Drunk Elephant (Shiseido)

Last Updated: January 14, 2023

How Ethical Is Drunk Elephant (Shiseido)?

Supporting companies that share the same values and ethics to what matters most to us is how we can drive positive change in this world. Here’s a quick summary of Drunk Elephant’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Drunk Elephant cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Drunk Elephant’s policies.
Drunk Elephant is cruelty-free, but Drunk Elephant is owned by Shiseido, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of Drunk Elephant’s products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
Drunk Elephant does not claim or market itself as a sustainable company.
Drunk Elephant claims their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor. See their ethical mica mining policy here.
Drunk Elephant products come in plastic packaging. They claim most of their products are recyclable, except for the Littles and Midi sizes, Umbra, the clear wrap on our Pekee and Juju bars, and sample packettes.

About Drunk Elephant (Shiseido)

Drunk Elephant is committed to using only ingredients that benefit skin’s health and avoiding the 6 ingredients they believe are at the root of almost every skin issue.
PRODUCTS: Skincare, Hair Care, Bath & Body Care

Drunk Elephant (Shiseido)

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

Is Drunk Elephant Cruelty-Free?

🐰 Drunk Elephant is a *cruelty-free brand. None of Drunk Elephant’s ingredients or products are tested on animals. Drunk Elephant has met all the criteria in our Cruelty-Free Checklist and is included in our Cruelty-Free Directory.

Does Drunk Elephant Test on Animals?

When asking, does Drunk Elephant test on animals? We must look beyond to ensure none of Drunk Elephant’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.

In our research, we discovered the following:

  • ✓ Drunk Elephant confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf.
  • ✓ Drunk Elephant confirmed all their ingredient suppliers do not test on animals
  • ✓ Drunk Elephant confirmed they do not allow or sell their products under conditions where animal testing is required by law

By meeting all of our Cruelty-Free Criteria, Drunk Elephant is a *cruelty-free brand by our standards.

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

The decision is yours 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. Do what you’re comfortable with. I just thought it was important to disclose that Shiseido owns Drunk Elephant.

What is Drunk Elephant’s Animal Testing Policy?

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

Drunk Elephant Animal Testing Policy

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

Drunk Elephant has confirmed they only sell online or in Hong Kong, and not in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

Here is how Drunk Elephant explains it:

We are so thrilled to be in China! However, if you’re asking about animal testing, let’s be clear: That is something we would never do. Hong Kong SAR does not require animal testing. That is the only place where we are selling in retail (via @SephoraHK). In mainland China, we are using cross border e-commerce which does not require the same registration process as cosmetics sold via retail there. We are Leaping Bunny Program Certified, and have never, nor will we ever, animal test or allow our products to be tested on animals. ❤️

With the current changes to China’s animal testing laws, some cosmetics sold in China can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, without meeting those conditions, animal testing is still legally required for most cosmetics sold in China in 2023.

Is Drunk Elephant Certified Cruelty-Free?

Drunk Elephant is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA.

Cruelty-Free Policies 2023

Just because a brand claims it is ‘Cruelty-Free,’ doesn’t always mean that’s the case.

That’s because 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.

How We Assess Cruelty-Free Policies

Since 2015, the start of my blog, I’ve been emailing companies asking about their animal testing policies and cruelty-free commitments.

And based on the responses I receive from companies, I’ll research to find any supporting facts needed before concluding whether the brand should be classified as “Cruelty-Free,” “Animal-Tested,” or “Grey Area – Unclear Policies.”

☕️ Every week, I continue to reach out to new brands while trying my best to keep current brands updated. If you found any of my posts or guides helpful, consider Buying Me A Coffee! I would greatly appreciate it! ❤️

What about Vegan?

Just because something is called Cruelty-Free, doesn’t always mean it’s Vegan. And vice versa.

Cruelty-Free only refers to no animal testing, while Vegan means formulated without animal products.

Some brands are Cruelty-Free, but not Vegan.

And some are Vegan, but not Cruelty-Free.

Another important distinction to know is, Vegan in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand is 100% Vegan or a specific product is Vegan.

Is Drunk Elephant Vegan?

⭐️ Drunk Elephant is NOT an entirely vegan brand. But Drunk Elephant offers some vegan options that are free of animal products.

How to know which of Drunk Elephant’s products are vegan?

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

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

Where to buy Drunk Elephant? Check out Sephora, Cult Beauty, Ulta, Boots, and Amazon!

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But Vegan is generally used to mean formulated without animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products 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 unless a brand explicitly labels its ingredients or product as Vegan, it’s often 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 chose were from non-animal sources.

Where are Drunk Elephant’s products made?

I asked Drunk Elephant where their products are manufactured and they told me:

“Our products are manufactured in the US.”

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral 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 the 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 Drunk Elephant if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“Thank you for reaching out! Most of the world’s naturally-derived mica, which is the mineral that gives D-Bronzi its subtle glow and helps brighthen the eye area in C-Tango, comes from India, ours included.

Sustainability and ethical business is at the heart of Drunk Elephant, which is why we only work in partnership with mica suppliers that have an exceptional record for both their environmentally responsible mining methods and ethical labor practices.

Our mica supplier sources only from mines that meet fair and safe labor standards (including banning child labor) and practice environmentally sound mining methods. This includes a series of monitoring and auditing processes—including monthly and unannounced inspections of the mines and processing plants—to ensure compliance at every stage of their supply chain.

Beyond the importance of safe and ethical working conditions, these fair labor standards include funds for community development, education, healthcare and scholarships for those living in the region where our mica supplier’s mines are located.

Whenever possible, Drunk Elephant will always choose the sustainable and ethically harvested route for any raw material used in our products.”

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

If you found this helpful, consider Buying Me a Coffee. So that I can continue to keep this site running and updated.

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What do you think

0 thoughts on “Drunk Elephant (Shiseido)”

  1. Why does the Sephora website say that C-Firma is vegan? I previously reached out to DE and they gave me the same list as you and C-Firma was not vegan because of the seashells. They should not market it as vegan on Sephora!

    1. That’s so frustrating!!! Typically resellers will use the product description provided by the company so I’m not sure if there’s a first edition of the C-Firma that was considered vegan at one point.. but nonetheless, Sephora should definitely update their description to avoid confusing shoppers! Reasons like this is why there needs to be some regulation on what’s allowed to be labelled as VEGAN!

  2. Maria Gabriela Andrade

    I will always support companies that are straightforward with their information rather than sugarcoating it. Drunk Elephant has just scored high on my skincare product consideration.

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! Arghs, I’m trying to fix it with my web hosting right now. Please let me know if you’re still having issues viewing my site after a couple of days 🙏🏻

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