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Burberry is NOT Cruelty-Free!
Burberry allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.
In addition, Coty owns the licensing rights for Burberry Beauty luxury fragrances, cosmetics, and skincare. Coty is a company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Burberry’s Animal Testing Policy
While researching to learn more about Burberry’s cruelty-free status, I couldn’t find the brand’s official animal testing policy anywhere on its website.
So I reached out to Burberry to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test their products/ingredients on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like mainland China).
And Burberry responded by saying:
“I may confirm Burberry takes a strong stance against animal testing of all kinds. I appreciate you for reaching out to confirm this information.”
Burberry’s response that they take a strong stance against animal testing is not enough information for us to classify Burberry or any other brand as being cruelty-free according to our standards.
Animal testing for cosmetics can happen at various stages of product development, including at the ingredient level, and is often done by others and not the cosmetic company itself. This is why 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.
So I tried asking for more clarification from Burberry and they responded by stating,
“I can confirm that our beauty products and fragrances are not tested on animals. You may contact our partner manufacturer, Coty, to confirm this information as their company does manufacture all Burberry beauty products and fragrances. I have provided their contact information below should you have any further questions or concerns regarding their manufacturing procedures.”
Based on their response, it turns out that Coty owns the licensing rights for Burberry’s cosmetics and fragrances. And Burberry has the same animal testing policy as Coty.
And below is a statement from Coty’s animal testing policy:
“Every Coty product has been developed, tested, manufactured and packaged in compliance with the laws and regulations that are applicable in each country in which we sell them. Today, some governments or agencies still require the testing of certain products on animals, in accordance with their local legal and regulatory requirements.”
Coty is a parent company that owns several other beauty brands and some of those brands are NOT cruelty-free as Coty allows them to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in China.
So, is Burberry Beauty and Fragrances one of those brands Coty is selling in China?
Is Burberry Sold in China?
In my research, I discovered that Burberry products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.
Below is a screenshot of Burberry’s store locator showing results in mainland China:
But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?
Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that Burberry or Coty has taken this route.
Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.
As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So there’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.
Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Burberry and Coty) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.
Because Burberry has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.
Although Burberry may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.
For those reasons, we would not consider Burberry to be cruelty-free by our standards.
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Burberry refuses to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.
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 by any third parties, including when required by law.
See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Burberry already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.
Is Burberry Certified Cruelty-Free?
Burberry is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Because Burberry is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Burberry’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Burberry Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Burberry is licensed by Coty, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.
Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.
But in this case, Burberry is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its licensing company, Coty.
Is Burberry Cruelty-Free?
To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Burberry must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Burberry to be a cruelty-free brand.
Currently, Burberry is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.
Is Burberry Vegan?
Burberry does not claim or market itself to offer any vegan-friendly options. And since Burberry engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Burberry to be vegan anyways.
In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Burberry
Looking to switch to cruelty-free products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:
or check out our guide to high-end cruelty-free makeup brands!