As I gather intel to create my comprehensive cruelty-free list, I hear all kinds of excuses companies make as to why they aren’t certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. In case you are not aware, the Leaping Bunny Standard is the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and/or household products. It is without a doubt, the most trusted and consistent cruelty-free certification available.
Why is being certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny so important?
Applying to become Leaping Bunny certified is totally voluntary but the Leaping Bunny is unlike any other cruelty-free certification out there and they’re able to get more information from companies than you and I could if we were to reach out to these companies ourselves. For example, in order to be certified, companies must pledge an end to animal testing for ingredients and finished products; the company’s ingredient suppliers must also make the same pledge; must be open to independent audits; and renew annually.
1. It takes too long
Companies can be approved within one week if they complete their application for certification, provide all the necessary information regarding their supplier/manufacturer chain, and their suppliers and manufacturers complete the required Declarations. Once the company has everything all set to go, becoming Leaping Bunny certified is a very quick and seamless process. So companies that claim to be “in the process” of becoming certified for years should raise a red flag.
2. It costs too much
It’s totally FREE to apply and become certified by the Leaping Bunny Program. Companies are also included in the shopping guide (both online and print) at absolutely no cost. However, if a company chooses to use and license the Leaping Bunny logo.. there is an applicable fee and is a one-time fee. This is completely optional and not required in order to be certified by Leaping Bunny.
3. I’m a start-up or new company
The Leaping Bunny Program accepts applications from both existing companies as well as newly created businesses. In fact, they actually are willing to certify companies that do not have any product on the market yet and wish to license the Leaping Bunny logo on their initial launch. All that Leaping Bunny asks is for any newly created business to begin trading within a year of obtaining their certification.
4. My company was founded in a country that already has an outright ban on the sale of products that are tested on animals
On March 11, 2013, the EU successfully banned the sale of cosmetic products and use of ingredients that have been tested on animals. However there are limitations to the EU ban that unfortunately doesn’t automatically warrant all companies selling their products in Europe are free from new animal testing.
“Some ingredients that are used in products other than just cosmetics may still be tested or could still be tested for other purposes like environmental toxicity. In addition, other countries such as China have laws that require some animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients. It is unlikely that brands selling in Europe will be prohibited from carrying out required animal tests to sell in other markets.” (Source)
Therefore it is important that companies apply to be certified Leaping Bunny to ensure the company in question does not test their products or ingredients on animals regardless of international regulatory requirements.
5. I am already certified cruelty-free by X organization, I can’t/don’t need to be certified by another
There are no legal restrictions preventing a company from being certified by Leaping Bunny if they are already certified by another organization. They will still have to go through Leaping Bunny’s process of becoming certified which may be an entirely different process from other programs.
And for argument sake as to why a company should be certified Leaping Bunny despite already being certified by another organization is that the Leaping Bunny Standard includes a set of rigorous criteria to guarantee shoppers with the best assurance that a company’s products are not animal tested. Read more about their standards, here.
6. Leaping Bunny is not applicable in my country
The Leaping Bunny logo and Standard is recognized internationally including in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
Why do companies choose not to be certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny? I haven’t got a clue! But you can rest assured that the Leaping Bunny Program was not designed for an elite group of companies that are paying their way to be listed and advertised. It is a legitimate and credible process that guarantees no new animal tests has been performed on final products and throughout the supply chain. If a company claims to be 100% cruelty-free, the process to becoming Leaping Bunny certified should be a walk in the park!
Have you heard companies make some of these excuses before? Share your experience!