Unilever, the sustainable living company that oversees personal-care brands like Dove, Vaseline, Axe, and Love Beauty and Planet, announced last month that it will support a global ban on animal cruelty in the beauty industry. The brand expressed its desire for global change after the state of California announced a ban on the sale of products that undergo animal testing.
In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill that banned manufacturers from profiting off of any cosmetic products that were tested on animals. Companies that violate the bill, according to HuffPost, risk a $5,000 fine, as well as an additional $1,000 each day if the violation continues. The new law will be put into effect on January 1st, 2020 and will apply only to products made on or after that date.
In the wake of this decision, Unilever released their own statement which revealed their support for animal protection leader Humane Society International's (HSI) #BeCrueltyFree campaign. The brand began a partnership with HSI and will actively support their mission to end animal testing in all countries. The #BeCrueltyFree campaign includes planned legislation, educating consumers, and raising awareness about what happens during animal testing. HIS’s goal with the campaign is to stop the practice of animal testing entirely within five years.
HSI and Unilever will work to develop the capability across companies for safety decisions regarding cosmetics to be based on non-animal approaches. During their multi-year collaboration, HSI and Unilever will also invest in the training of future safety scientists in non-animal risk assessments.
In conjunction with the announcement of their support for the cruelty-free movement, Unilever also revealed that Dove, its largest Beauty and Personal Care brand, has been certified as cruelty-free by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This means that PETA’s cruelty-free logo will appear on Dove’s packaging beginning in January 2019 to assure customers that Dove will never test on animals. While Dove reported to have been cruelty-free for over 30 years, the official accreditation is a big statement of Unilever’s stance on animal testing.
In addition to the accreditation, PETA will now list Unilever as a “company working for regulatory change,” which indicates that, unless required by law, Unilever will never conduct animal testing for any of its brands or products.