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Le Labo’s Cruelty-Free Status is Unclear
It is unclear whether Le Labo’s ingredients are tested on animals, by the company itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties. Le Labo also did not specify if it allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.
As a result, we are unable to classify Le Labo as being truly cruelty-free or animal-tested. Therefore, Le Labo is listed as Grey Area – Brands with Unclear Policies.
Le Labo’s Animal Testing Policy
Le Labo Fragrances claims on its website that they believe “it is more humane to test cosmetics on New Yorkers than on animals” however, this is not enough information for us to classify Le Labo or any other brand as being cruelty-free to our standards.
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 by any third parties, including when required by law.
See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist.
So I reached out to Le Labo 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 Le Labo responded by saying:
“Thank you for your interest in our creations!
Le Labo is indeed a cruelty-free brand. Our creations do not contain animal-derivative ingredients and are not tested on animals.
We use both high-quality natural and molecular ingredients for our creations. We currently do not ship or have a physical location in China.
As our manifesto states :
“We believe it is more humane to test cosmetics on New Yorkers than on animals…”
Is Le Labo Cruelty-Free?
In Le Labo’s response, they claim they’re a “cruelty-free brand,” however, they did not answer any of my specific inquiries about their animal testing policy.
It was still unclear whether Le Labo’s ingredients are tested on animals by the company itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties. It also wasn’t clear if Le Labo allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.
As a result, we cannot classify Le Labo as a truly cruelty-free brand until they are more transparent with their animal testing policy.
Currently, Le Labo is on our Grey Area Brands List – Brands with Unclear Policies.
Is Le Labo Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?
Yes. Le Labo is owned by Estee Lauder, 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, Le Labo is NOT cruelty-free, and neither is its parent corporation, Estee Lauder.
Is Le Labo Vegan?
Le Labo claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Le Labo’s cruelty-free status is unclear, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Le Labo to be 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.
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.
Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Le Labo
Looking to switch to cruelty-free fragrances? Check out our guide to cruelty-free and vegan cologne and vegan perfumes!