backed by science and research. Consumer will know our products are cruelty free because of the packaging. The Body Shop is adding the Leaping Bunny logo or the words “Against Ani- mal Testing" to all of our packaging. This means that the product is certified by Cruelty Free International.
AM: You partnered with Cruelty-Free International, who are they and what does this partnership mean for The Body Shop?
MG: Cruelty-Free International is the leading organization working solely to end animal experiments worldwide. It is the first global non-profit organization dedicated to ending cosmetic product and ingredient testing on animals. For The Body Shop, this partnership will allow us as a brand to reclaim ownership of the fight against animal testing forever. We want to raise awareness of the issue to customers and deliver the largest and most ambitious campaign ever to seek a global ban on the use of animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients.
AM: There are those that argue that animal testing takes place as it's the greatest indicator of how those products will react to humans; however, animal testing only reflects 40-60% of the reactions that humans have. Alternative methods of testing can indicate 80% of the reactions, what are alternative methods of testing?
MG: There has been a lot of progress made in establishing alternative non-animal testing methods, and these progressive alternatives are often cheaper, faster and better at predicting human reactions. Further, the results acquired by these animal tests, in many cases, are only 40-60% effective. Humane alternatives to animal tests can use simple organisms like bacteria or human tissues and cells as well as sophisticated computer models. Human tissue can be grown in the lab from donated human cells, and the tests use reconstituted human skin and other tissues from voluntary donations. Computer models also provide the ability to replicate aspects of
the human body, and can be used to predict the safety of new cosmetic substances based on knowledge of existing substances.
AM: You're currently promoting the Forever Against Animal Testing Campaign and seeking signatures - what will take place after getting the signatures?
MG: The Body Shop’s goal is to collect eight million petition signatures by 2020. Once achieved, and together with Cruelty Free International, we will be taking the signatures to the UN General Assembly and asking to pass an international convention that will ban animal testing everywhere and forever. By creating international action at this level we will also be demonstrating the fact that the public believes the time to end animal testing for cosmetics is long gone and that the practice should stop.
AM: How will you continue to bring awareness to this issue?
MG: Forever Against Animal Testing will always be an issue The Body Shop will fight against. We are aiming to engage eight million people to sign the petition calling on the United Nations to introduce an international convention to end the practice once and for all. The petition can be signed online or at any of The Body Shop's 3,000 stores across the world. The more voices raised in support of the campaign from every corner of the world, the more likely we are to succeed. That is why we are asking everyone, everywhere, to support our campaign and add their voice to the global call on the UN to ban animal testing for cosmetics. We’re also encouraging consumers to use the campaign hashtag, #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting, on social media to raise awareness of the issue.