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What is The Honest Company Hiding From Their Animal Testing Policy?

This post may contain affiliate links.
Photo via The Honest Company

The Honest Company is holding back from disclosing details about their animal testing policy, putting themselves in this “grey-area” zone where I’m not entirely sure where The Honest Company falls on the cruelty-free spectrum.

The Honest Company is certified cruelty-free by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program however that doesn’t automatically mean they’re cruelty-free by ethical elephant’s standards.

I have also not seen The Honest Company listed on Leaping Bunny, Logical Harmony, or Cruelty-Free Kitty.

the-honest-company-peta

After receiving someΒ responses or I should say, lack of responses, from The Honest Company, I can sort of understand why they’re not on any cruelty-free lists outside of PETA’s.

On multiple occasions, I have tried following-up with them and they seemed uninterested with addressing Β my specific questions about their animal testing policy.Β This has led me to sadly categorize The Honest Company in my inconclusive brand list.

Unsubstantiated Animal Testing Claims

Although I agree that The Honest Company has bigger issues to worry about right now (they have several ongoing lawsuits) than answering what seems like little unimportant details about their animal testing statement but if a brand claims to be cruelty-free, I expect them to be a little more transparent.

I normally don’t publicize this type of information when I don’t have a definitive yes or no from a company but I hope that my sharing the questionable responses I received from The Honest Company, it’ll open the conversation up and maybe someoneΒ else has received further explanations from them.

Photo via The Honest Company

The Honest Company’s Animal Testing Policy

On The Honest Company‘s website, they go onto stating that they have signed PETA’s statement of assurance. But PETA’s cruelty-free standards does not have enough credentials for me to automatically consider any brand that signs their documents to be consideredΒ cruelty-free.

the-honest-company-animal-testing

So I reached out to The Honest Company asking for specifics about whether their ingredient suppliers test on animals or if they sell in markets that require animal testing (more specifically, in China)?

The Honest CompanyΒ Responds to Animal Testing Inquiries

The first response I got from them was a cut and paste statement. I know this becauseΒ in my original inquiry, I didn’t mention anything about Leaping Bunny.

Hi Vicky,

Β Β Thanks so much for your question and feedback. Currently, we are certified cruelty-free by PETA. While we can’t speak to other companies that may be on the list that you feel aren’t animal-friendly, but we can say that our formulas are certainly not tested on animals, nor are the individual ingredients contained within.

Thank you for sharing your perspective on Leaping Bunny – we’re always looking for great credentials and certifications for our products and we’ll absolutely look into adding this to the list!

In terms of our Non-Vegan products, here is the most up to date list I can provide of items that are NOT vegan. Β 

  • Organic Lip Balm Trio
  • Organic Belly Balm
  • Organic Nipple Balm
  • Organic Breathe Easy Rub
  • Healing BalmΒ 
  • SunscreenΒ 
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • DHA/Omega-3
  • Immunity Defense
  • Prenatal Multi-Vitamin
  • Kid’s Multi-VitaminΒ 
  • Baby & Toddler Multi PowderΒ 
  • Prenatal Complete One-A-Day
  • Men’s Complete One-A-Day
  • Women’s Complete One-A-Day

We hope this helps, let us know if there is anything else we can do to be of assistance!


Their response claims that their formulasΒ andΒ ingredients are not tested on animals and that some of their products are considered to be vegan and free of animal ingredients. That’s all great however they sadly did not address most of my other questions.

Here are some of the specific questions I was asking:

Hi there,

Thank you so much for providing a list of your products that are not vegan, that is incredibly helpful! =)

Also thank you for clarifying your animal testing policy with me however I wanted to assure that the Honest Company does not commission animal testing to a third party on your behalf and was wondering if your ingredient suppliers test on animals; how do you verify that they don’t test on animals? Finally, do you retail your products in China where they may be required by law to be tested on animals by local authorities including post-market surveillance testing?


