From our many years publishing our personal care guide, to our current membership in the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) and its internationally-recognized Leaping Bunny Program, NAVS has, for more than 30 years, been committed to providing consumers with credible information regarding companies that do not test their products or ingredients on animals. Leaping Bunny certifies companies as “cruelty-free” based on a single comprehensive standard that guarantees consumers that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by a company, its laboratories or its suppliers.
We are encouraged by the companies that make the life-saving choice to become Leaping Bunny-certified, and in this new regular feature, we will share their stories. We hope they inspire others to make the same commitment to creating and purchasing only products that are truly free from the cruelty of animal testing.
Company Name: Ginga
Year Established: First products launched 2018
Your name and role within the company: Edo Shellef, co-founder
Types of products: Face Masks, Serums, Cleansers, and more coming soon.
What went into the decision to make your products cruelty-free?
Deciding to be cruelty-free was a central part of our mission. For Ginga, being cruelty-free is more than just meeting the requirements for avoiding animal testing. A lot of companies that claim they don’t test on animals are complacent with animal cruelty when they export their brands to countries where it’s knowingly tested on animals. You can’t turn a blind eye to that.
We love animals and we have a goal to make sure that our products don’t introduce any harm to them directly through testing, or indirectly by impacting the environment.
We also use only vegan ingredients. This means that animals are not exploited as a resource- regardless of the species. You won’t find any Ginga products with slug slime, fish scales, or shark livers.
Being cruelty-free is not an achievement, it’s a responsibility and a commitment that a company takes on.
Did choosing not to test your products on animals represent any challenges? If so, what were they?
Yes. It’s much easier to source ingredients when you don’t have to check where it comes from and if they tested it on any animals. When you have to hold your vendors and manufacturing partners accountable, the pool of companies you can work with becomes a lot shallower.
It’s definitely easier today to remain cruelty-free throughout the supply chain than it was a decade or two ago. However, it’s still not a universally-held concept.
Today we think about the 15-hour shifts that children worked at factories a century ago as something completely alien. No western company would even consider doing that. But at the time it was pretty typical. No one thought twice about it. That’s where the use of animals as part of manufacturing is at today.
Why did your company decide to get Leaping Bunny certified? What was that process like?
Leaping Bunny is a great certification because it’s not just about promises or one small snapshot in a larger manufacturing process. The CCIC looks at the entire supply chain. They verify 3rd parties and suppliers, look at individual ingredients, and follow up with registered companies.
The process to get a certification should be challenging. It should make you be aware of all the decisions you make. Even if you already meet the standards- it strengthens your commitment. The bar should never be set so low that anyone could just stumble over it.
What does the Leaping Bunny seal of approval mean to you and your customers?
For Ginga, the Leaping Bunny seal is a source of pride. We are committed to a great cause, and we’ve found a path to achieving success without having to compromise our morals.
Many customers are aware of the seal and seeing it immediately makes them more confident in our product and what values the brand stands for.
There are some who still don’t identify the Leaping Bunny as a registered certification. There are companies who use stamps of bunnies with no certifying body behind them, so the less aware customers think it’s just a cute trend. Hopefully, this will change and it will be as well-known as a USDA Organic seal.
Regardless, retailers are fully aware of the program. They actively seek conscious brands that challenge themselves with a higher set of ethics. So the seal is an effective way to communicate the brand values. It opens doors and starts conversations. It joins like-minded animal lovers to promote socially beneficial success.
Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share about animal testing and experimentation?
Besides having other methods of testing, such as in vitro and advanced computer models with AI, the fact remains that there are a lot of natural ingredients that achieve amazing results that have been proven safe through centuries of use.
Much of the demand for animal testing is because of synthesized products. Companies think that they need to find a new ingredient every few years in order to create a new trend.
Consumers can have a big impact by resisting the need to try the next silky-smooth silicone coating, or whatever else it may be.
Natural products are not necessarily less sophisticated. It usually takes a lot more technological sophistication to isolate a naturally occurring ingredient than it does to synthesize stuff. Every synthesized ingredient ever made was found by primitive trial and error. No one ever accurately predicted the properties of a molecule before creating it. That means that a much higher number of chemicals were tested and rejected before finding one single ingredient that was deemed safe.
By finding a good cruelty-free and natural brand, consumers can stop the demand for synthesized ingredients.