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Chanel is NOT Cruelty-Free!
Chanel allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.
Chanel’s Animal Testing Policy
While researching to learn more about Chanel’s cruelty-free status, I couldn’t find the brand’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, there are still some exceptions, 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 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 is a couple of screenshots I took from their Chinese website showing several boutiques and stores in China selling Chanel makeup, skincare, and perfume.
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 most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.
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 Tests 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 Chanel 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 Chanel) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.
Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. 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, and 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.
Is Chanel Certified Cruelty-Free?
Chanel is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.
Because Chanel is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Chanel’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.
Is Chanel Cruelty-Free?
To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Chanel must have its products tested on animals. 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 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.
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:
- KVD Vegan Beauty *owned by Kendo, LVMH – 100% Vegan
- Hourglass *owned by Unilever – some vegan options
- Koh Gen Do – some vegan options
- Urban Decay *owned by L’Oreal – some vegan options