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Leaping Bunny Certified: Here’s What It Means

As you’ll see, we’re using a photo of a bunny to celebrate cruelty-free practices, because today’s article is all about what it means to be Leaping Bunny Certified!

I’m a fan of anything against animal testing, and I know this is crucial to many people when looking for cosmetics. But with so many different words – “clean,” “vegan,” “cruelty-free” – and not a clear definition, it’s understandable if you’re still a little lost. So, here are the deets on being Leaping Bunny Certified, why it matters, plus some of our favorite Leaping Bunny products from brands we love.

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What Is the Leaping Bunny Certification?

The Leaping Bunny certification was created by eight animal-protection organizations who were sick of confusing “clean” labels. Founded in 1996, as the craze for “cruelty-free” cosmetics began, these groups formed the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CICC), which then created the Leaping Bunny standards.

What Does Leaping Bunny Certified Mean?

Leaping Bunny Certified brands are given a single logo that is internationally recognized for what it stands for:

  • The brand does not test or use third-party testing/labs to test their products on animals – not one. single. ingredient.
  • The brand does not use ingredients, formulas, or any products used by a company/lab that tests on animals after the company’s fixed cut-off date – aka, a date when the company is supposed to stop testing anything on animals, should they have been doing so previously.
  • The brand must implement a supplier system which proves they have had ZERO involvement in animal testing, directly and/or indirectly. There are two ways to do that if they make their products from scratch:
    • Obtain Declarations of Raw Material Compliance and Product Compliance once a year from all parties the company works with; this ensures that no portion of the formulation pipeline has any involvement in animal testing, and it helps to hold those skirting the rules accountable.
    • OR they can add in a stipulation to their Purchase Orders; if a portion of the pipeline tests on animals in any way, they may not work with the Leaping Bunny Certified company.
  • On top of this, companies that sell finished products – products already made and simply sold in the store – must receive a Declaration of Product Compliance confirming that there was no testing on any animals during any part of the creation and transmission process, and the third party manufacturers must have a Declaration of Raw Material Compliance on file from the supplier that they have complied.
  • Doesn’t matter if it’s not in the country: brands will not allow animal testing anywhere, and they must submit proof to the CICC that they included a contract addendum stating that the foreign country will not test on their products.
  • An Application for Approval to the CICC must be kept on file.
  • The company must plan on resubmitting the application each year, and may have to submit its Supplier Monitoring System for an independent audit (with the auditor chosen by the CICC or company based on the brand’s gross annual sales).

Can You Skip Being Leaping Bunny Certified?

There are loopholes in every country in which a cosmetics company may test their products on animals – say, if there’s a health problem that could potentially be triggered, therefore requiring animal testing – so being Leaping Bunny Certified means a brand is willing to go past what’s allowed to stop animal testing entirely.

So, yeah, there’s a lot that goes into being Leaping Bunny Certified. But brands who work hard to meet these standards – especially small brands – gain global recognition by animal groups and consumers for their diligence in stopping animal testing. There are currently more than 2,000 Leaping Bunny Certified cosmetics brands, which sounds like a lot…but look at the list, and most of your favorite brands are probably missing.

If you want to see which brands are Leaping Bunny Certified, you can check out the website and go through their shopping guide, which also indicates the cruelty standards of parents companies. These are our favorite products, all from brands that are Leaping Bunny Certified, if you need a place to get started.




Which brands do you love that are Leaping Bunny certified? Any you want to see make the commitment? Tell us below!

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