The Body Shop’s new owner, Natura, has announced a clear animal testing policy, after hundreds of consumers wrote to the company. The announcement ends an eleven-year boycott of the high street chain.
Naturewatch maintained its call to boycott The Body Shop in 2017 after the brand was bought by Natura, Brazil’s largest cosmetics company.
Animal rights activists had hoped that the buyout would return the brand to its ethical origins. Natura bought The Body Shop from L'Oreal for 1 billion euros in June last year. But hopes were crushed after Natura refused to answer questions about its own cruelty-free claims.
Supporters of the boycott wrote to the company demanding transparency. And in December, Natura responded, announcing a new policy on animal testing.
Crucially, the new policy bans ingredients that have been tested on animals since March 2013. This is known as a fixed cut-off date (FCOD), and is what Naturewatch calls ‘the gold standard’ for all cruelty-free products. Almost all ingredients in cosmetics have been tested on animals at some stage in their development. But companies with FCOD will discourage current or future animal testing.
Natura and its subsidiary brands, including Aesop and The Body Shop, choose not to sell in markets where animal testing is required for regulatory purposes, such as China.
The Body Shop has been cruelty-free since its foundation. But in 2006 it was purchased by L’Oreal, well known for animal testing, prompting Naturewatch to launch a boycott call against it.