As a fundamental part of our Clean Label statement, we ensure that no Murdock products are tested on animals. To us, this is an absolute no-brainer. Animal testing is a subject that we are understandably asked about our position on by members of the press, clients and customers and we are proud to stand against it. We disregard any validation it can supposedly have when it comes to the development of grooming products.
Despite the moral and scientific reasons to avoid animal testing, it still exists in the grooming and cosmetics world and continues to strike up headlines and debate. Whatever legislation may be at risk of change in the future, our position against it will not.
The Animal Testing Landscape
Renowned for striving to be at the ‘cutting edge’ of research and innovation, the UK is currently considered a leader when it comes to attitudes and regulations against animal testing. It was revealed in a news story in August however that there has been movement in government that could potentially lead to the UK allowing animal tests for cosmetic ingredients for first time since 1998.
At that point in time the UK really was ahead of the game when noting that the EU animal testing ban on finished cosmetic products was introduced six years later in 2004 and the EU ban on testing cosmetic ingredients came even later in 2009. There are also a notable number of countries in which animals are still legally used to test cosmetic ingredients and products.
In summary, Cruelty Free International (CFI) have raised concerns that animal testing could end up becoming an unnecessary requirement and more widely used for cosmetic ingredients if changes in policy were to permit it. This comes after the government said it was aligning itself with a recent decision made by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which overruled EU restrictions and said that some ingredients used only in cosmetics needed to be tested on animals to ensure they were safe.
Such a controversial change would be seen by many (and ourselves) as a huge step backwards and would go completely against any sense of ‘cutting edge’ research and innovation. The Home Office has since responded to CFI’s concerns, insisting that the UK law on animal testing has not changed and a government spokesperson has also since confirmed that the ban on using animals for the testing of finished cosmetic products remains in force.
As for a ‘reconsidered policy’ which would see testing cosmetic ingredients on animals - where deemed necessary - being potentially approved however, Dr Julia Fentem, head of the safety and environmental assurance centre of Unilever, has declared that there are established scientific grounds to immediately argue against this. There are existing processes available that can ensure the safety of cosmetics without using animals. For us, such a reversal in approach simply wouldn’t make sense.
“Being ‘Clean’ is rightfully becoming normalised and we should all be doing our bit to make the planet and each other safer. With effort and commitment, there are really effective ways to do it. I'm incredibly proud to be a part of the work we are doing.” - Flagship Head Barber Joe
Why Murdock does not agree with Animal Testing
In order to make our grooming products meet such high quality standards, our barbers do what they do best (looking after and listening to the needs of men in the barbershop) and they lean on an incredible lab team (scientifically approved manufacturers) to take feedback and do their thing to refine each formula to its peak performance, as cleanly as possible. They know, and we know, that animal testing is simply not a necessary part of this process, so it does not - and will not - fall into consideration.
‘Clean Label’ is the driving force behind our products. The badge is not just stamped on our packaging to look good. It means cruelty free and it means no unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. During 2021 we have also been committed to establishing our product range as 100% vegan. This includes accessories where, contrary to traditional grooming beliefs, you can absolutely create brushes that perform but are also free of animal hair. Our growing number of vegan team members have put the work in to test and develop new shaving and beard brushes made with quality synthetic bristles that offer no detriment to performance. We are passionate about being a vegan-conscious grooming brand and proud to have made these changes.
“As someone who is personally vegan I find this kind of thing very important. I made a choice for myself to make less of a negative impact on the world, the environment and the animals that we share this planet with, so to see the company you work for trying to achieve the same goals gives you a great deal of hope for the bigger picture.” - Shoreditch Senior Barber Aaron
Whatever may change in the future regarding the UK’s animal testing regulations, we will continue to proudly make our products to Clean Label standards. We care about the process and we care about the people who use them. Even if the UK government ends up making a terrible decision on this, we can assure you that we will not be in support of it.