Their 2nd (and last) response:

Hi Vicky,

We are certified cruelty-free by PETA. Our formulas are certainly not tested on animals, nor are the individual ingredients contained within.

http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/cruelty_free_companies_company.aspx?Com_Id=3889&Donottest=8&Product=0&Dotest=-1&RegChange=-1&Country=-1&Keyword=

If you have any further questions, please let us know!


Here is the third time I’m hearing about how The Honest Company is certified by PETA. It is certainly getting redundant and I was starting to lose my patience. So this time around, I decided to be more straight-forward in my response:

I understand that the Honest Company is certified cruelty-free by PETA and that your formulas or ingredients are not tested on animals however to be frank with you, I don’t personally trust PETA’s cruelty-free standards and auditing system so that’s why I wanted to follow-up with a couple of specific questions which you have disregarded yet again in your response.

I wanted to know whether:

-if your ingredient suppliers test on animals; how do you verify that they don’t test on animals?
-are any of your products sold in mainland China?

If you are unable to answer these questions, please direct me to someone who can address my inquiries.


And cue the crickets!Β The Honest CompanyΒ hasn’tΒ responded back to me after multiple attempts and follow-up.

I am in no way saying whether or notΒ The Honest Company is or isn’t a cruelty-free brand. It’s the lack of transparency and their cut & paste automated responses that has me worried.

If you managed to be one of the lucky ones and got more details about The Honest Company’s animal testing policy, please share as I would definitely love to add them to my list of cruelty-free brands!

 

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11 Comments
  • Jennifer
    November 10, 2017

    Hi Vicky,

    Found your post while trying to find out if Honest Company was sold in China. I just called their customer service line and they clarified that although some of their products are manufactured in China, these products are not subject to the same testing requirements as products SOLD in China. She confirmed that Honest Company products are only sold in the US and Canada, while Honest Beauty products are only sold in the US.

    I was honestly looking for a catch that allowed me to pass over their products, but it seems like their hands are clean if not for their awful, wishy-washy PR email responses.

  • Olivia
    September 13, 2017

    Are there any updates to this situation?

    Thanks!

  • Mila
    August 7, 2017

    Thank you so much, Vicky! This was very helpful! πŸ™‚

  • tracy
    August 6, 2017

    omg unilever also bought 7th generation!!

  • Mary Hoxie
    August 3, 2017

    I sure appreciate your persistance with the Honest Company, too bad they are not as transparent as they should be. Your blog is awesome, keep up the great work!

  • Samia Baseio
    September 28, 2016

    Hi Vicky,

    Can you tell me the best brands to buy regarding house cleaning that are animal cruelty-free? I’m having trouble to find them… Thank you!

  • Bela T
    September 16, 2016

    Enjoyed the article, It doesn’t matter anymore if they are cruelty free or not, since it was announced today Unliver may buy them out for 1 billion. Oh well. seems like Unilever and L’oreal are taking over everything making it more difficult to purchase cruelty free (within normal price ranges). sighs….oh well.

    • Sid
      September 18, 2016

      I was so disappointed to hear this news about Unliver on CNN Money. Looks like they are hoping to scoop up more brands. Sigh.

  • Ado
    May 19, 2016

    So much for “Honesty” =P
    Thanks Vicky for whistleblowing these issues. It is excellent that you go so much into detail and try so hard to get every single point addressed. There is no reason for any business to be unclear about animal testing, except a lack of commitment in their approach to a cruelty-free policy.
    Since there are companies out there producing only vegan and cruelty-free products, it’s be a better choice to go for one of them instead.

    • Ado
      May 19, 2016

      “it’s be a better choice” ended up being a mix of “it’s a” and “it’d be”, sorry about that =)

    • Vicky Ly
      May 19, 2016

      Haha, the irony is in their name!

      I share the same feelings, we’re living in such a consumer-driven society and when there are so many other cruelty-free (and vegan) companies that are totally open to disclosing details about their animal testing policy with their customers.. that it really doesn’t give The Honest Company a choice but to be just as open about their own policy!

      I’m hoping they’ll address these questions sooner rather than later! =)

β€œMake ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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