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My cruelty-free list and Leaping Bunny

Whenever I post an up-date to my cruelty-free brand list I usually get one or two follow up questions. I don't mind these questions and in fact I encourage them as it's great to see people consciously considering the ethics of their purchases and not just taking a list on the internet - even my own one - at face value. However a question that has popped up a few times has been why I have listed some Leaping Bunny certified brands in my grey area list and I felt a full blog post was needed to chat about this topic.

The bulk of the brands who land up in my grey-area list do so because they never replied to my e-mail. This includes Leaping Bunny brands. I'm strict about this and I stand by my decision that if a company doesn't view it as important to reply then I assume they must be hiding something (or just don't care about consumers opinions).

I would never want to suggest that Leaping Bunny isn't a valuable resource, and I want to make that very clear. If you don't have the time to e-mail beauty companies yourself, it by far one of the best - if not the best - cruelty-free brands lists to be referencing.  However, I just wanted to go over some situations where I didn't agree with Leaping Bunny and why I want a bit of extra reussurance when building my own list.

The Body Shop selling in Chinese airports. In 2014 Body Shop stores were spotted in Chinese airports. The official word on the street is that cosmetic products sold in airports aren't under the same mandatory testing laws as the rest of mainland China. However in practice this can be questionable and only after consumer concerns did Body Shop pulled out of all Chinese markets. Maybe their products would have been safe from these ridiculous laws, but Body Shop acting innocent and pulling out right after it made mainstream news put me off purchasing from them again. I'm not the only person who thinks this behaviour was questionable, however they remain on Leaping Bunny's list despite having put itself in a position which could have put their long-standing cruelty-free status at risk. 

Dermalogica got away with selling in China. In 2012 Dermalogica was briefly stripped of its Leaping Bunny status after it was discovered that they had been selling in mainland China. Reading the stories of this incident it makes me uncomfortable that it was consumers who tipped off Leaping Bunny and not Leaping Bunny maintaining scrutiny of its certified brands. Dermalogica has since stopped selling in mainland China and are back on the Leaping Bunny list however, like Body Shop, it was after being caught out. 

As a side note, when e-mailing brands I don't just ask them to confirm they don't currently sell in China, but that they also have no intention to. Leaping Bunny may find out if a brand does physically sell in China however they can't know if they're considering it. You don't lose your Leaping Bunny status until its public knowledge that you're 'expanding'.

ButterLondon and Pure Nuff Stuff have used the logo without certification. Whilst a consumer who references the official Leaping Bunny list on their website won't be caught out, a consumer who doesn't have time to cross-reference will be. Pure Nuff Stuff were previously certified but lost the certification in 2013 but continued to use it on their website. ButterLondon were never Leaping Bunny certified but have been seen using the logo on their products (I've seen them use it myself). Cruelty-Free Kitty has wrote a really informative post on the ButterLondon fiasco. If you are using Leaping Bunny's list remember to cross-reference the official list. 

As I said, I don't want to devalue Leaping Bunny or Cruelty-Free International. They do a fantastic job at making the world a more compassionate place and I didn't write this post in vain. I've just had a few questions regarding the inclusion of a few certified brands in the grey-area list and I thought I'd clear it up. 

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