Natural Goats Milk Soaps, Bathing and Organic Skin Care - Handmade in England
Our stance on animal testing

Why we support Cruelty-Free International and the Humane Cosmetics Standard

Leaping Bunny Logo spacer Many people aren’t aware that hundreds of thousands of animals across the world still endure painful experiments to test cosmetics, toiletries, household products and their ingredients. Since The Natural Soapworks was founded in 2006, we have always believed that animals should not be used for cosmetic testing. We have never tested our handmade soaps and natural aromatherapy skincare products on animals, and have always made checks with our suppliers that they have not tested their ingredients on animals for cosmetic purposes.

In May 2010, we decided to formalize this stance against animal testing, by applying for and achieving the Humane Cosmetics Standard. We comply with the strict requirements of the Humane Cosmetics Standard created by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and now operated by Cruelty-Free International, and have implemented stringent monitoring of our ingredients, with a fixed cut off date for animal testing. If a cosmetic ingredient fails our checks we would never use it in our products, giving our customers the assurance that our cosmetic products are cruelty free. We fully support the EU imposed ban on animal testing for finished cosmetic products implemented in 2004, and for cosmetics ingredients implemented in 2009.

In achieving the Humane Cosmetics Standard, we are showing our support for the work of BUAV, and their campaign to end cosmetics testing on animals around the world. We are very proud that our products carry the ‘Rabbit and Stars’ (Leaping Bunny) logo and would encourage our customers to only select products that carry the genuine logo. This logo appears on many cosmetics and household products whose manufacturers are approved under the Humane Cosmetics Standard or the Humane Household Products Standard, and is your guarantee that a product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals. For more information on the standard, please visit the Go Cruelty Free website.  

Common questions about the animal testing of cosmetics 

Here are some common questions and answers about animal testing. This is adapted from information which can be found on the Go Cruelty Free website. As regular customers will know, we’re passionate about honest labeling of cosmetics, so we’d encourage you to become an informed consumer. Learn more about BUAV’s valuable work, and make informed decisions about the companies who are making the products you use on your skin, or around the house.

Isn't cosmetics animal testing already banned?

In February 2003, the EU agreed a Europe-wide ban on cosmetics animal testing but it won't come into effect in stages until 2009/2013. An EU ban on the sale of new animal tested cosmetics has also been agreed but a complete sales ban won't come into effect until 2013 at the earliest, and sadly some manufacturers are trying to extend this deadline at the moment. The UK and a few other countries have introduced a whole or partial ban on cosmetics animal testing, but animal testing for cosmetics continues in the rest of Europe and around the world. This means that consumers are presented with animal tested cosmetics in major high street stores across the country, despite confusing "not tested" claims on bottles, which usually only relate to testing of the final product and not, crucially, to the ingredients.

What is the Humane Cosmetics Standard?

Launched in 1998, the HCS is the only internationally recognised scheme that enables consumers to easily identify and purchase cosmetic and toiletry products that have not been tested on animals.

What's the difference between the HCS and other cruelty free lists I have seen?

There are a number of retailers and animal groups promoting their own cruelty free schemes. However, the companies approved by them have often done no more than issue a convincing policy statement on animal testing. The HCS/HHPS however is the only internationally recognised Standard which guarantees a product is completely free from animal testing, as it requires companies to prove what they claim. It is the only scheme that requires each company to be open to an independent audit throughout its supply chain, to ensure that they adhere to their animal testing policy and the Standard's strict criteria.

Many companies label their products as "not tested on animals" but do not belong to the HCS. Why would they say this if it wasn't true?

The Humane Cosmetics Standard provides a guarantee for consumers in the light of the growing range of animal testing claims made by companies. Unfortunately, some companies, recognizing the importance of this issue to consumers, take liberties with the language on their packaging. This can be confusing to consumers. Unfortunately, such liberties may include manipulating consumers into purchasing products with mere final product claims — with a deceptive "not tested on animals" claim. Truthful in the literal sense, this may well hide the fact that the ingredients have been tested. As a consequence, animals still suffer to make these products as virtually all testing is done at the ingredient level. This is why we’d suggest that consumers look for the genuine Leaping Bunny logo, to know for sure no testing has occurred for that company's products anywhere in the manufacturing process.

Why are there so many different bunnies on packaging?

Some companies proudly display environmentally responsible or animal-related icons on labels, such as globes, leaves, rabbits (often in a crossed-out circle), dogs, etc. We’d suggest that consumers should investigate the icon and find out exactly what it means. Sadly it could be a marketing tool to suggest a company engages in responsible, compassionate practices, thus encouraging concerned consumers to feel comfortable with their product purchase. This is why we only support the Leaping Bunny logo of the Humane Cosmetics Standard and the Humane Household Products Standard. This is the only logo which offers the assurance that a company complies with the Standard, proving that its products and ingredients are not tested on animals at any stage of bringing the product to market. While many companies continue to use bunnies or similar natural icons to imply they have a policy on animal testing, the mere appearance of a rabbit on a bottle offers little assurance of a company's actual policies or practices. Unless, of course, it's the Leaping Bunny Logo!