Saturday, July 23, 2011

Does Chanel Animal Test?

Chanel is one of the most well known fashion companies in the world hands down. Chanel is a privately held brand under Chanel S.A. (I believe Chanel S.A. emerged when Chanel began acquiring subsidiaries). This website lists some of Chanel S.A.'s subsidiaries as Eres swimsuit company and Holland and Holland Guns.

Obviously Chanel is not historically a cruelty free company in regards to its fashion lines. The company's Autumn 2010 line did get publicity for featuring faux fur creations (I do not know about their particular line, but a lot of "faux fur" is not regulated and contains dog and cat hair), but I don't think much has changed besides this one incident.

This post will just be focusing on Chanel's perfume and makeup animal testing policies. Chanel's posted animal testing statement can be found on their official website here under the Fragrance and Beauty tab. For me, it leaves much to be desired because it does not bring up the possibility of commissioning third party testers nor does it specify whether animal tests are done or not done on both finished products and ingredients. I forgot to save a copy of the email I sent to them on July 19, 2011 but I inquired about all the above issues I had.

July 21, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to contact Chanel. Chanel does not use
animals for product testing.

Product testing on animals may be carried out by ingredient suppliers in
the case of some raw materials (that are used in other industries as
well as the cosmetics industry), but only when there are no other,
so-called alternative , substitute methods available that could
guarantee consumer safety.

This is why the prohibitions listed in the European Cosmetics
Directive are planned to come into force in 2013 at the very latest, the
date on which suppliers will have to stop such tests.

This prohibition will therefore become effective gradually as ECVAM, the
European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, validates
alternative methods to replace testing on animals.

We are, of course, in favour of these measures, and are, moreover, very
involved within the perfume and cosmetics industry in financing major
research projects that examine alternative testing methods to replace
testing on animals.

Thank you for your interest in CHANEL.

I am personally unhappy with this response. While I did receive an answer about ingredient testing, there was no information about third party testing. I had already suspected this since many companies simply say "Chanel does not test on animals." instead of saying "Chanel does not test on animals, we pay X Laboratories to do so for us." I think they threw a lot of information into the email that I didn't ask for in an attempt to move my attention from Chanel to ingredient testers.

Chanel is obviously not an animal friendly company, but some people seem to think they do not participate in animal testing. The money you give them will be used to obtain fur for their fashion items (remember even faux fur isn't a safe option) or to buy ingredients that are tested on animals. I will not be buying anything from Chanel.


  1. Thank you for this! I am making big list about animal cruelty free or not free cosmetics..

  2. Awesome, Leena!
    I'm glad this post helped you out.

  3. hi do you know if YSL and Dior test on animals? I was not sure between Chanel , Dior and YSL as none of them has a definite answer

    1. Hi Maria!

      I have not emailed YSL or Dior to get their animal testing policy. However, I don't believe they have ever been on a list saying they don't test. I'm sure they have a policy similar to Chanel, and I steer clear of their products.

      I have a post on emailing companies to get their animal testing policies under February 2012 if you're interested in pursuing the matter further.

  4. ok dont they test vaccines, cancer treatments and other medications needed for the treatment of deadly diseases on animals??? if you apply the same logic then maybe you should evaluate how everyone including you would've faired without modern medicine. you would probably have had to been a hermit like in the movie Nell and we all knew she was alone when found but didnt start out like that.

    1. Thanks, Nick! You took the words right out of my mouth!

      Firstly, this blog is about information for people who have already decided to avoid animal tested cosmetics (for whatever reason) rather than discussing the merits of animal testing generally. It is supposed to be about sharing and helping.

      Secondly, if you look at this blog, you will see it is only about cosmetics and everyday household products because ceasing to use a certain lipstick or your favorite bubble bath will not jeopardize your welfare, and there are already so many alternatives.

      I do not discuss animal testing in any other field, and I'm sure opinions differ on medical testing among people who avoid animal testing in cosmetics. We're not perfect, but we have to live in the way that feels right to us (usually this excludes the hermitic lifestyle) just as you have to live your life in a way that makes you comfortable.

