Last Updated: February 25, 2024

How Ethical Is Chanel?

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 Chanel’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Chanel cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Chanel’s policies.
Chanel is NOT Cruelty-Free. Chanel engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Chanel sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Chanel claims to offer some products that are free from animal-derived ingredients, but because Chanel engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Chanel to be vegan.


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Is Chanel Cruelty-Free?

☠️ Chanel is NOT cruelty-free in 2023. ComChanelpany allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Chanel’s Animal Testing Policy

When asking, does Chanel test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Chanel’s ingredients or suppliers test on animals. And they don’t sell in any country or under conditions that may require animal testing by law.

To assess whether brands are cruelty-free, I always start with the company’s official animal testing policy on their website.

However, I couldn’t find Chanel’s official animal testing policy anywhere on its website.

So I reached out to Chanel 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 in mainland China).

And Chanel responded by saying:

“Please be assured that we comply scrupulously with the European Union’s regulations which only authorize alternative methods to test cosmetic products and their ingredients.”

Chanel’s statement that they comply with EU’s regulations is not enough information for us to classify Chanel or any other brand as being cruelty-free according to our standards.

Although the EU has banned most animal tests for cosmetics, some exceptions exist, including when cosmetic brands are exporting and selling in countries that require animal testing by law.

So, I continued my research and wanted to see if any of Chanel’s cosmetics or fragrances were being sold in stores in mainland China. Because some cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

Is Chanel Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Chanel’s fragrances and cosmetics are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.

The following are a couple of screenshots I took from their Chinese website showing several boutiques and stores in China selling Chanel makeup, skincare, and perfume.

Chanel Sold in China; Cannot be Cruelty-Free
Chanel Beauty Sold in China and required to test on animals

Because Chanel has decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why some cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2023.

Although Chanel 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 Chanel to be cruelty-free by our standards.

But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?

With the recent changes to China’s animal testing laws, cosmetic companies can now export and sell some of their cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet ALL of the following preconditions first.

  • ONLY sell ‘general’ cosmetics (like makeup, skincare, haircare, nail polish, and perfumes)
  • must NOT sell any ‘special’ cosmetics like sunscreens, hair dye, hair perming, or other cosmetics claiming new efficacy
  • must NOT sell products designed for infants or children
  • must NOT sell products that contain a ‘New Cosmetic Ingredient’
  • AND if post-market testing is required, then the company must have a policy in place where it will RECALL its products rather than allow its products to be tested on animals

Also, products must meet ONE of the following in order to avoid animal testing in China:

  • manufactured in China, or the final assembly is in China
  • if manufactured outside of China and then exported to China, companies must obtain the proper product safety certificates and documents

However, it’s not stated anywhere that Chanel has taken any steps to meet the above preconditions in order to avoid animal testing while selling in China.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Chanel) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2023.

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Cruelty-Free Policies

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China under conditions where animal tests may be required. Unfortunately, Chanel 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 Chanel already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Chanel Certified Cruelty-Free?

Chanel is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Since Chanel is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is substantiating or auditing Chanel’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Does Chanel Test on Animals?

To wrap up, Chanel allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, like when selling in China. Therefore, we would NOT consider Chanel to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Chanel is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Chanel Vegan?

Chanel is NOT vegan. Chanel claims to offer some products that are free from animal-derived ingredients, but Chanel engages in animal testing in some capacity, so we wouldn’t consider any Chanel products vegan at this time.

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 Chanel

Looking to switch to cruelty-free brands? Here are some cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options that are similar to Chanel:

Or check out our list of High-End, Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands! We also have a list of cruelty-free perfumes that you can get at Sephora.

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What do you think

3 thoughts on “Chanel”

  1. I m very sorry to renounce to buy chanel products!!i love their products especially coco prrfume!!!
    I m ashamed for chanel to be cruel on animal!!i m not buying anymore!!!

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