The Body Shop & Dove call on the EU to save cruelty free cosmetics in Europe

The Body Shop and Dove have joined PETA, Cruelty Free Europe, HSI (and affiliates), Eurogroup for Animals and the ECEAE (representing a total of 100 member organisations from 26 EU member states*) to urgently mobilise one million European citizens and save cruelty free cosmetics in Europe, following threats to Europe’s longstanding ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

In 2004, after decades of campaigning by consumers, animal protection organisations and several cruelty free companies, the European Union banned the testing of cosmetics products on animals. In 2009, it prohibited tests for cosmetics ingredients and, finally, in 2013 it prohibited the sale of cosmetics that had been tested on animals. The EU’s approach became the blueprint for regulatory change in countries around the world.

Yet, recent test requirements from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) effectively destroy the bans and threaten the additional progress the European Parliament has been boldly calling for since 2018 – a global ban on all animal testing for cosmetics by 2023.

This week, European citizens in Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Milan find their night skies and city walls are taken over with a simple message from The Body Shop and Dove – stand with us to end animal testing and save cruelty free cosmetics in Europe.

The Body Shop and Dove collaborated with Nina Valkhoff, an international muralist and activist from the Netherlands who is known for her botanical compositions of rare and nearly extinct animals. The collaboration on this unique artwork brings to life the threat posed by new animal testing requirements from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The pan-European takeover includes a dynamic mural in the centre of Paris, with the same eye-catching artwork illuminated across key landmarks in Berlin, Madrid and Milan over the course of the week. The two brands also used a series of clean graffitti tactics to call upon consumers to join forces with them.

Nina Valkhoff says: “When The Body Shop and Dove approached me to be part of this campaign, it was something I couldn’t say no to. I’ve dedicated my career to educating and raising awareness of the negative human impact on rare and nearly extinct animals through my art, and animal suffering is something I care passionately about. I hope this campaign encourages people to stop and take action – by coming together we have a real chance of ensuring the EU upholds its ban on animal testing.”

The two beauty brands have united to urge consumers to take urgent action to save Europe’s ban on animal testing in cosmetics by signing a European Citizens Initiative – a formal online initiative allowing the public to tell Europe’s authorities what they care about.

The Body Shop was the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetics back in 1989. Since then the brand has been campaigning relentlessly against this practice with a fundamental belief that animals should not be harmed in the pursuit of beauty. The Body Shop helped to lead the charge towards the current ban in Europe and in 2018, an amazing 8.3 million people signed their campaign petition to end animal testing globally. Looking ahead, the activist beauty brand will also be 100% vegan certified by The Vegan Society by 2023.

By signing the European Citizens Initiative, you can let the European Commission know that you too demand that they take their promise to end needless animal suffering seriously by:

  1. Protecting and strengthening the cosmetics animal testing ban - initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without new tests with animals for any purpose at any time.
  2. Transforming EU chemicals regulation - ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements.
  3. Modernising regulatory science in the EU - commit, before the end of its current term of office, to a legislative proposal plotting a road map to phase out all animal testing in the EU.

Dove has spent 15 years working to change the beauty industry for the better, starting with ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ and launching the world’s biggest self-esteem programme. As a proudly certified cruelty-free brand, Dove has supported global bans to permanently end animal testing everywhere in the world, working alongside lawmakers, animal protection organisations and like-minded companies to achieve this goal.

But they can’t do it alone.  European citizens can sign the Initiative here and tell the Commission that they won’t accept the broken promise of a Europe where animals no longer suffer and die for cosmetics.