Two international brands have come out in force to support the campaign to ban cosmetics testing on animals in China.
Hennes & Mauritz and Lush have helped launch the #BeCrueltyFree China campaign in partnership with animal protection organization, the Human Society (HSI).
As part of a global campaign launched by HSI in 2012, the China project aims to make the ethical treatment of animals a priority for the domestic fashion industry. It has also garnered support from Chinese actress, singer and formed MTV China star, Zhu Zhu, the campaign’s poster celebrity.
The campaign seeks to bring about policy change, including national legislative bans on animal testing of cosmetics and the improvement of farm animal welfare within wool and down production.
“Animal welfare is important to us at H&M and we want to contribute to improved animal welfare practices in our industry, which is why we are committing ourselves… to elevate standards throughout the industry and globally,” said Madelene Ericsson, sustainability business expert at H&M.
It is estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other animals have, until last year, been used to test cosmetics in China every year according to HSI statistics.
Since June 2014, China no longer requires companies to mandate animal testing on cosmetics products produced and sold in the country.
A complete ban on the sale of cosmetics developed through animal testing in the EU was introduced in March 2013. In the USA, animal testing programs are not illegal.
H&M’s own-brand cosmetic products already abide by a strict no-animal-testing policy. The company pledged to ramp up its consumer advocacy activities and create more dialogue on the issue with its key stakeholders.
Chetana Mirle, director of HSI’s farm animals department, said the organization will focus particularly on ending cruel farming practices such as mulesing, the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from the rear of a sheep.