Is Ellis Brooklyn Cruelty-Free and Vegan? (Could They Do Better?)

Ellis Brooklyn is a sophisticated fragrance brand that shaped the clean and green cosmetics industry we know today. Although the brand is proudly cruelty-free – what’s stopping it from going vegan too? Here’s what we know.

Is Ellis Brooklyn Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Ellis Brooklyn is cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products, nor does it distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. Ellis Brooklyn does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, but it is not considered a vegan brand.

As an ex-beauty editor for New York Times, Bee Shapiro’s exposure to cosmetic products was vast. And she had no intention of adding yet another brand to the market until she fell pregnant and realized how few clean luxury fragrances there were.

This revelation came to her in 2013 at the dawn of the clean beauty movement. Skincare and makeup were in the lead, while fragrances hadn’t evolved yet.

Instead, she found perfume ingredients were almost “intentionally murky.” Luckily, Bee saw this as a great opportunity.

Each ingredient that Ellis Brooklyn uses is carefully evaluated. Besides needing to smell beautiful, it also needs to be safe for you and the environment.   

But if you’re vegan and are considering adding Ellis Brooklyn’s to your scent collection – there are a couple things you need to know about the brand’s vegan policies first.

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Is Ellis Brooklyn Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Ellis Brooklyn is 100% Cruelty-Free

It does not:

  • Test any of its products or ingredients on animals;
  • Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain; or
  • Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.

Ellis Brooklyn is proudly cruelty-free, and PETA accredited to prove it– yay! But while this is a great start – it’s not the best internationally recognized certification out there. We’ll tell you why shortly.

The brand is also privately owned and funded, so there are no concerns about a sneaky parent company that tests on animals.

This brings us to our next point:

Ellis Brooklyn is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Ellis Brooklyn has an extensive range of vegan products from which to choose.

Luckily, all their fragrances are 100% vegan. So if you had your eyes on a scent – you’re in the clear to buy whatever you want.

But you don’t have to worry about remembering this by heart. Ellis Brooklyn’s products are all clearly marked on its website. Everything vegan will be labeled appropriately, like this:
Ellis Brooklyn Vegan product claim

The only animal-derived ingredient that Ellis Brooklyn uses is:

  • Beeswax this ingredient poses many health benefits to your skin and well-being. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with essential vitamins.

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Ellis Brooklyn vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Although it’s unclear when Ellis Brooklyn confirmed their cruelty-free status with PETA. We couldn’t find any controversy about animal testing since the brand’s 2015 launch. So it looks like it’s been cruelty-free from the start!

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

Here is a screenshot of Ellis Brooklyn's official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from its website:

Ellis Brooklyn Cruelty-Free Website Claim

Certification

Currently, Ellis Brooklyn is PETA-approved which is not a bad start. You are likely to find the little cruelty-free PETA bunny next to each one of its products.

But it would be nice to see more certification from the brand since it’s so proudly cruelty-free.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations. It only requires a brand's written consent that abides by the PETA code of conduct.

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.


Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, is considered and evaluated.

And one more note – if you see a bunny stamp on the back of your product bottle – that’s awesome. But don't be fooled by the image itself. A lot of brands are using fake logos to mislead consumers.

Do your homework and see which products are genuinely cruelty-free first. This article will help you: Which Cruelty-Free Logos Can You Trust?

Is Ellis Brooklyn Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Ellis Brooklyn does not distribute its products to China or any country requiring animal testing on cosmetics by law.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes.

Here’s how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What Ellis Brooklyn Products Are Vegan?

All of Ellis Brooklyn’s Eu De Parfums are vegan. And since this is primarily a fragrance brand before anything else – we consider this a pretty good start!

It’s a big win for all animal advocates who want to smell good!

Ellis Brooklyn claims to use ‘a small amount’ of beeswax in their candles and body milks. However, there’s no way of quantifying what that actually means, nor does it makes these products more vegan in the end.

A bowl of pasta with a small amount of meat sauce isn’t vegan just because the amount of meat is minimal.

To save you some time, here are some of Ellis Brooklyn’s most popular and award-winning vegan products to choose from:

  • BEE Eu De Parfum
  • RROSE Eu De Parfum Travel Spray
  • MYTH Eu De Parfum
  • Library Fragrance Discovery
  • FULLY BOOKED Rollerball Gift Set

While Ellis Brooklyn does not have a dedicated page for its vegan products. You can visit this link to find your signature scent since all its fragrances are vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Ellis Brooklyn

Ellis Brooklyn was one of the founding brands to revolutionize the clean and cruelty-free beauty movement. All of its fragrances are vegan, and it’s completely transparent about its formulations with consumers.

