I am from La Provence, it is in South of France. This my country, my soul. It is part of me. L’Occitane is a brand originally made in La Provence. I used to love it very much, not only for the origin of the products, but also because this brand is a symbol of excellence.
However, a couple of years ago I decided to stop buying beauty products from brands labelled as “testing on animals”. And from that day, every time I was learning that a brand I used to love (not only for the products but also for the man and woman behind, like Tom Ford, Bobby Brown, to mentioned the ones which were, and still are, close to my heart) were indeed testing on animals I was feeling and still feel like crying.
And L’Occitane did not escape to that rule unfortunately.
I read their statement about animal testing, and here what they say:
L’OCCITANE’s Position on Animal Testing
L’OCCITANE does not and has never tested its products, its active ingredients or its raw materials on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process.
L’OCCITANE is fundamentally committed to the abolition of animal testing of beauty products worldwide. In China, where our products are retailed, the local Chinese authorities request testing on some cosmetic products sold on the Chinese market, as they view it as the best way to safeguard their consumers’ safety. Our company does not conduct those tests; they are done by Chinese laboratories, approved by local authorities on a limited animal panel.
To move forward we decided to develop our relationship with the Chinese authorities to pledge the case for the end of animal testing for beauty products, through open dialogue. Since 2010 we have therefore engaged with the relevant authorities, as well as animal rights NGOs. Our goal has been to highlight alternatives techniques used in Europe where animal testing has been banned. This constructive dialogue has led to a series of advances in Chinese regulation including a decision to end this type of test as of June 2014, on so-called ordinary cosmetics that are manufactured and packaged locally (shampoo, perfume etc.), as well as on imported hygiene products (soap, toothpaste etc.). On the 11th Nov 2016, the Chinese authorities announced the first alternative animal test (AAT) in cosmetic raw material. This is another milestone step. Currently, more alternative tests are under development by NIFDC (National Institute for Food and Drug Control) L’Occitane cares about every small movement on AATs in China.
We remain of the firm opinion that it is by working from inside China that we will be best placed to further influence Chinese regulation and put an end to animal testing. L’Occitane will continue proactive work with cosmetic industrial organizations in China, to push forward more and more alternatives tests to be implemented in cosmetics.
Thank you for your interest and we hope this statement has clarified our position.
As I say many time on my blog, I am not vegan but I care about animal suffering, especially in the beauty industry because I do think unnecessary suffering can be avoid.
Usually I disagree with brand which sell in China because they only think about their profits in my opinion. However, in that case, it is a bit more complex than it looks.
In fact, when you ask someone what they think about L’Occitane, one sentence is often pronounced: “c’est une entreprise avec des valeurs” “it is a company with values”.
L’Occitane promotes environmental friendly components in their beauty products and works to make sure that the products are fair trade and invests in the country from which the main raw material comes from. Quite some programs have been put in place a while ago to improve the life of the workers. Also, L’Occitane is making an effort to work with cosmetic industrial organizations in China, to push forward alternatives tests to be implemented in cosmetics.
However L’Occitane remains to me a brand that I cannot buy because I get used to the fact to do not buy non cruelty free beauty products. Even if to be completely honnest this is the kind of brand I am less angry at, let say, for selling in China and thus allow animal testing.
Tell me what you think, I would love to know.
Note: I bought these products by mistake because I was pretty sure L’Occitane was a cruelty-free brand, which is not the case.