Monday, April 27, 2009

Let's talk about parent companies

How the heck are ya? Hope you had a good weekend!

So today, I'd like to blab about parent companies (bigger companies that own smaller companies), and how they relate to going CF. How important are they? To be honest, that all depends on you and how much that does or doesn't bother you. If you've been using a product that for a very long time has been CF, but then that division is purchased by a parent company who tests, what do you do?

In this case, I'd say it all depends on your individual comfort level. For me, it's bothersome. I don't like the notion that the product I'm using, although it may be a CF product, is now receiving it's funding from a parent company who tests. I immediately stopped using Neutrogena when Johnson & Johnson purchased them. I haven't used Kiehl's since they were purchased by L'Oreal - although they claim to remain CF.

I don't want to sit here and get all lecture-y on you. I just want to point out that there are a few brands out there claiming to be CF - and that division may indeed be CF - who are owned by a parent company who tests.

But how is that division going to handle it? If you're Burt's Bees, recently purchased by Clorox, they handled it quite well actually. Burt's Bees sent out a press release to concerned CF consumers stating that they always have been and always will be CF, and that they realize they're now owned by a parent company that engages in testing. However, they stated, they feel that this now gives Burt's Bees a great opportunity to pressure Clorox to ultimately cease their own animal testing. Which really, I thought that was a nice touch. That's a fantastic goal for any CF product purchased by a company that tests - "Okay, they own us, but maybe now we can show them a better way of doing things."

On the "Does Test/Does Not Test" lists, sometimes you'll see a little asterisk next to a company that's on a "Does Not Test" list. Check the little key at the bottom, and you'll likely see that it stands for "A CF line owned by a parent company that tests." That's how you know, and from there, it's up to you on how comfortable or uncomfortable that makes you.

That being said, here are a couple of other no-no's (or exceptions to the rule) that absolutely chap my butt:

1. Cosmetic companies based on fashion lines. Sure, Chanel and Christian Dior's cosmetics aren't tested on animals, but their fashion lines contain fur. And that's not even a separate company, such as my example of L'Oreal and Keihl's. That's the same exact company, just a different product, that's engaging in a cruel and barbaric practice.

2. The same company tossing one CF product at you, but still animal testing on all their others. Clairol does this with Herbal Essence and Natural Instincts. Clorox does this with their Greenworks products. It doesn't matter - they still test all their other products on animals, and tossing the consumer one little product here and there to mollify us is quite frankly insulting. Again, it's different than Clorox purchasing Burt's Bees - BB was already a non-tested, totally separate brand before Clorox came along. Greenworks is a Clorox brand, wholly owned and developed by Clorox - and it's the "developed" part that's the rub. Until companies like Clorox and Clairol (to just use a couple of examples) go CF as a whole, having a couple of their own company-developed CF products out there on the shelves doesn't make the constant testing of all of their other products okay.

Speaking of parent companies, I'd like to leave you with some happy news, so there's this: If you're using any of the following brands - Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Jane, Aveda or Donna Karan - give yourselves a big round of applause. Anything and everything owned by Estee Lauder falls under the CF umbrella. Estee Lauder was one of the first companies to go CF, and they just keep on buying other companies left and right. More and more mainstream cosmetic companies are CF thanks to the Estee Lauder company.

As I said before, it depends on an individual's comfort level, so I won't say anymore on that. I'll try to update as I find out more companies to use as an example, and again, if you have questions about any specific brands or companies, feel free to email me.

Have a good Monday!


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