On Friday October 25th, 2013 at a dedicated event during Jakarta Fashion Week, hundreds of supporters joined The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International to celebrate collecting 1million signatures called on governments and regulators to ban animal testing in cosmetics globally.
Jessie Macneil-Brown, Global Campaigns Manager for The Body Shop International, said: “For over 20 years The Body Shop has proved that beauty can be cruelty free. One million signatures demonstrate the unwavering passion from our customers as we keep fighting for this cause.”
First stop, South-East Asia
Jakarta is the headquarters of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), a body that draws up cosmetics regulation for 10 South Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, among others.
The ASEAN cosmetics regulation mirrors the EU Cosmetics Directive in all but one important respect – there’s no ban on animal testing, which was only introduced by Brussels in March 2013. By lobbying at Jakarta Fashion Week, we wanted to persuade ASEAN to follow the EU’s lead.
OUR FIRST VICTORY
It was a move that seems to be paying off already. Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, told our supporters in Jakarta that the next ASEAN Cosmetics Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur includes a proposal to end cosmetics testing on animals across the region.
“Consumers throughout the region will be delighted this is now on the agenda,” she said. “ASEAN has traditionally matched EU legislation in the field closely and we hope they will decide to end animal suffering for cosmetics as well .”
This brilliant news comes hot on the heels of a Cruelty Free International-funded breakthrough project in Vietnam to convert cosmetic testing to non-animal alternatives. Vietnam is the only country in ASEAN that actively tests cosmetics on animals.
A Long Way To Go
We’ll keep you updated on the outcome of the ASEAN Cosmetics Committee meeting and other campaigns. Remember, 80% of the world still allows animals to be used in cruel experiments for cosmetic products so there’s much to be done. Next on the agenda, 14 governments and regulatory bodies where we’ll be delivering our pledges. Stay tuned.