In September 2018, we were awarded The Leaping Bunny seal, granted by Cruelty Free International, one of the oldest and most respected organisations in the combat against animal testing. Having conducted no tests of this type since 2006, the certification is in recognition of Natura’s commitment to the cause.
“We are proud to be recognised for the work we have done over the years and which has led us to undertake so much research”, stated Roseli Mello, our director of Innovation.
Worldwide, around one thousand companies have the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny seal. Natura was the first company in Brazil to receive the certification. This was in September 2018.
“The Leaping Bunny seal involves rigorous standards, which encompass the end product and its ingredients, regardless of where the tests are conducted, because we work with partners from all over the world. To be certified, it is not enough for the company to simply state that it does not carry out tests. We verify the entire process”, declares Monica Engebretson, Cruelty Free campaign manager for North America.
Alternatives to animal testing
The process which gave rise to the certification began in 1998, when we announced that we would gradually eliminate tests on animals. In 2003, we stopped testing finished products on animals. And in 2006, we banned tests at all phases of product development. Roseli Mello underscores that as part of this process, Natura created 67 alternative methodologies to animal tests, working in partnership with universities and research institutes.
The leading-edge technologies we use to attest to the safety and effectiveness of our products include advanced computer modelling techniques (known as “in silico” models) and biological essays that assess the behaviour of products applied to live tissue with the use of laboratory-generated 3D skin and corneas.
As part of the constant innovation effort, we installed a 3D tissue bioprinter in our laboratory, located in Brazil, in the same month that we received the seal.
3D tissue bioprinter, installed in our laboratory
“The printer automates the 3D skin production process”, explains Juliana Lago, one of our scientists. Before the installation of this equipment, it was necessary to make the material for product tests manually in the laboratory or to buy it from suppliers (3D skin is made from skin leftovers from plastic surgery), procedures which took longer.
What the law says
The debate about the cruelty of carrying out tests on animals gained ground in the 1970s. In 2013, the European Union prohibited cosmetics tests on animals and the commercialization of products using this type of test. In Brazil, the Senate addressed the topic in 2014.
In the Natura &Co group, Natura is the second company to be awarded The Leaping Bunny seal. The Body Shop already has the certification, and Aesop is in the process of obtaining it. For Roseli Mello, the Leaping Bunny connects directly with our beliefs at Natura.
The seal is fully aligned with our reason of being, which is create and sell products and services that promote the harmonious relationship of the individual with yourself, with your own body, with other people, with nature, and with the whole.