According to research published earlier this month by Persistence Market Research, Inc., “the global vegan cosmetics market is forecasted to expand at a CAGR of 6.3% and thereby increase from a value of $16.9 billion in 2023 to $25.9 billion by the end of 2030.” As demand for cosmetic and personal care products formulated with environmentally sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients increases, companies in the space are being challenged to make options available that align with changing consumer values.
Acknowledging these shifting consumer preferences, The Body Shop has recently announced that its product lines are now certified as 100% vegan by The Vegan Society – and is the first global beauty brand to do so.
To learn more about the decision to obtain this certification, including why it was essential for the brand to make this shift, the process the brand undertook to become certified, and the brand’s plans for further innovation in sustainable and ethical product formulation, we spoke to Hilary Lloyd, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility for The Body Shop North America for her insights.
Vegan certification and brand ethos
The decision to obtain certification by The Vegan Society is rooted in the company’s brand ethos. “At The Body Shop,” Lloyd explained, “we promise customers high-quality products made with ethically sourced, natural origin, and hard-working ingredients that don’t harm the planet or any of the people or animals who call it home.” The brand’s “dedication to cruelty-free beauty dates back to our founding, and the fundamental belief that animals should never be harmed in the pursuit of beauty,” she added.
For example, “in 1989, we became the first beauty retailer to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics, [and] in 2023, we celebrated a historic win in Canada doing just that,” she said.
Therefore, The Vegan Society certification is The Body Shop’s “the next milestone in cruelty-free beauty with an 100% vegan product portfolio,” and “as of the end of 2023, we’re thrilled to announce that The Body Shop has become the world's first global beauty brand to achieve 100% vegan certified product formulations across all ranges including skincare, body care, haircare, makeup and fragrance,” she explained.
Obtaining The Vegan Society certification
The process to obtain vegan product certification began in 2021 when the company “set an ambitious goal to bring our (then) 60% vegan formulations to 100%,” Lloyd shared. She added that this was “no easy feat for a company of our size,” as “The Vegan Society meticulously assesses every supplier and manufacturer of raw materials within our product catalog.”
For The Body Shop, she clarified that “over 4,000 ingredients had to be validated for over 1,000 products to carry the Vegan Trademark.” She shared that the process included meticulous investigation, wherein “each product was reviewed as a whole to make sure it was fully compliant—only then the product can carry the Vegan Trademark seal of approval.”
Having now achieved full certification by The Vegan Society, the main change to The Body Shop’s product offerings “will be seen on our packaging, which will now include ‘VEGAN’ or/and The Vegan Society Trademark stamp, which indicates that these products have been certified,” Lloyd said.
While “some of our older formulations, which are now discontinued, will be sold in stores and online until stock runs out,” she explained further, “customers should look for the Vegan Trademark stamp on product packaging to know if the product is vegan certified.” Moving forward, “we estimate that by Fall 2024 all products on the shelf will be 100% vegan,” she added.
Next steps for The Body Shop
The Vegan Society certification is a significant achievement for The Body Shop’s brand ethos, but “this major accomplishment is just a steppingstone in our fight against animal testing,” said Lloyd. “Around the globe, we’re still seeing the cruel practice of animal testing in cosmetics persist,” she continued, and “in May, the UK government began allowing animal testing for makeup ingredients to resume despite a 25-year ban.”
In response, the company “is campaigning vigorously against these changes,” and “we’ll continue to advocate for policy change around the world until no animal has to suffer at the hands of the beauty industry,” she shared.
She added, “We’re excited to expand our fully vegan formulations across all ranges, including skin care, body care, hair care, makeup, and fragrance with new products and collections.” The company also has new product offerings in development, which “will include our Full Flowers premium fragrance range: Full Magnolia and expanded assortment of our Peppermint range with two new body care products available in the coming months,” she said.
Additionally, “outside of our advocacy against animal testing, The Body Shop is committed to being a brand that is good for people and the planet,” Lloyd explained. Planned efforts in this space will include expanding “our refill offerings, which minimizes The Body Shop’s contribution to plastic pollution,” she stated.
Further, she concluded, “we’re also constantly in conversations with our Community Fair Trade suppliers to ensure the highest standards of ethical practices are upheld throughout the entirety of The Body Shop’s supply chain.”