Is Garnier Cruelty-Free? Brand Awarded Leaping Bunny Certification
Is Garnier cruelty-free? | Eileen W. Cho for LIVEKINDLY

Is Garnier Cruelty-Free? Brand Awarded Leaping Bunny Certification

Garnier is now officially cruelty-free following certification by Cruelty Free International. It is the first and only L'Oréal-owned brand to be certified.

Is Garnier cruelty-free? According to Cruelty Free International, it is now.

The animal advocacy and certification group has just granted the L’Oréal-owned cosmetics giant official cruelty-free status.

Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny Certification is well-trusted, and more than 1000 brands worldwide feature the logo on various cruelty-free products.

Garnier is one of the largest brands certified by the organization. The 18-month certification process consisted of an extensive investigation into ingredients, raw materials, and supply chains. Garnier is the first and only L’Oréal-owned brand to seek official cruelty-free status.

“To be officially approved by Cruelty Free International under the Leaping Bunny programme is a real milestone and was always an important part of our Green Beauty mission,” said global brand president Adrien Koskas.

“Today Garnier takes another green step towards becoming a fully committed, truly sustainable, and transparent brand that delivers green beauty for all of us,” he added.

Hasn’t Garnier always been cruelty-free?

No, but the brand has been marketing itself as cruelty-free — and sometimes vegan, too — without official certification for some time.

While Garnier itself may not have been tested on animals since around 2013, all beauty and cosmetic products sold in China still require animal testing prior to May 2021, when restrictions will be lifted on certain imported cosmetics.

Up until at least 2017, various Garnier products were still sold in China. In general, Garnier is marketed as a “green beauty” brand, but up until relatively recently, it did not have an official animal testing policy on its website.

Its parent company, L’Oréal, continues to sell products by its other brands in China, and Ethical Consumer’s guide to L’Oréal highlights human rights, animal welfare, and environmental issues.

Ethical Consumer also notes that L’Oreal lobbied against the EU’s 2003 ban on animal testing, despite the company’s claim to have been at the forefront of alternative methods for more than 30 years.

L’Oréal previously received criticism for labelling products vegan despite links to animal testing, in addition to broader claims of greenwashing (marketing products as more sustainable or ethical than they really are).

In 2018 alone, L’Oréal was responsible for 140,000 tonnes of plastic via the consumption of its products, and it is likely that only an extremely small proportion of this was recycled.

Does cruelty-free status mean Garnier is vegan, too?

While official certification means that all Garnier products are now guaranteed “cruelty-free,” not every item is suitable for vegans due to animal-derived ingredients such as honey and beeswax.

However, the brand does now stock explicitly labelled “vegan formulas,” which it guarantees contain zero animal products.

In addition to the official certification of Garnier, the brand has now clearly laid out its sustainability plans — including a transparent Sustainable Progress Report — on its official website.

L’Oréal itself has also published its own sustainability program, titled “L’Oréal For The Future,” which details ongoing efforts to become fully sustainable by 2030.