Clean Brands

Is Drunk Elephant a Clean Brand? Investigating Their Cruelty-Free and Vegan Claims

3 Mins read

In the contemporary world of skincare, Drunk Elephant stands out as a brand that appeals to both aesthetic and ethical consumers. Since its launch in 2013, Drunk Elephant has risen to prominence with its vibrant packaging, quality ingredients, and promises of being a “clean,” cruelty-free, and vegan brand. These claims have undoubtedly played a key role in attracting a dedicated fan base that aligns with the brand’s purported ethical stance.

However, with the increasing emphasis on transparency in the beauty industry, it’s crucial to scrutinize these claims. Are Drunk Elephant’s products truly “clean,” cruelty-free, and vegan as they claim to be? This article explores the brand’s claims, providing a comprehensive overview of the Drunk Elephant phenomenon.

Drunk Elephant: A Brief Overview

Founded by Tiffany Masterson, Drunk Elephant hit the market with its unique philosophy of eliminating the “Suspicious 6” from their products – essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS. Branded as a “clean beauty” brand, the company focuses on formulating products that are effective, safe, and respect the skin’s natural function.

The brand’s name, “Drunk Elephant,” was inspired by the myth that elephants get intoxicated from eating fermented marula fruit. The marula oil, a key ingredient in many of the brand’s products, is touted for its antioxidative properties.

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Understanding the “Clean Beauty” Claim

“Clean beauty” is a term that’s been gaining momentum in the skincare industry. It generally refers to products that are free from harmful or toxic ingredients, and are sustainable and ethical. The ambiguity of the term, however, often leaves it open to various interpretations.

Drunk Elephant defines its “clean” promise by focusing on biocompatibility, which means their products are designed to work in harmony with the skin’s natural function. The brand also emphasizes transparency, with clear and comprehensive ingredient lists for each product, enabling consumers to make informed decisions about the products they use.

Drunk Elephant’s Cruelty-Free Promise

Drunk Elephant has been very open about their stand against animal testing. They proudly claim to be a 100% cruelty-free brand, as confirmed by their Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty-Free International.

The Leaping Bunny certification is considered the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics, as it requires companies to prove that no animal testing has taken place at any stage of product development. This means that consumers can trust Drunk Elephant’s cruelty-free claim.

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Are Drunk Elephant Products Vegan?

On the vegan front, Drunk Elephant is a bit more complex. While the brand does not explicitly identify as vegan, they state that the majority of their products are vegan. However, some of their products contain honey or beeswax, ingredients that are not considered vegan.

For those who adhere strictly to a vegan lifestyle, it’s crucial to check each product’s ingredient list. An example of a non-vegan product is the “Lippe Balm,” which contains beeswax.

The Transparency of Drunk Elephant’s Claims

Transparency is a critical factor in assessing the authenticity of a brand’s ethical claims. Drunk Elephant has excelled in this department by providing detailed ingredient lists, along with explanations on their website. They also publicly display their Leaping Bunny certification, verifying their cruelty-free status.

However, the brand could improve the clarity around their vegan claim. Currently, they do not explicitly label their vegan products, which can be confusing for consumers who follow a strict vegan lifestyle.

The Verdict: Is Drunk Elephant Truly Clean?

Based on the evidence, it’s clear that Drunk Elephant is a “clean” brand in terms of formulating products that are free of harmful or questionable ingredients. They are also transparent about their ingredients and have a solid cruelty-free certification.

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However, regarding their vegan claim, the brand falls short of being 100% vegan due to the inclusion of honey and beeswax in some of their products. Therefore, while they are predominantly vegan, they cannot be classified as a wholly vegan brand.

Conclusion: Navigating Ethical Beauty Choices

In conclusion, while Drunk Elephant does make good on its clean and cruelty-free claims, it falls short on being completely vegan. As consumers, it’s essential to read labels, scrutinize ingredient lists, and ask questions of brands if their claims are unclear.

Indeed, Drunk Elephant has made significant strides towards ethical and clean beauty, setting a high standard for other brands in the industry. While it may not be perfect, it is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, the decision to choose Drunk Elephant, or any brand for that matter, will depend on your personal values and preferences.