Why Jo Malone is (Not So) Cruelty-free?

Some people use perfume for day-to-day activities, while others prefer to use it solely on special occasions. Each individual’s preferences on perfume are also highly different. While others may prefer to buy the affordable ones so they can make a collection out of them, the rest might opt to save up some money so that they can buy the opulent ones. One of the perfumes that are well-known to be costly is the British lifestyle brand, Jo Malone. Why Jo Malone is (Not So) Cruelty-free? – let’s know.

Why Jo Malone is (Not So) Cruelty-free?

Jo Malone officially joined its parent company, The Estee Lauder Companies in 1999 and keeps growing ever since. As you may have heard before, the parent company is considered as a not cruelty-free brand. Does it mean that Jo Malone is also not cruelty-free?

As much as they claim that they are cruelty-free with their products (which is a fact that is partially right), Jo Malone is not cruelty-free as we will walk you through the explanations below. 

Jo Malone’s animal testing policy

Jo Malone, through their website, claimed that “we do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” What makes their claim prone to feebleness is the “except when required by law” because companies who put those in their policies usually sell their products in mainland China. 

What’s so wrong with selling or distributing products to mainland China?

Mainland China, although has revised its policy to exclude “general cosmetics” such as shampoo, body wash, lipstick, lotion, and makeup, still requires other products to go through the animal testing procedure to make sure that there will be no harmful ingredients. 

Thus, although Jo Malone may not test their ingredients on animals, the fact that they are selling their products in mainland China shows that they are not cruelty-free as they consciously consent to animal testing being done to their products by the country’s responsible authorities. And also, Jo Malone does not have any cruelty-free certification from any organization. 

How do companies get cruelty-free certified?

Every company can claim that they are cruelty-free—and that might be true. They may not conduct animal testing for their ingredients at all but being a cruelty-free brand does not just stop there. For people to trust a brand to be cruelty-free, it needs a cruelty-free certification. 

These are the organizations that provide cruelty-free certification. 

  1. Leaping Bunny

This might be the most recognizable and respected cruelty-free certification in the United States. It has been around since 1996 and its certification applies to cosmetics, skin and personal care, as well as household products. 

The first rule for the companies to be cruelty-free certified is that “companies must pledge to end animal testing at all stages of product development in addition to recommitting to the program annually and being open to third-party audits.” They provide a full list of what companies need to accomplish as the certification criteria which can be summarized in six bullet points. 

  • Not conducting, delegating, or becoming a party to any animal testing, including the ingredients within a product. 
  • Not buying any third-party ingredients, formulations, or products that are associated with animal testing. 
  • Having a system to monitor ingredients and formulations, including the third-party manufacturers and suppliers. 
  • Not allowing animal testing on any products in foreign countries. 
  • Filling in and applying for approval to the organization. 
  • Recommitting to the above annually, including submitting the details of the supplier monitoring system and allowing independent audits to be taken if they are to be selected.

Although the certification is free, there is a certain fee that needs to be paid for a company to use or license the Leaping Bunny Logo on its packaging or marketing materials. You can still see the full list of certified companies on their website. 

  1. Beauty Without Bunnies

The animal advocacy organization PETA has been marketing this label since 1987 and now has verified thousands of companies to be cruelty-free. PETA offers two labels:

  • Global Animal Test-Free is given to companies who verify that they do not conduct, delegate, pay for, or allow animal testings for their ingredients, formulations, or final products anywhere in the world and will never do such things. 
  • Global Animal Test-Free and Vegan is given to companies who fulfill the previous criteria and admit that their entire product is free of animal-derived ingredients (beeswax, honey, etc.). 

Their verification is also free, although it differs from the Leaping Bunny certification. With Beauty Without Bunnies, it only takes the company’s CEO’s signature on a statement that attests to all criteria and a filled-out questionnaire provided by PETA. It means that a company does not need any other verification from the supplier or third parties, just an agreement between the company and PETA. There are no regular checks and recommitments, unlike Leaping Bunny who requires them to be done annually. 

The use of the Beauty Without Bunnies Logo will cost a company $350. 

  1. Cruelty Free International

This organization is not delivering out any certifications. However, they are helping non-U.S. and Canadian companies to get Leaping Bunny certified. This UK-based organization tends to be more “practical”. 

They have been working to end animal testing globally for more than 100 years. They investigate and expose the lives of lab animals. Also, they reach out and work alongside leaders to change policies around animal experimentation in science. They believe that there should not be any ethical justification for utilizing animals in experiments. 

Companies will eventually get Leaping Bunny certified, but they are approved via Cruelty Free International. An Australian-based, independent, non-profit organization, Choose Cruelty Free, merged with Cruelty Free International in June 2021.

How to easily find out if my preference of brand is cruelty-free or not?

You can type the name of the brand you want to find out about in one of these links or simply see if the brand is listed or not:

  1. leapingbunny.org/shopping-guide 
  2. crueltyfree.peta.org


The decision to wear or not wear not cruelty-free brands will eventually be yours to make. Nevertheless, if you want to make an impact on stopping animal testing but you still love the products, you can always find alternatives. Nowadays, many perfume brands have similar scents to luxurious ones, yet they come at a more affordable price. Do not forget to check out your local brands—sometimes they can be hidden gems! 

Why Jo Malone is (Not So) Cruelty-free?

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