Are Unilever and L’Oréal Jumping on the Vegan Bandwagon?

Veganism shows no sign of slowing down, and more brands are noticing this as an opportunity to cash in. We’re all thankful for the brands that have vegan beliefs at heart, who are supplying us with innovative new products increasing the availability of vegan items.

Of course, all businesses are in it to make a profit, but for brands who hold the cruelty-free and animal-free ethos close to their core brand values, there’s time for, right? And then on the other hand, we have giant corporations who are simply jumping on the trend to tap into the niche market. Some might argue that the vegan movement is now in the mainstream, but there’s always more that can be done to change non-vegans minds and normalise the lifestyle further.

Unilever are one of the brands trying to cash in on veganism, with many people not buying products from brands that they own due to their unethical principles. Another brand owned by them is new toiletries range, Love Beauty & Planet. According to The Grocer, this is the first beauty brand that Unilever has launched in the last 20 years, and the name sums up the basis of the brand, which is ethical beauty.

Now, before you scoff at this statement, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. As vegans, should we be supporting brands that cater to this lifestyle, despite previous accounts of animal cruelty with other brands? Are they making an effort to change their ways, or are they just in it for the money? Unfortunately, the sceptic in all of us will believe the latter, and understandably when Unilever has such a bad reputation.

The Grocer points out that Unilever are keen to make a point of the ethics surrounding their new brand, with it not being tested on animals, and the ingredients are sustainably sourced and vegan. All of the packaging is recyclable, and Unilever are working towards a 20 per cent reduction on their carbon footprint, alongside paying tax on the carbon they emit.

It goes without saying that they are tapping into the market. Consumers are becoming more concerned with the sustainability of their everyday items, from their coffee cup to their shower gel. Another brand that has been claiming to be vegan is Garnier, with their argan oil-based range. Garnier are owned by parent company L’Oréal, who are renowned for conducting animal tests.

You’ll easily see their advertising on TV, and in magazines, declaring their product as vegan. What they don’t seem to grasp is that in order to claim that something is vegan, you mustn’t test it on animals. Unfortunately, there is no legislation in order which prevents brands doing this, but any brand that is proudly vegan, would surely seek The Vegan Society’s stamp of approval?

Vegans have understandably been angered by this, as it’s almost insulting to veganism. As the movement keeps up this steady momentum, it’s likely that more brands will want to launch vegan ranges. However, let’s hope that they carry vegan ideals through to other brands, and not put profit before morals.

What do you think should be done when a brand claims an item to be vegan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.


The lifestyle magazine written by vegans for vegans.