What's It Really Mean to Be Cruelty-Free? We'll Show You.

Hi friends! We're back with some important news to share: Olfactory NYC has just been Leaping Bunny certified! Hop down below for some important info about animal testing and what it really means to be 'cruelty-free.'

What is Leaping Bunny?

Leaping Bunny is the international gold standard in cruelty-free certification (the name is based on the unfortunate reality that rabbits have been the most frequently tested on animals in the cosmetics industry). Learn more about Leaping Bunny's program. 

What does it mean to be 'cruelty-free'?

To be certified as cruelty-free, not only must a company refrain from testing its products on animals, but the company's suppliers and manufacturers must refrain from testing their ingredients on animals as well. This ensures that ethical testing methods were utilized throughout every step of the manufacturing and production processes. Beware of products that state a variation of: "This product was not tested on animals." Although it may be the case that the finished product itself was not tested on animals, it's not guaranteed that its ingredients weren't as well. In fact, the majority of animal testing actually occurs on a product's individual ingredients. Learn more here

Does this mean you weren't cruelty-free before?

Even before our Leaping Bunny certification, we have never tested our products nor their ingredients on animals - and never will. Now that we're certified, you can be sure that our claims are legitimate. Companies often claim cruelty-free status without being subject to any real regulation or audits, causing confusion around what it really means to be 'cruelty-free.' 

What's the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?

Cruelty-free does not equal vegan (although we are vegan, too!). Vegan products are those that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. One of the most common non-vegan ingredients used in fragrance is musk oil, although many suppliers have since switched over to vegan designed molecules when creating musk due to environmental, ethical, and even financial reasons. 

Is animal testing even happening anymore?

In the US, neither cosmetic nor household products are required to be tested on animals (there are different standards for different industries, however). Yet, in the People's Republic of China, a top nation to which US brands sell their products, animal testing is actually required by law - the only country with a policy of this kind. Thus, it is extremely difficult for a US brand who sells in China to obtain Leaping Bunny certification. 

Does a product need to be tested on animals to ensure that it's 'safe'?

Not at all. There currently exist nearly 50 different methods of non-animal testing, many of which are already frequently implemented in other industries. 

Not everyone has certification nor even claims to be cruelty-free.. is change really happening?

Thankfully, yes. Just in 2013, the European Union implemented a ban on cosmetics animal testing as well as a ban on the marketing of cosmetics that were tested on animals. Other countries outside of the EU with similar policies include India, Switzerland, Norway, and Israel. In 2018, California banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals (effective January 2020), paving the way for many other states to follow suit.

Where can I find more information about cruelty-free products? 

Check out the full list of Leaping Bunny approved brands!


Got more questions? Ask us in the comments below!