Our non-animal testing policy

Our non-animal testing policy

We have been fighting against animal testing since before we opened our first shop, and the fight continues today.

Every time you buy a cosmetic product you’re also paying for its testing. Our intention is never to fund any animal cruelty with your money. Animal testing is poor science and its results are irrelevant for humans.

What we believe

Our products, for safety and effectiveness, are trialled on human volunteers; real people. Furthermore, we also use in vitro test methods, using human cell-cultures and microbiology. This means instead of animals, we test our products using scientifically-advanced testing thanks to the forward-thinking people at XCellR8; a completely animal-free in vitro testing lab. In fact, they were the winners of the 2012 Lush Prize, an accolade intended to reward those making breakthroughs against animal-testing. Watch this video to discover more.

Furthermore, we do not buy any raw materials from any company that tests any of their materials on any animals for any purpose.

We only buy raw materials from companies that sign a declaration stating that they test none of their raw materials on animals now and have no plans to do so in the future. That way, we can be sure no money from Lush will pass to companies that test on animals.

What's more, we don't just look at the one material we are buying from a company; we look at the company's testing of other materials too. Which means, if we want to buy Glycerine which is not tested, but the company tests other materials on animals, we cannot buy anything from them. If the raw materials company tests glycerine for a food product, even though we want to use it in a cosmetics product, we still cannot buy it from them.

Our policy means that we can be certain that the profit that our raw material suppliers makes from us does not go back into animal testing. It means that we don't do business with companies who’s ethical stance is at odds with ours and who are doing things that we find unacceptable or that compromise our beliefs.

Pushing for change

Many animal protection organisations see the strength of Lush’s policy and are happy to include us in their cruelty-free lists, even though we do not fit in the same pigeon hole as the other standards. However, because no other company follows this policy, we often get left off some ‘cruelty-free’ company lists simply because the organisations that compile the lists either: don't fully understand our policy, don't have a convenient pigeon hole for us, only list companies licensed under their own scheme, or don't agree with our route to the solution.

By sticking to our policy, it means we have a smaller pool of suppliers to choose from than most companies. But we have built Lush from day one using this policy and we believe this shows that it's possible to invent, manufacture and bring to market an entire range of products without any involvement in animal testing.

This also highlights the fact that other cosmetics companies choose to lie to their customers, by claiming they only test on animals because they need to by law. This is simply not true.

Why REACH legislation is a problem for us

We have campaigned against the European Chemical Agency's REACH legislation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) since before it became law, because, like many of the animal protection groups, we were very concerned at the huge increase in animal testing that it would cause. 

Despite the concerns, it passed into law in 2007 and is currently in use across Europe. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the EU REACH Regulation was brought into UK law on 1 January 2021 and is known as UK REACH.

Whilst it is possible to be truly cruelty-free and still meet all the stringent legal safety requirements, this new layer of legislation puts our suppliers at risk of being involved in third-party testing.

For more on this issue just check out this video, which explains why we are concerned about REACH animal testing and why consumers should be aware of this largely unknown legislation.

Our past, present and future

The founders of Lush have been in the cosmetics business since the 1970s and throughout that time have been involved in the push against animal testing. They had a lot to do with introducing the '5 year rolling rule'; getting animal testing talked and thought about, and were a major influence on The Body Shop policy, whilst inventing and manufacturing products for the store through the 1980s.

But as time went on they began to feel that more needed to be done. Raw materials suppliers were still animal testing and did not seem to find the policies enough of an incentive to make them stop. The fixed cut-off date started to become the accepted policy, but the team here felt uncomfortable that the system still meant that a company could profit from them whilst still testing things on animals. So they cast aside the rolling rule and the fixed cut-off date and rethought what it was they were trying to achieve. They decided that the simple aims they had were:

For animal testing to stop completely.

For raw materials companies to change the way they test.

For no money to go to companies who continued to test on animals.

They launched this policy in June 1993, whilst still running their previous company, Cosmetics To Go. So when they started Lush in 1995, it began life using this policy and has stuck to it ever since.

Lush continues to work towards a day when all animals are safe from testing and properly protected by worldwide laws.

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