Becca Cosmetics has blown up as a brand. Since 2001 they have been gaining momentum and completely exploded with popularity this year. They had a seriously successful collaboration with Jaclyn Hill (with one small hiccup but they recovered quickly), their highlighters have been driving people crazy and their foundation is considered amazing. Such high quality products but still within the reach of regular mortals is hard to find. Especially hard if you also only support cruelty free brands. Thankfully, Becca has been cruelty free from the beginning.
But some things were about to change.
It all started when a few months ago someone posted on facebook that Becca was in talks with Estee Lauder. The same Estee Lauder who is a multi-billion dollar company buys a lot of smaller brands. The same Estee Lauder who sell in China and are not cruelty free. I didn’t take much notice at the time because it just sounded like a rumor on facebook.
But I was wrong, and last week they announced they were selling for an estimated $200 mil.
At this point opinions were split – on the one side there were those who were happy to see Becca get the recognition they deserve. On the other, many cruelty free advocates strongly opposed the deal. Why? because now this means that Becca will be owned by a brand that tests on animals. They have since stated multiple times, to anyone who commented, that they will remain cruelty free. And that’s possible because many have done it. All they have to do is continue to not test on animals or go into business in China. Good examples are The Body Shop, NYX (owned by L’Oreal ) and Tarte Cosmetics (owned by Kose).
So what’s the damn problem?? Why are cruelty free advocates still so upset now?
Well, a few things. First of all this sale didn’t happen in a void, because just 2-3 months ago a similar thing happened. It Cosmetics (cruelty free) was sold to L’Oreal (definitely not cruelty free) and many women had to move on from them too. So this was still fresh in people’s minds.
Second, and this is the tricky part, many don’t want to support a brand that might be cruelty free on its own but is still owned by a non cruelty free company.
But why?? They’re committed to being cruelty free!
Yes they are, but their parent company, who will now be getting money from their sales – is not. Meaning that for every USD/Euro/GBP spent on Becca Cosmetics, a chunk will go to Estee Lauder – those guys who test on animals. And this sucks. It sucks a lot.
When I just started transitioning to non-tested products I thought it would be OK to buy from anyone as long as they were committed to the cause. I mean, I wasn’t directly contributing to animal testing and maybe by buying only from a conglomerate’s CF brands, they would understand that’s where they should put more of their money.
The recent sales of It and Becca have shown me otherwise though. These huge mega-companies are just benefiting from all sides. They can both test on animals, sell in China and have a cruelty free company under them to compensate for the losses. In effect, they will learn nothing.
As I have said again and again – I support anyone who wants to be cruelty free and in any form they want to do it. But for me, this is the end with supporting parent company owned brands. If Becca or It or any other brand wanted to remain true to message they would have found someone else to sell to. Or they would have done like Too Faced and remained independent and successful. Good luck to them in the future but I’m out!
Update: Too Faced has now also been sold to Estee Lauder so never mind.
Let me know your thoughts on this. Everything is welcome.