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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is Botanics an ethical brand?

Botanics is a skincare, bath and body care brand launched in 1995 and owned by conglomerate Walgreens Boots Alliance. It does not receive a positive Good Shopping Guide score on our Ethical Skincare Ratings Table. Botanics has many issues to address and should change its business activities in order to reach our ethical benchmark and achieve Ethical Accreditation. Much of Botanics’s poor ethical business practices come as a result of being owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, an infamous global corporation.

We encourage all skincare companies and brands to keep pushing for ethical business standards; the skincare sector is now hugely influential, due to its prevalence on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram. Brands now have a huge reach, and can make a lot of money from promoting their products on these sites. As such, brands should carefully consider the kind of environmental and ethical impact they are having on our planet, on people and on animals.

Though Botanics is marketed as a ‘natural’ brand, with much written on its website about its commitments to the Environment and to Animals, consumers should be aware that this brand is ultimately owned by an unethical conglomerate, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Is Botanics Cruelty-Free? 

Botanics is not entirely Cruelty-Free. Though Botanics states that it is Leaping Bunny Approved and that none of its products are sold instore in mainland China, parent brand, Walgreens Boots Alliance has slightly vague a statement on animal testing. The company ascertains that,

 “[n]o animal testing is undertaken by Walgreens Boots Alliance… [f]or our own product brands”,

and that the company does not,

 “conduct animal testing on products, or on ingredients used in these products.” 

However, Walgreens Boots Alliance does not vouch for the other brands that it stocks products from or owns, stating that,

“[u]ntil satisfactory replacements are available and all regulatory authorities stop requiring animal tests, we recognize that other companies may continue to carry out some animal testing in order to meet certain legislative and regulatory requirements and to protect the health of consumers. As a result, suppliers of ingredients, components and finished goods used in Walgreens Boots Alliance may have to or continue to carry out tests on animals.”

Therefore, consumers concerned about Animal Welfare might want to steer clear of Botanics, and the policies of its parent company suggest that some products have indeed been tested on animals.

The Good Shopping Guide considers the activity of the parent corporation when researching the Animal Welfare Policies from individual brands, as we believe consumers should be made aware of this information. If parent corporations own majority or large shares of a brand, then it can be assumed that the parent corporation will be making a lot of money in sales from the brands it owns. For this reason, The Good Shopping Guide takes the activity of the parent corporation into account when considering a brand’s ethics.

We leave it up to consumer discretion whether or not you choose to buy from individual brands who do not test on animals, but their parent companies do. We believe it is important that consumers are as informed as possible about the products you buy.

Is Botanics vegan? 

Botanics products are not certified-Vegan and some products contain animal products or by-products. Botanics claims that all products are suitable for Vegetarians, although, again this is not verified by an external, independent body. For Vegans who still wish to buy from this brand, find the full list of products containing animal products here.

Is Walgreens Boots Alliance a good company? Is Walgreens Boots Alliance an ethical corporation?

Unfortunately, the criticisms and controversies of Walgreens Boots Alliance are many.

For example, Walgreens Boots Alliance makes Political Donations, leading to a bottom rating in this category. Any pharmaceutical or drug-related company that has political sway can greatly influence government policy, sometimes against the best interests of public health.

Walgreens Boots Alliance and the opioid epidemic in the US

According to one federal court case, Walgreens Boots Alliance was one of the major pharmaceutical companies charged with fueling the US’s opioid epidemic. The court filing in May 2020 reported that pharmacies including Walgreens were as complicit in continuing the crisis as the manufacturers of the addictive drugs. According to the complaint lodged in federal court, these retailers sold millions of pills in small communities, and incentivised selling large amounts of opioids by providing bonuses for pharmacists who filled out a lot of prescriptions. Walgreens was also accused of collaborating directly with drug manufacturers to promote opioids as safe and effective.

Is Botanics a sustainable brand?

The Environmental Report supplied by Walgreen Boots Alliance, the parent company of Botanics, is rated as satisfactory by The Good Shopping Guide, and therefore receives a good score for this research criterion.

In this report, Walgreens Boots Alliance tracks its carbon emissions.

How can Botanics improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide assesses Botanics’s score using 15 ethical criteria. For Botanics to improve its score, it must resolve several unethical business practices, such as Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Irresponsible Marketing of opioids and its vague Animal Welfare policies and statement. Then Botanics might one day attain The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating