Unilever-owned Suave is next to receive Peta’s “cruelty-free” certification, joining Dove, Simple, St. Ives, Love Beauty and Planet and others in the company’s mix that earned the status in the last 18 months.
Forgoing animal testing earned Suave placement on Peta’s “Beauty Without Bunnies” list of certified brands. Parent company Unilever is one of just five companies to be listed by Peta as a company “working for regulatory change.” According to the company, a Suave product is sold every 14 seconds.
Further sanctioning consumer trust on the aisles, the certification builds upon Unilever’s some 30 years of development in uncovering alternatives to animal testing and the company’s call for a worldwide animal testing ban on cosmetics in 2018.
“Our consumers care about animals and so do we. That is why we are proud to be certified cruelty-free by Peta and continue to offer high-quality beauty products,” said Berengere Loubatier, Suave’s senior brand director, in a press statement.
And today’s consumer is also starting to care more about the environment, showing increased demand for sustainable products, according to Boston Consulting Group, which is why Unilever USA has vowed to cut down on plastic, while also veering into reusable packaging design with its Love Beauty and Planet brand through partnerships with TerraCycle-owned commerce platform Loop.
Co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam, Unilever is privy to the fast-growing trend of veganism (on the rise in the U.K.), opening a $94 million plant-based research facility in Europe last December, with Love Beauty and Planet being its proudest stretch into cruelty-free — and vegan — personal care, as of yet.
But “vegan” is seeing increased use in the fashion industry, too, especially alongside the sustainability conversation. Even Peta, touts the “eco-friendly” plus of “vegan leather,” on its web site.
However, the correlation raises concern to the British Retail Consortium counting 70 percent of the U.K. retail industry, by turnover, as members. Last month, it saw the need to launch voluntary guidelines on veganism as it relates to fashion.
“It should be stated emphatically that retailers should not claim the product is sustainable simply because it is ‘vegan,’” stressed the report.
The BRC guidelines involve a matrix of questions for brand owners seeking to source a vegan product, a non-exhaustive list of animal-derived fibers and materials and a template for vegan product declaration.
Vegan claims as part of a fashion sustainability play are expected to come under increased scrutiny.
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