A new year means a new set of resolutions, and I have already made mine.
In 2022, we will say NO to China.
It may be counterintuitive, but as a small brand, we don't accept orders from anyone that calls us. We made a commitment when we started to be ethical in everything we do. This ethos includes how we work, as well as who we work with.
Geoffrey has always been 100% committed to environmentally friendly, blue beauty-approved packaging (in fact, "NO PLASTIC" was one of the first words on our vision board in 2018). My input has been more person - be kind to people and be kind to animals. That's why we certified the entire collection as cruelty-free with Leaping Bunny, the most trusted cruelty-free certification for non-animal tested products in the world. But here's my 2022 New Year's resolution: Say no to China.
In December 2021, the phone rang. I was literally about to leave for Europe for the holidays, and that flight gave me time to pause and consider the request. A major Chinese luxury retailer wanted to place an order that would have been our most significant single order to date. And I said no! The reason is animal testing.
Animal testing can happen at various stages. It's not just a matter of asking whether the finished product or the ingredients were tested on animals and then calling it a day — and ANY brand that sells to stores in mainland China supports animal testing because they trade under conditions where animal testing was until recently legally required. Until 2019, cruelty-free companies (such as Madame Gabriela) were restricted from importing products directly due to the requirement that they pay for their products to be tested on animals. The Chinese government enacted the next step in its journey to cruelty-free cosmetics recently, ending all mandatory animal testing for most general cosmetics. But these newly-relaxed regulations don't mean the end of animal testing in China. As the RSPCA points out, they don't include products classified as "special cosmetics", and companies will also have to take a series of steps to apply for exemptions to the animal testing requirements. Those that don't qualify will have to continue paying to test their products on animals. So as a company, we will never sell to China until animal testing is taken off the table completely, and brands that do are, in my view, supporting the regulations.
Join me in making a difference - because every small action creates a change.
XOXO Gabriela 💋