L’Occitane en Provence, also known as L’Occitane, is a face, body, fragrances, and body retailer founded by Olivier Baussan in 1976 in Manosque, France. Baussan founded it to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the French region of Provence. He started by producing and selling essential oils created from wild lavender and rosemary. Baussan used an old soap factory and started creating vegetable-based soaps using the traditional Marseille soap-making art.
The company was quickly expanding, and during the 1990s, the company started international expansion. In 2013, the company introduced a new brand, L’Occitane au Bresil, which focused on Brazil-inspired products.
L’Occitane is an advocate of preserving traditional cultivation methods. It is funding programs that cultivate almond trees, planting its own Immortelle flowers field in Corsica, encouraging traditional cultivation, and developing partnerships with several organizations that are helping develop aromatic plants used for perfumes and fragrances.
Today, L’Occitane sells in more than 1,500 retail shops in over 90 countries all across the six continents.
Is L’Occitane Cruelty-Free?
|Not sold in China?||No|
|Leaping Bunny Certified||No|
|Has vegan products||No|
|Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing?||No|
L’Occitane is not a cruelty-free brand.
L’Occitane doesn’t test its finished products on animals, which is pretty standard for an EU-based company. None of its ingredients and suppliers are tested on animals, as well. However, the brand does pay for third-party testing in countries where animal testing is required by law for imported products. In other words, L’Occitane doesn’t have problems to test on animals when they can profit off it. L’Occitane claims to be working with the Chinese government to eliminate animal testing. However, as long as China doesn’t ban animal testing completely the brand cannot be considered cruelty-free.
At the same time, L’Occitane uses palm oil, which is considered an unethically obtained ingredient.
Suppose you love L’Occitane’s products but can’t stand behind a brand that isn’t cruelty-free. In that case, you can always contact its representatives, and respectfully ask them to reconsider their animal testing policies. Just remember to stay kind and polite, as being hateful never accomplished anything.
Alternative Cruelty-Free Hand Soaps
Are L’Occitane products sold in China?
Yes, L’Occitane sells its products in mainland China.
What is the Deal with China?
Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.
China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.
A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.
A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.
Is L’Occitane Vegan?
L’Occitane is not a vegan brand. The company claims that it doesn’t use any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products except for beehive products used during the manufacturing process. This is enough for the brand not to be considered vegan.
L’Occitane claims that all of its products are at least 95% natural, and at least 10% of its ingredients are organic.
What products does L’Occitane sell?
L’Occitane produces all of its products in Manosque. It started as a soap manufacturer, which naturally means that the brand is mostly known for its soaps, created for all skin types. The brand also produces various skin, body, hand, and hair care items, such as lotions, creams, conditioners, oils, and moisturizers. It also has several famous fragrance lines, as well as a collection for men.
In the 1990s, the brand started producing facial care items.