Last Updated on April 9, 2021 by Eco Elsie
In this article, we will be finding out whether popular skincare brand Origins is cruelty free, as well as exploring whether they are vegan.
Is Origins cruelty free?
Sadly, Origins is not a cruelty free company. While they do not test on animals themselves, they do sell in countries that test on animals.
This includes mainland China where, currently, any cosmetics sold must undergo animal testing. This is a legal requirement in China that Origins would be aware of. This means that they cannot be given true cruelty free status.
It is unclear whether the ingredients they use are tested on animals. However, what is clear is that not only do they sell in countries like China, but they also test finished products on animals where the law requires it, and also partake in third party animal testing where the law requires it.
A sure-fire way of working out the true cruelty free status of a brand is by checking for cruelty free accreditation. However, Origins has no cruelty free logos or accreditation associated with the brand from any official cruelty free organizations.
These organizations include companies such as PETA and The Leaping Bunny. Furthermore, they are owned by parent company Estee Lauder who is also not cruelty free.
Is Origins vegan?
Origins are not completely vegan. That being said, they do claim that they are completely vegetarian. This is because they use honey and beeswax in some of their products. That being said, they do have some products that they claim are vegan.
However, we must make it totally clear that, for most vegans and vegetarians, even if a brand uses no animal derived ingredients if they do not have ‘cruelty free’ status, they will not use them!
In this case, although Origins are vegetarian and have some vegan products, the fact that they still test on animals where required means that they do not get vegan status, at least in our eyes.
Please bear in mind that some sellers, such as Sephora have, in the past, marketed some of Origins products as vegan. This can prove very misleading to those who don’t know any better. They may buy Origins products as they will expect ‘vegan’ to also mean cruelty free, but as we know, this is not the case.
Origins are also not accredited by any official vegan companies such as PETA, and so they cannot be classed as vegan, regardless of how many vegan products they offer.
Is Origins an ethical company?
Finding out the ethics of a company can prove very difficult because, of course, all companies will try to do everything they can to demonstrate that they are ethical.
Through our research, we have found that, whilst Origins do try and partake in ethical campaigns such as using natural and renewable energy sources for some of their production, the fact that they sell in China where animal testing is a legal requirement has somewhat muddied any potential they had as an ethical brand.
They flaunt that they use natural ingredients in their products, and for the most part they do. However, they do use a lot of plastic for the containers, bottles, and tubs of their bottles, and are not totally natural.
That being said, they do currently have around 55% of their packaging made to be fully recyclable, with plans of increasing this to 80% by 2023.
They do also have a campaign called ‘Tree Planting’ where they have planted and pledged well over one million tree saplings to help the environment.
The way they brand themselves certainly appeals to those consumers looking for an all natural, ethical, and cruelty free company. However, upon further inspection, it is clear that they still have work to do to improve their ethical image and standpoint.
In terms of the way they treat their staff and other people, again, it can be difficult to find out their ethical standpoint. Of course, any official statements from Origins claim that they are ethical, but proving this can be difficult, especially when we want an unbiased opinion.
Does Origins test on animals?
Whilst it is unclear whether Origins tests on animals themselves – they claim not to on their website – it is a widely known fact that they do sell in mainland China where the testing of beauty products on animals is a requirement by law.
So this means that they test on animals in at least one country.
They have also made it clear that they partake in third party animal testing where the law requires it, and that they will also test their finished products on animals where the law requires it.
We have no definitive answer over whether their suppliers test on animals, and whether any of the ingredients that they buy are tested on animals. Due to this being uncertain it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that they do until told otherwise.
With all of these factors in mind, we are sad to say that Origins do in fact test on animals, at least in some aspects of their business.
Are Origins products toxic?
One thing that Origins does seem to get right is the fact that they try to use as few toxic ingredients as possible, preferring natural, non-animal derived ingredients where they can. They do not use any parabens, formaldehyde, SLS, paraffin, Polythene beads, and phthalates.
Rather than using these, they prefer to use natural alternatives that have the same effects. This list is not exhaustive, and we are pleased to confirm that, in general, they avoid any of the known toxins in their products.
Keep in mind that whilst they are vegetarian, they do use honey and beeswax in some products, which, whilst not toxic, are also not vegan.
Of course, if there is a particular toxic ingredient that you are concerned about you should check their website to confirm that it is not listed on any products you are interested in. origins are transparent about the ingredients in each product so this should be easy to find.