Botanics (Walgreens)

Last Updated: January 12, 2022

How Ethical Is Botanics (Walgreens)?

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 Botanics' ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Botanics cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Botanics’ policies.
Botanics is *cruelty-free, but Botanics is owned by Walgreens, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of Botanics’ products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
All Botanics’ products are certified organic and they claim to only use the “highest quality efficacious plant extracts that are sustainably sourced and fully traceable from around the world”. In addition, Botanics claims they’re committed to supply chain traceability and transparency which allows them to monitor the manufacturing environment and enforce fair working conditions.
Botanics has been non-responsive when I asked if their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor.
Botanics products come in plastic packaging. Currently, their plastic packaging is made of 25% post-consumer recycled material but they’re working towards all of their packaging to be 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

All of their paper and board are 100% responsibly sourced and FSC certified.

About Botanics (Walgreens)

Botanics’ natural beauty products showcase the power of plants providing perfect beauty solutions.
PRODUCTS: Skincare
CERTIFICATIONS: Cruelty Free International

Botanics (Walgreens)

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

You can find Botanics cruelty-free products at Ulta, Walgreens, Target, and Boots.

Botanics is *Cruelty-Free

Botanics 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 Botanics to be *Cruelty-Free.

*Botanics is owned by Walgreens, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.

It’s your choice whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Walgreens owns Botanics.

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, and by any third parties.

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

Botanics is Not 100% Vegan

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

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

How to know which of Botanics products are vegan?

Botanics marks all of its vegan products on its website. They also claim all of their products are vegan except for five which contain beeswax (see statement below).

“All Botanics products are suitable for Vegetarians. However, 5 of our products contain Beeswax and are therefore not suitable for Vegans. Our ambition is to be fully vegan by 2023 and all new product launches from 2020 will be Vegan.

The products that are not suitable for Vegans are:

  • Organic Hydrating Eye Cream
  • Organic Cleansing Balm
  • Organic Super Balm
  • Organic Day Cream
  • Mens Organic Moisturiser”

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.

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral that’s used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.

Unless a company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.

So I asked Botanics if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor, but they never responded to any of my emails or messages.

However, I did find this PDF of theirs that state

“We are working with our suppliers to audit our portfolio of products to ensure that:

  • Our mica is sourced from members of Responsible Mica Initiative

But, at this time, it’s still not clear where Botanics sources their mica from and how they’re tracing it to ensure child labor was not involved.

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