The Body Shop revives Against Animal Testing t-shirts to highlight ‘silent’ changes

By Julia Wray | Published: 1-Dec-2023

The move follows 2019 changes made by the UK government to its policy, which came to light earlier this year

The Body Shop is reigniting its Against Animal Testing campaign and iconic 1990s t-shirts. 

The move follows what The Body Shop terms ‘silent changes’ made by the UK government to its policy, which came to light earlier this year.

The UK’s absolute ban on animal testing was passed in 1998 following campaigns by The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International. 

But this was reversed behind closed doors in 2019, as the government re-aligned its policy with European Union rules, under which the testing of cosmetics ingredients on animals to meet the needs of the EU’s worker and environmental safety regulation REACH may be required.

To raise awareness of these changes and call for a reinstatement of the full ban, The Body Shop and long term campaign partner Cruelty Free International, have launched a limited-edition version of their heritage Forever Against Animal Testing t-shirt. 

The t-shirt first appeared when the organisations campaigned on this issue in the early 1990s and was worn by The Body Shop founder and activist, the late Dame Anita Roddick.

The t-shirts go on sale 1 December on the beauty retailer’s website, with 100% of the profits from the sale going to Cruelty Free International to support its work to bring an end to animal testing.

They will also be available to purchase at The Body Shop’s flagship Battersea, London store. 

The flagship will further feature in-store displays urging consumers to join the fight against animal testing.

“Beauty does not need to come at the cost of animal rights – and our cruelty free products have been proving that since the 1970s,” said Chris Davis, International Sustainability, Activism and Communications Director at The Body Shop.

“We and our partners started this fight against animal testing a long time ago, and our resolve is stronger than ever to see it through today. 

“We know the British public care passionately about animal rights, and we can’t wait to see people show their support for the campaign by styling a Forever Against Animal Testing t-shirt their own way.”

In response to voter backlash against these ‘silent’ policy changes, in May, the UK government banned giving licences for the animal testing of materials used exclusively as ingredients in cosmetic products. 

At the time, Cruelty Free International, called the announcement “a welcome first step” but added: “Ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics amount to only about 20% of the total number of chemicals used in cosmetics. 

“The previous ban, confirmed by the government in 2015, also covered ‘substances used exclusively or predominantly as cosmetic product ingredients’.

“We urge the government to now take the next step by reinstating the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics.”

The Body Shop was bought by Aurelius Group last month, having been part of Brazilian beauty giant Natura & Co’s portfolio since 2017.

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