Unilever-owned personal care brand Suave is now cruelty-free. According to a press release, the move is the result of talks with international animal rights nonprofit, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Suave is an iconic brand. Its shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and deodorants are drugstore staples. According to the company, one out of two American households buys Suave and a product is sold every 14 seconds.
“We are delighted to be part of PETA’s ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ program. Suave is known for its high-quality beauty products made accessible to all since 1937,” Berengere Loubater, Suave’s senior brand director, said in a statement. “Our consumers care about animals and so do we! That is why we are proud to be certified cruelty-free by PETA and continue to offer high-quality beauty products.”
The “cruelty-free” label will soon appear on Suave products.
Moving Away From Animal Testing
Suave joins the growing list of Unilever-owned beauty brands that are now cruelty-free. Dove became certified cruelty-free in October 2018. Over the last 18 months, Simple. St. Ives, and the newly-launched, vegan brands Love Beauty and Planet and Love Home and Planet have joined it.
Although Unilever has not eliminated cosmetic animal testing, it is“working for regulatory change,” according to PETA. The corporation supports a global ban on animal testing and has been working on developing alternatives for more than 30 years.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of beauty products, reaching 2.5 billion consumers in more than 190 countries every day. In 2018, it entered a partnership with global animal protection nonprofit, Humane Society International (HSI), to help it adopt non-animal testing methods.
HSI and Unilever will also work to train future safety scientists in cruelty-free testing. Cosmetic animal testing includes painful skin and eye irritation tests, where products or ingredients are dripped or rubbed onto rabbits. Guinea pigs and rats are also used for skin allergy tests and some experiments involve force-feeding.
“These tests inflict considerable pain and distress, which can include blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, convulsions, and death,” according to HSI. “Pain relief is seldom if ever provided, and at the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.”
The organization hopes that the partnership will “accelerate policy change in the cosmetics sector globally.”
More than 40 countries have enacted full or partial bans on cosmetic animal testing. This includes the EU, the UK, Israel, India, Turkey, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Guatemala. California’s cosmetic animal testing ban went into effect earlier this year.