This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the EU’s groundbreaking ban on animal-testing for cosmetics and on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals!

Five years ago, the EU – home to the world’s largest cosmetics market, worth £75 billion in 2017, and providing around two million jobs, according to Euromonitor – made the bold and progressive move of banning the sale in Europe of new cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals outside the EU. It has since inspired legislation around the world, with subsequent bans in countries, including South Korea, New Zealand and India.

Five years on, the EU ban has demonstrated not only that animal-testing is unnecessary for a healthy cosmetics market but it has also been a driver for business and innovation. Since the ban on animal-testing, the European cosmetics market has grown by eight percent and cosmetics companies have continued to refresh 20 percent of their product lines every year; a figure which hasn’t been affected by the ban.

Innovations in animal-testing alternatives include the creation of animal-free adaptations of tests for skin sensitisation, which have received regulatory recognition. New and innovative animal-free tests are being developed often.

However, despite the availability of approved non-animal tests and existing ingredients safe for human use, there are still no laws banning animal tests for cosmetics products and ingredients in 80 percent of the world.

The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International played key roles in raising awareness and lobbying for the EU ban and are committed to campaigning for a global ban. They launched the Forever Against Animal Testing campaign in June 2017 to call for an end to animal-testing in cosmetics, everywhere and forever. With 4.7 million signatures already achieved in less than 10 months – making it the biggest petition ever against animal-testing – the campaign has passed the halfway mark towards its target of eight million signatures.

The European Parliament will soon be voting on a resolution that calls on all members of the European Parliament and Commission to advocate for an end to animal-testing in cosmetics globally. Cruelty Free International have issued a letter, co-signed by The Body Shop and more than 100 additional signatories, urging MEPs to approve the vote and move it forward. A positive vote will ensure we secure the support we need to take this issue to the United Nations and call for an international convention.

Timeline: The Body Shop and Against Animal Testing

  • 1989: The Body Shop becomes the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal-testing in cosmetics.
  • 1997: The Body Shop is the first beauty brand to be granted the Leaping Bunny Label, certifying it as ‘cruelty-free’.
  • 1998: Following extensive campaigning, the UK bans animal-testing on cosmetics.
  • 2013: The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International fight to help ban animal-testing in cosmetics in the EU.
  • June 2017: The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International launch the Forever Against Animal Testing campaign.
  • October 2017: The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International secure four million signatures for its petition in just four months.
  • March 2018: The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International celebrate five years of the EU ban on animal-testing for cosmetics.
  • October 2018: The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International aims to take eight million signatures to the UN to call for a global ban on cosmetics testing on animals.