So we wouldn’t knock this brand before you try it!

However, if you will not support a brand that isn't entirely vegan – Ellis Brooklyn might not be your first choice. In this case, we have a few other recommendations for you to look at.

 Here are some similar alternatives within the same price range:
  • Le Labo
  • Floral Street
  • Clean Reserve
  • D.S & Durga
  • Experimental Perfume Club

Is Ellis Brooklyn Natural and Organic? 

Ellis Brooklyn uses a high amount of natural ingredients. But it is not considered a natural or organic brand.

Instead, it uses modern science to ensure that all ingredients are safe and clean, whether natural or synthetic.  

The brand’s ethos is to make clean formulas and products that anyone can use.

Clean vs. Natural Ingredients

The term “natural” is much less regulated for cosmetics and skincare. In other words, it doesn't hold one specific meaning.

Usually, it means a product is free of certain more toxic synthetic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more.

But people also interpret "natural" to mean ingredients of immediate plant origin.

Here's the thing – "natural" is not necessarily a good thing. Just because an ingredient is natural (take lemon juice, for example) doesn't mean you should rub it on your skin.

All products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas. Ellis Brooklyn is no exception – but it does choose to use better or clean synthetics.

If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it is safe and non-toxic. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.

Does Ellis Brooklyn Use Safe Ingredients?

While Ellis Brooklyn might not be mentioned on Skin Safe, looking at their formulations helps us understand how seriously it takes clean beauty.

Coming from an ex-beauty-editor ­– we expect nothing but the best! 

Some of the chemicals Ellis Brooklyn has prohibited include: parabens, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, toluene, mercury, and mercury compounds (thimerosal).

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Ellis Brooklyn is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before making a purchase – especially if you live in the United States.

This is because the FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, have banned 1,328!

This is something that Brooklyn Ellis is well aware of and has tried to formulate all of its products using EU guidelines.

So while you shouldn’t have to worry much, here are some of the ingredients you really want to avoid with fragrance:

  • BPA
  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • DMDM Hydantoin and urea (that often release formaldehyde)
  • Mercury compounds
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
  • Phthalates
  • PTFE/ PFOA
  • Propylene glycol (pg) & butylene glycol
  • Triclosan

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

If you’re worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics not tested on animals – please relax and take a sigh of relief.

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn’t be as safe as anything tested on an animal.

Not only is it easy to test ingredients without using animals altogether, but there are so many pre-approved ingredients you can use to make cosmetics that there is no need.

If you’re interested, here’s more on the subject: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is Ellis Brooklyn Sustainable and Ethical? 

Ellis Brooklyn has some strong sustainability and ethical initiatives that align with the company values. The brand strives to:

  • Help create sustainable, ethically developed products.
  • Lessen the impact it has on the planet.
  • Do more to help people.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands only make it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

Some of the ways Ellis Brooklyn is taking strong environmental accountability is by:
  • Using more natural ingredients and biodegradable formulas that are kinder to the environment.
  • Prohibiting the use of synthetic microbeads that pollute our waters and harm marine life.
  • Ensuring that it sources its ingredients sustainably by avoiding long supply chains and abiding by the international CITES list.
  • Creating long-term investments in communities where raw materials are sourced.
  • Using glass packaging with limited plastic components.
  • Opting for carbon-neutral shipping where possible.
  • Offsetting its carbon footprint by making annual contributions to the Carbon Fund (how often do you see that from large beauty houses?).
  • Using sustainably sourced paper (FSC certified) from suppliers.
  • Partnering with Eco-Cert to promote the best environmental and social practices.

Final Thoughts

By focusing on masterful and clean scents – Ellis Brooklyn’s popularity has soared internationally.

The brand takes various ethical factors into consideration. The fact that it is cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in cosmetics.

However, we would like to see the brand go 100% vegan by kicking those last few products with beeswax to the curb! We can’t see them making this switch any time soon.

For now, we appreciate that Ellis Brooklyn has a transparent supply chain and is open to the public about its testing, purchasing, and distribution policies.

But since the brand is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile.

Finally, it would also be nice to see some further cruelty-free accreditation from other reputable organizations.

So let's push to make that happen. By speaking to this fragrance house, we can help them grow towards the needs of its consumers.

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