We are seeing a huge growth in cruelty free products being readily available. They’re easy to find at our local drug stores and shopping malls, from lip balms to bath bombs. Thanks to investment of large corporations and their assets, the once small independent cruelty-free brand is now producing and sold at a global scale.

On the upside it’s great for us users because we’ll have easier access to our beloved products. However, a downside is that they catch the attention of much bigger companies.

You might wonder what the downside is to that.  Being acquired by a major company means more resources, more exposure, and more popularity but also less transparency.

Two notable cases as example would be the acquisition of BECCA by Estée Lauder and Burt’s Bees by Clorox. So what does this mean for us as buyers of their cruelty free products?

EXPANDING IN CHINA

The main issue with Estée Lauder acquiring BECCA is if they start selling in mainland China. What may be a great business expansion for BECCA due to the size of economy in China, is a major letdown for the company’s first supporters. The reason for this is because in China as animal testing is required by law when sold within China. This means that BECCA will diminish it’s 100% cruelty-free branding, as some tests will be on animals as required by law.

Related article: China Is Opening Its Doors For Non Animal Cosmetics Testing

INDIRECT SUPPORT TO CRUEL PARENT

As for Burt’s Bees, since being bought by Clorox 9 years ago, has so far maintained its cruelty-free status. Even though its parent company openly admits that it does test on animals on its other products. This causes a dilemma for shoppers. While buying anything from the Burt’s Bees brand is cruelty-free, the profits from those purchases can potentially be used to fund other Clorox’s testing and product lines as well.

Unfortunately, this is a gray area. While on the one hand, the popularity of Burt’s Bees sends a positive message to Clorox that there is a huge demand for cruelty free products, on the other hand consumers may feel that by buying any product associated with Clorox. Even if Burt’s Bees’ products are cruelty-free, they will still be indirectly supporting animal testing. Ultimately, it is every consumer’s personal choice about whether or not they will continue to support brands that are owned by parent companies that test on animals. You can find a list of more brands that have the same position here.

How do you feel about your favorite cruelty-free brands getting picked up by major companies? Let us know in the comments below.

Update: China Is Opening Its Doors For Non Animal Cosmetics Testing