    2. Being a vegan, and thus avoiding, wherever and whenever possible, animal derived ingredients and being strictly opposed to animal testing, means that I, and countless others like myself, are helping animals . Campaigning for animal rights and for animal welfare is a positive and proactive way to change the laws governing the same. Voting with one's purse also forces companies to find and to fund alternative testing methods and there are, and have been, excellent alternatives for many, many years.
      It is however, impossible to eliminate and to avoid every animal derivative and each and every animal tested ingredient all of the time.
      I recently had life saving surgery for ovarian cancer and I know that the anaesthetic, morphine and post operative pain relief has killed and horribly tortured hundreds of thousands of innocent animals in it's formulation and testing. Would refusing that surgery and subsequently dying have made a difference to medical testing on animals? No. Does my being alive mean I can, amongst other things,leaflet houses,email M.Ps, sign petitions and contact companies about their animal welfare practices and animal testing policies, therefore contributing positively to a cause I am passionate about? Yes. Of course it does.
      I'm frankly astonished that you don't see the huge difference between someone accepting a pharmaceutical drug and someone buying and using a cosmetic. That's a COSMETIC , the clue being in the name.
      Perhaps you feel you need to knock the efforts of others because you do so little yourself to engender positive change for any living being and criticizing people for falling short of their ideals makes you feel a (little) better about your own.

  5. Cosmetic 'testing' saves lives?!?! Apples and oranges.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thank you very much for the information. I am from Peru and we are also fighting against this kind of abuse. Unsupervised purchases from third parties that harm innocent animals is the same thing as doing it themselsves. I was about to buy the Chanel Chance eu tendre because I love the fragance but thinking of where it may come from , I don't anymore.

    1. I make a great effort to avoid products that are tested on animals. There are so many other alternatives to choose from now. I do not use any department store fragrances any more. The main reason is animal testing. There's another reason though. There are so many carcinogenic chemicals and hormone disruptors in these fragrances. Years ago my mother had a very bad reaction to a fragrance she had been using for a few years. Everywhere she had sprayed the perfume, all these little blisters came up. Looked like someone poured scalding hot water on her.

  7. Hi all friend animal lovers
    You can have a list of all the product of companie using animal testing or cruelty free by this web site:
    Another website is: care2petition.
    And now, for the real answer about Chanel is:
    In Ethopia, the African civet is in kept in captivity in tiny cages for years, and their anal glands are harvested for a yellow waxy substance called civet which is diluted and used as a perfume base. Civet is scaped out of the anal sacs every few days, and is a painful proceedure for the animal.
    The WSPA says that Chanel, Cartier, and Lancôme have all admitted to using civet in their products and that laboratory tests detected the ingredient in Chanel No. 5.
    To exploit the African civet and force it to endure a life this way for a perfume ingredient is animal cruelty- especially since synthetic musk is an alternative.We ask Chanel, Cartier, and Lancôme to stop using civet as a perfume ingredient.
    Hope that you will tell to all your friens and remember those living creature who are suffering actuelly in the name of Beauty!!!

  8. Can you please, in further detail; inform me of how and why Chanel is testing on animals? And the influence behind their action.

    1. That can be answered in one word: China!

      Chanel is one of the very many companies who are allowing their products to be submitted for compulsory animal testing in order to be able to sell on the Chinese market.

      Also, where a company does not specify that it does not commission 3rd party tests etc, you can safely assume that they do. If a company sells on the Chinese high street, they almost certainly do!

      Where companies are cruelty-free, they will state so in no uncertain terms and will detail that neither they nor others test either finished products or ingredients. Where these declarations are missing, quite possibly they are not able to honestly make them.

      Why? Profit. The Chinese luxury market is enormous and growing. The new rich over there absolutely love big names and high end brands. The lure of making millions more through the Chinese market is what keeps unethical manufacturers treating animals as mere test dummies.

  9. You forgot to save the email you send them? An email should be saved automatically. You may say you delete it. How can i trust what you say then?

  10. This was so helpful. I did not get an easy a reply when I googled whether or not chanel tested on animals. I wanted their products SO much. But there is no way I would pay this much for something tested on animals!

  11. This was so helpful. I did not get an easy a reply when I googled whether or not chanel tested on animals. I wanted their products SO much. But there is no way I would pay this much for something tested on animals!

  12. This was really helpful! Thank u!

  13. This was really helpful! Thank u!