“Should we buy cruelty-free vegan brands that are owned by a non-vegan parent company? Or should we boycott?”
This is a hot topic that continues to reappear over and over again within the vegan community. It is very similar to the controversial “should vegans support fast-food chains?” debate.
Unfortunately, like all issues, the answer is never black or white. We must remember that being vegan is about avoiding the harm and exploitation of animals “as far as is possible and practicable”.
While many of us are lucky enough to have the choice between 100% vegan and non-vegan owned cruelty-free brands, many others do not. Those living in remote areas or those without access to 100% vegan brands have little choice than to buy what is available to them.
It would be unreasonable in that case to tell some people not to buy from vegan brands owned by non-vegan parent companies. You have to work with what you have.
Buying from a vegan brand with a non-vegan parent company is certainly better than buying from a brand that has admitted to testing on animals or uses animal-derived ingredients.
But there are hundreds of great independent vegan brands out there that can be bought online. Many of which can deliver to anywhere you want. In the UK, this is much easier than in the USA.
The internet is full of fantastic independent vegan brands (like ourselves), who can deliver anywhere in the UK. So, there is really no need to support cruelty-free brands owned by a non-vegan parent company.
The Reasons People Boycott Vegan Brands Owned by Non-Vegan Parent Companies
Some vegans have decided to boycott any vegan brand that is owned by a non-vegan parent company. Here are the main reasons behind their decision.
1. Your Money is Funding a Company That Tests on Animals
Let’s say you buy products from Nyx Cosmetics, are you indirectly funding L’Oreal? Well, sort of. You’re buying a product from Nyx Cosmetics, but their success is L’Oreal’s success. Nyx’s money is essentially L’Oreal’s money. Many vegans do not feel comfortable with this.
2. Your Money is Funding Animal Testing
If you line the pockets of L’Oreal, then you’re funding and supporting the continued testing on animals. You have no control over how your money is used once it reaches L’Oreal’s bank accounts.
3. Support for Independent Vegan Brands is Important
Veganism is not only an animal rights movement, but it is an ethical consumerism movement too. By supporting small independent vegan brands, you’re helping to move money away from unethical companies and funding more conscious ways of doing business.
Rather than trying to “veganize” the beauty industry, why not help support an entirely new ethical beauty industry to replace it?
Given the choice, why wouldn’t you buy your cruelty-free perfume from an independent vegan perfume company? If it is a similar price and similar quality, why not support the independent vegan business over the large non-vegan corporation?
4. These Vegan Brands Owned by Non-Vegan Brands are Sell-Outs
How can you claim to be a vegan company when you’re owned and help fund companies that test on animals? The values of the vegan brand are not aligned with its actions or business model.
Would a vegan brand ever work with a large corporation that still thinks it’s acceptable to test on animals in 2020?
The Reasons People Support Vegan Brands Owned by Non-Vegan Parent Companies
Like we said at the start of this article, this issue isn’t black or white. It’s important to understand both sides of the discussion in order to make your own mind up.
1. We Can “Veganize” the Parent Company from Inside
Demand is an incredibly powerful tool for conscious consumers. Big corporations only speak the language of money. Therefore, if we buy the vegan brands over their non-vegan brands, maybe the parent companies will hear the message.
Also, those brands owned by the non-vegan companies have much more power and opportunity to try to convert them to more ethical business practices once they have a business relationship.
2. Their Products Are Still Vegan
The actual products you buy from these vegan brands are cruelty-free. Therefore, they’re technically vegan whether the brand is owned by a non-vegan parent company or not.
3. Buying Their Vegan Products Sends a Clear Message
This is the same argument made in the fast-food chain dilemma. By supporting the vegan offering from non-vegan parent companies, we can help spread the vegan message louder and more quickly.
These companies have a lot more exposure to the general population. When L’Oreal or Unilever announces it has a new vegan brand or vegan range, it reaches more people.
Many vegans believe this is a powerful form of awareness. Maybe people will start to question themselves “why wouldn’t I buy a cruelty-free perfume if I have the choice?”.
The Verdict: It’s Up To You!
There is no right answer to this dilemma. It really is up to you to make your own decision based on the information given above.
If you believe you can “veganize” the large corporations through demand, then you should continue to buy from their vegan brands. If you believe this is an opportunity to kickstart an entirely new vegan industry by supporting independent vegan companies, then you do that.
As long as we’re consistently seeing positive change on both sides, then we’re heading in the right direction. The fact that non-vegan parent companies are focusing so much on vegan brands is a good sign. More people will be exposed to the cruelty-free message. More people will be given a choice between animal tested and cruelty-free. This gets more people thinking.
The independent vegan beauty industry is flourishing regardless. Most likely, the future of the cruelty-free beauty industry will be a mix of independent and big parent companies. As long as both sides are actively moving away from animal testing (which most them are), we should be happy.
Popular Vegan Brands Owned by Non-Vegan Parent Companies
Here is a list of the vegan beauty brands or brands selling vegan beauty lines that are owned by non-vegan parent companies.
Aveda – Owned By Estee Lauder
Awake Beauty – Owned By Kose
Becca – Owned By Estee Lauder
Bite Beauty – Owned By Kendo, Lvmh
Buxom – Owned By Shiseido
Covergirl – Owned By Coty
Dermablend – Owned By L’oreal
Dermalogica – Owned By Unilever
Drunk Elephant – Owned By Shiseido
Elemis – Owned By L’occitane
Erborian – Owned By L’occitane
First Aid Beauty – Owned By P&G
Hello Products – Owned By Colgate
Hourglass – Owned By Unilever
Kate Somerville – Owned By Unilever
Kvd Vegan Beauty – Owned By Kendo, Lvmh
Kylie Cosmetics – Owned By Coty
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day – Owned By Sc Johnson
Murad – Owned By Unilever
Nyx Cosmetics – Owned By L’oreal
Ole Henriksen – Owned By Kendo, Lvmh
Oribe – Owned By Kao
Ureology – Owned By L’oreal
Ren – Owned By Unilever
Schmidt’s – Owned By Unilever
Seventh Generation – Owned By Unilever
Sleek Makeup – Owned By Walgreens
Smashbox – Owned By Estee Lauder
St. Ives – Owned By Unilever
Tarte – Owned By Kose
Tatcha – Owned By Unilever
Tom’s Of Maine – Owned By Colgate
Too Faced – Owned By Estee Lauder
Urban Decay – Owned By L’oreal
This is only a shortlist (provided by Ethical Elephant) of the most popular vegan beauty brands. Those looking for a more in-depth look at vegan beauty brands can check out the extensive lists provided by Ethical Elephant or Cruelty-Free Kitty.
We also implore you to always do your own research on every beauty product you intend to buy. Never take a company’s words for truth. Unfortunately, there are companies out there who deceive their customers and “greenwash” their marketing.
Always look for official certifications that back a brand’s claims on both animal testing and the environment.
Dolma Perfumes & Colognes are 100% Independent Vegan and Cruelty Free
Dolma Perfumes and Colognes have been committed to 100% vegan and cruelty-free principles since 1982. We are anti-speciesism believing that no creature should suffer for our luxury.