Aesop is committed to acting in a responsible, accountable and transparent manner and can confirm that we do not test our products or ingredients on animals and have not done so previously. We do not commission any external parties to test our products on our behalf.
All new products are tested for safety during our product development process using cumulative irritancy testing on human volunteers. Before our products are released to the public, formulations are also assessed for safety by a qualified external agency, either a chemist or toxicologist. These agencies do not test on animals.
All new ingredients are reviewed by our research and development team prior to use. We research the registration status of these ingredients in world markets, and note any past testing. No animal testing has been conducted by the suppliers of ingredients since 11 March 2009. This is the date when the European union enforced a ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients and many of our suppliers stopped long before this time.
Before we consider entry into a new country we extensively review the regulatory requirements to ensure that compulsory animal testing on our products is not required.
We are often asked if Aesop products are organic or natural.
These are words we use with great caution, along with ‘pure’, as they often breed assumptions about organisational practices. As many of our formulations contain laboratory generated ingredients, it would be cynical and deceitful to attach these words to our products: we have never done so.
The Aesop product range is not exclusively organic or natural; rather, our products are formulated using a combination of high-quality botanical and synthetic ingredients.
It is important to note, however, that none of our products contain colourants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens or pearlising agents. Aside from the products listed below, no other formulation in the Aesop range utilises synthetic fragrance compounds.
- Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette and Parfum
- Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm
While many of our formulas contain ingredients sourced from plants grown organically, they also commonly contain ingredients grown by farmers using non-organic techniques as well as substances developed by Aesop chemists in our Head Office laboratory. Our primary objective is to ensure Aesop products are made from premium quality ingredients.
We recognise the benefits that organic and biodynamic farming have for the land and for our health, but we are practical about how realistic it would be for us to use only organic ingredients. Sometimes they are not available, sometimes there is not enough of a particular ingredient, sometimes the air miles required to import it would generate an environmental concern of its own.
We caution people to be wary of any company that labels itself organic without explaining exactly what they mean: companies can label their goods organic if they contain only a small percentage of organic ingredients.
It is true to say Aesop has, from our beginning, been fascinated with the benefits that botanically based formulas can deliver to the skin and hair as well as the remarkable results that science reaps. We bring together the finest of human ingenuity, scientific discovery and botanical ingredients to create our products.
No animal-derived ingredients (such as beeswax, honey or lanolin) are used in the Aesop range of formulations. Aesop formulations are not tested on animals during any stage of their lifecycle.
We appreciate the concerns regarding the use of Palm Oil and Palm Oil-derived substances. Aesop currently uses Sodium Palmate and Sodium Palm Kernelate in our Body Cleansing Slab and Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides in our Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream. However the issue is complex, and to avoid all ingredients that contain Palm Oil-derived substances is very difficult. A number of our products contain ingredients of mixed origin, for example Cetearyl Alcohol, where the fatty acid chain may be obtained from either Coconut or Palm sources; however, complexities in the supply chain mean that it is often difficult for our suppliers to confirm the origin. Ingredients pass through many hands before they reach us and the number of processing steps between harvest and the final raw material means we are unable to take direct control of this process.
We are actively working towards using only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) ingredients from segregated supply chains; achieving mass balance is our first step. The mass balance supply chain allows CSPO and non-CSPO to be mixed through the supply chain but administratively the mass of CSPO produced and sold is monitored and audited. This model introduces accountability, traceability and certification into the supply chain. Currently, the availability of certified sustainable cosmetic ingredients is limited; however this is changing due to greater demand and improved verification processes. We are actively investigating CSPO ingredients as they become available.
We offset 100% of our annual usage of all potentially Palm Oil-derived ingredients through the purchase of GreenPalm Certificates. These certificates give money back to growers who are producing sustainable Palm Oil to reward and encourage their efforts. We view this as an interim measure to support the production of certified sustainable palm oil, while we work towards using only certified sustainable material from segregated supply chains.
Our pursuit of more sustainable options is ongoing, and is an important part of our larger corporate commitment to act as responsibly, accountably and transparently as we can.
While we pay heed to the aesthetics of our packaging, Aesop’s priority has always been the quality of what is inside our containers; the vessels must be functional, minimal and humble. Aesop uses recyclable glass, plastic and cardboard as much as possible, providing it does not compromise the stability or integrity of our products.
Due to reasons of hygiene and logistics we are unable to refill Aesop containers or to recycle them for you. We suggest that when your Aesop containers are empty, you find a use for them in your home.
Our jars are well-suited to repurposing as storage containers for many small items, from paper clips to staples to hairpins; while Mouthwash bottles make serviceable and attractive vases. Should you not have a use for any given Aesop container, we recommend putting it in your council recycling bin along with other glass, plastic and metal waste.
You may also like to return Aesop cotton bags for reuse whenever making purchases; you are most welcome to do so.
Like all responsible companies, we aim constantly to lessen our environmental footprint and to improve our practices. This is not without challenges, but we are attempting to improve our packaging as honestly and transparently as we can. You may be interested to know we are currently signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant.