Last Updated: December 6, 2022

How Ethical Is Alaffia?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here's a summary of Alaffia's ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Alaffia cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Alaffia’s policies.
Alaffia is cruelty-free. None of Alaffia’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Not all of Alaffia’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
Alaffia’s products are certified For Life (by ECOCERT) for demonstrated corporate responsibility. Alaffia states, “Fair trade certification ensures producers in economically disadvantaged countries receive a greater percentage of the price paid by consumers. As an example, Alaffia pays 15-25% above market price for shea nuts. Cooperative members also receive a salary more than 3x the average family income in Togo.”

In addition, Alaffia is Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to high quality standards.

Alaffia also uses recycled plastic in its product packaging and offers a recycling program with TerraCycle.
Alaffia’s product packaging is made of plastic, some of which are made with 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material and others are made of 10% PCR and 90% virgin plastic. Alaffia also offers a recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle.

About Alaffia

Alaffia handcrafts award-winning clean, green skin and hair care with fair trade ingredients supporting West Africa community empowerment projects.
PRODUCTS: Bath & Body, Hair Care, Skincare


This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

You can find Alaffia cruelty-free products at Target and on Amazon.

Is Alaffia Cruelty-Free?

Alaffia is a cruelty-free brand. Alaffia has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.

By our standards, we would consider Alaffia to be Cruelty-Free.

Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Alaffia’s website about its animal testing policy:

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

Alaffia has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Note that there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or any third parties.

Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.

Is Alaffia Vegan?

‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.

In the case of Alaffia, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.

How to know which of Alaffia’s products are vegan?

All of Alaffia’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website.

The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Alaffia’s website about its vegan claims:

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it usually means no animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products used in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.

There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But it’s sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.

So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.

Where are Alaffia’s products made?

Alaffia states on its website,

Where do you make your products?
Our women’s cooperatives in West Africa handcraft indigenous ingredients, such as unrefined “raw” shea butter and African black soap. Those products are then handcrafted using traditional African recipes and methods at the U.S. headquarters at our facility in Olympia, WA. Proceeds from the sale of these products are returned to communities to fund community empowerment and gender equality projects.”

I hope this article helped you to understand Alaffia’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!

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