What exactly does it mean when a product is described as “cruelty-free”?

It depends.

Far fewer companies test their retail cosmetics and household products on animals these days compared to the middle of the 20th century. But the vast majority of brands still rely on ingredients that have been tested on animals. Or they use data collected from animal research. Or they’ve stopped testing but still market products that were tested on animals years ago.

There’s no standard definition for cruelty-free. The designation isn’t regulated by any federal agencies, so companies have a lot of leeway to make exaggerated or misleading claims. A handful of organizations offer certifications that can help consumers understand not just what they’re buying but where it comes from and how it was made.

But those groups all apply their own standards to define “cruelty-free.” Most of them are reliable, and the broad guidelines they share serve most consumers. Committed buyers, however, may have their own strict principles about the issue. For them, researching and evaluating a range of certification criteria can be exhausting and frustrating.

Reaching those consumers can help cruelty-free brands establish a valuable base of loyal customers. That requires transparency and accountability as well as a well-defined brand message to cut through the confusion and misinformation surrounding the cruelty-free market.

A specialized cruelty-free public relations agency can help committed manufacturers and retailers connect with consumers who share their values. At Orange Orchard, our team of PR experts can help business owners build a brand based on compassion and reach the right audience with clear messaging that cuts through the confusion.

To learn more about our cruelty-free PR services, contact Orange Orchard online or call (865) 977-1973.