REN (Unilever)

Last Updated: January 7, 2022

How Ethical Is REN (Unilever)?

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 REN’s ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is REN cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on REN’s policies.
REN is cruelty-free, but REN is owned by Unilever, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of REN’s products are vegan but they have some vegan options.
REN claims they use sustainably-sourced and “clean” ingredients. REN has also pledged to become Zero Waste by the end of 2021 and to use only packaging that’s recycled, recyclable or reusable by 2021. See here for REN’s journey to zero-waste.
REN claims their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor.
REN pledged to become Zero Waste by the end of 2021, producing only recycled, recyclable, or reusable packaging. Currently, they use post-consumer recycled plastic, reclaimed ocean plastic, recyclable glass jars, introduced a metal free pump, and they’ve eliminated outer cartons for their cleansers and single-use foil sachets.

REN also offers refills of some of their best-selling products, with TerraCycle’s Loop program.

About REN (Unilever)

REN offers skincare that’s Clean to Skin and Clean to Planet with their sustainable formulas and skincare routine.
PRODUCTS: Skincare, Bath & Body Care

REN (Unilever)

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

You can find REN Clean Skincare’s cruelty-free products at, Sephora, Nordstrom, and Dermstore.

REN is *Cruelty-Free

REN has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.

By our standards, we would consider REN to be *Cruelty-Free.

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

It’s your choice 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. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Unilever owns REN.

Below is a screenshot of REN’s official animal testing statement:

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

REN has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

“Our products are also not sold in mainland China.”

As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Note that 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, and by any third parties.

Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.

REN is Not 100% Vegan

‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.

In the case of REN, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.

How to know which of REN products are vegan?

All of REN’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website. You can also shop from their list of vegan products here:

REN Vegan Product List

As of 2021, I will no longer be regularly updating this list of REN’s vegan products as all of their vegan products are now clearly marked. Check their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on which products are vegan or not.

The following REN products are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any 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.

Where are REN’s products made?

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

“All REN Clean Skincare products are manufactured in the UK.”

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral that’s 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 REN if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“Our team has advised me that the Mica we use is ethically sourced from India and is adhered to the principles of their Human Rights Charter as well as the requirements of their Responsible Sourcing Principles.”

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

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