Consumer groups globally have become more aware and sensitive to the environment and its ecosystems over time. Different groups of activists, have come out in strength to put manufacturers on the spot about their production procedures. Animal conservationists and cruelty free organizations have come up in protest over animal cruelty in the fashion, beauty and cosmetics industry. Here we will see Is Chanel Cruelty-Free?
Despite being known for the use of exotic furs and hides to produce their bags, shoes and clothes, Chanel ceased the use of these raw materials in the production process in May 2018. They have turned to alternatives such as faux furs and synthetic materials. Great strides to cool the heat from PETA and animal conservationists. Unfortunately, the answer is no, the fashion house has not done enough to be certified as cruelty-free.
When we talk about women’s fashion, accessories, beauty and cosmetics products, the name Chanel automatically springs to mind. The French luxury fashion house began as the House of Chanel in 1909 by renowned couturier Coco Chanel. The use of exotic animal hide and fur such as crocodile skin to produce shoes and bags became popular among celebrities, causing more demand. Eventually, it ventures into cosmetics and fragrances gaining equal popularity among the masses, with Chanel no. 5 being one of the most noticeable scents in the words.
What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?
Like any other brand, Chanel would like to be considered as cruelty-free and vegan. By definition, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) describes a product as cruelty free if it can be proven that no animals or their by-products were used in any step of the production process of the product in question. Simply put, not animals were harmed in the production of a final product.
Other cruelty-free advocates add that it also applies to intangible products such as humans and firms. For instance, vegans are considered cruelty free since they do not consume animals and their by-products. Essentially, one can describe a brand, product or person as being cruelty free if they do not engage in the use or consumption of animals or their by-products in the normal functioning.
Why Is Being Cruelty-Free Important?
Animal conservationists and pro cruelty free organizations such as PETA argue that the importance of cruelty-free products impact the environment positively. Over the years, a staggering amount of animals have been used. According to research, a whopping 797,546 animals were used for research and testing in The United States of America and Puerto Rico in the year 2019.
Many of these animals include guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and cold blooded reptiles, with the use of apes on the decline. Despite this “safety practice”, animal conservationists argue that animals experience pain like their human companions and therefore it is cruel to use them for testing of products.
What Criteria Is Used To Know If A Brand Is Cruelty-Free?
Regardless of the claims of brands and products being cruelty–free, there is a standard by which they are measured against. Bodies like PETA and Leaping Bunny have come up with key features of a cruelty-free organization which include;
1. The company must make sure none of their products are tested on animals even if required or requested to by law.
2. Their products should not be sold in the mainland of China (where it is required by law).
3. They should not allow any 3rd party testing of their products on animals.
4. They should ensure that no animals or their products were used in the production process.
So how does Chanel rank according to these requirements?
Does Chanel Conduct Business In China?
Chanel allows for 3rd party animal testing of its products as required by Chinese laws to obtain business and trade permits on the Chinese mainland.
Through legislation, all cosmetic companies seeking to sell their products in China are required to carry out testing on animals or permit and pay for 3rd party testing to take place. This means that cosmetic manufacturers such as Chanel need to test their fragrances, oils and other beauty products on anima before they can be displayed on Chinese market shelves.
By accepting to pay for the 3rd Party animal testing, Chanel is in breach of three of the main components of a cruelty-free organization. Therefore, by just conducting business in the Chinese mainland, Chanel has taken three steps back in the call to be among those brands that are certified as cruelty-free.
In a nutshell, Chanel has taken great strides in the recent past to join the cruelty free bandwagon. Many will commend the bold move to abandon the use of exotic hide and fur to the use of synthetic materials as a big leap towards being an animal friendly brand.
Regardless, more needs to be done for them to be considered as being cruelty-free
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are there alternative ways to test products?
Yes, there are new and sophisticated technologies that can be used to test products such as the use of vitro-testing.
2. Is animal conservation and cruelty-freedom attainable and feasible?
Despite growing pressure from various concerned parties, it is difficult to ascertain whether this will feasible or not. Animal products are still popular, therefore, it will take time to be adopted or fully accepted as a standard practice in society.