Green Fashion pp 109-125 | Cite as

Do as You Would Be Done by: The Importance of Animal Welfare in the Global Beauty Care Industry

  • Nadine HennigsEmail author
  • Evmorfia Karampournioti
  • Klaus-Peter Wiedmann
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


Nowadays, the concept of sustainability is discussed in almost every product category. In this context, companies commit themselves to advancing good social, environmental, and animal-welfare practices in their business operations, including sustainable sourcing practices. Nevertheless, even if many companies in the global beauty care industry have embraced such claims, common practices such as water pollution, the use of pesticides in the production of fibers, poor labor conditions, and animal testing are omnipresent. According to the European Commission, 11.5 million animals were used in the European Union for experimental or scientific purposes in 2011. Worldwide this figure rises to 115 million animals annually (Four Paws International2013). In the rising tension between “greenwashing” and the use of ethical/environmental commitments that are nothing more than “sheer lip service,” the question arises of the role of the consumers with regard to sustainable practices in the cosmetics industry. Are consumers increasingly conscious of the adverse effects of ethical and environmental imbalances? And what effect does this knowledge have on their buying behavior? On the divergent poles of hypocrisy and true commitment, to advance current understanding of sustainability and related links to consumer perception and actual buying behavior related to ethical issues, the aim of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive framework of animal welfare in the personal care industry. Based on existing theoretical and empirical insights it becomes evident that psychological determinants, such as personality traits, empathy, ethical obligation, and self-identity, as well as context-related determinants in terms of one’s ethical value perception of products, the trade-off between ethical and conventional products, and an individual’s involvement, represent antecedents of ethical consumer behavior, which can be expressed through the avoidance of specific products and brands and/or consumer boycott and buycott towards cosmetics using animal-tested ingredients. Our concept provides a useful instrument for both academics and managers as a basis to create and market successfully cosmetics that represent ethical and environmental excellence.


Animal welfare Ethical and environmental practices Global beauty care industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Hennigs
    • 1
    Email author
  • Evmorfia Karampournioti
    • 1
  • Klaus-Peter Wiedmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marketing and ManagementLeibniz University of HannoverHannoverGermany

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