Is Unilever Cruelty-Free: Unilever Spends Millions of Euros For Alternatives to Animal Testing

Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company founded in 1929 that currently has headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and London, United Kingdom. It was created when Margarine Unie, a Dutch margarine producer, and Lever Brothers, soap makers from Britain, merged together and created one company. The brand started as a manufacturer of products designed from oil and fats. Still, it expanded its operations worldwide and acquired several other brands during the second half of the 20th century.

In 2010, the company published the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to increase the environmental-friendly aspects of its products. They claim to reduce water use during the production process and promote halving water impact.

Today, Unilever owns more than 400 brands, including Dove, Rexona/Degree, Lipton, Magnum, and Lux. It grew to be one of the oldest multinational companies, and its products can be found in approximately 190 countries worldwide. Unilever is a duel-listing company which consists of Unilever plc, which is based in London, and Unilever N.V, which is based in Rotterdam.

Is Unilever Cruelty-Free?

Not sold in China? No
PETA Certified No
Leaping Bunny Certified No
Has vegan products No
Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing?

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Unilever is not a cruelty-free brand.

As is required of an EU-based company, Unilever doesn’t test its finished products on animals. It claims that it spends millions of Euros investing in alternatives to animal testing and uses cruelty-free methods. However, the brand states that it does test some ingredients on animals, as sometimes there, allegedly, aren’t suitable non-animal approaches available. In other words, some of its ingredients aren’t cruelty-free. There is no statement about its suppliers.

At the same time, Unilever does test on animals when required by law, which means that it does conduct animal testing when it can profit from it. Despite its claims to work together with the Chinese government in bringing awareness of alternatives to animal testing, so far, the company cannot be considered cruelty-free on this alone.

If you like Unilever’s products, but you can’t stand behind a company that tests its product on animals. In that case, you can always choose to contact its representatives, and respectfully ask them to reconsider their animal cruelty policy. Just remember to stay polite, as being rude and hateful never accomplished anything.

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Are Unilever products sold in China?

Yes, Unilever sells its products in mainland China.

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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 Unilever Vegan?

No, Unilever is not a vegan company, and most of the brands it owns aren’t suitable for vegans. This means that Unilever and its brands use animal-derived ingredients and animal by-products for most of its items. If you are a vegan, we do not recommend using anything owned and produced by this company.

What Brands Does Unilever Own?

Here are some cosmetics brands that Unilever owns:

  • Clear
  • Dove
  • Rexona
  • Simple
  • Vaseline
  • Zwitsal

What products does Unilever sell?

Unilever is the world’s largest soap producer. Unilever produces various kinds of items other than soap, including food, drinks, medicine, pharmaceutical healthcare products, pregnancy tests, personal care items, and beauty products. It owns several brands, and all of them sell their wide variety of products.

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