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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is Nars a good brand for ethical consumers?

The Good Shopping Guide has conducted extensive research on the biggest brands in the beauty and Make Up sector, including Nars. Unfortunately, this brand has not reached our ethical benchmark, and therefore cannot yet be counted an ethical make up brand. Nars is owned by Shiseido Company Ltd, and receives a Good Shopping Guide score in our Ethical Make Up Ratings Table. Although Nars has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in this brand if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby we would make further detailed assessments and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Is Nars Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Nars does not score well under our Animal Welfare criteria. On the PETA website, Shiseido Cosmetics is listed as a company that DOES indeed test on animals. No comment has been made by Nars to refute this. Nars’ products also contain animal parts, and is therefore not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. 

Shisedo and palm oil

Shiseido also is guilty of using palm oil. It does not state publicly whether or not this palm-oil has been obtained ethically, and have made few to no positive pledges to reduce the use of this damaging crop. Nars’ parent company also scored only 8.4 out of 100 in a report from the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI). This index assesses supply chain procedures in China, especially with regard to environmental management and water pollution. 

Nars’ Environmental Report

In its Sustainability Reporting, Shiseido has previously set a number of goals for mitigating its environmental impact, including targets related to water use, packaging, and ethical sourcing. Though there is little detail, these targets are promising and we encourage Shiseido to achieve these goals.

Nars and Shiseido have also not been found to have any connections to the Nuclear industries. Though Nuclear energy is often touted as a renewable and environmentally-friendly, past nuclear disasters have caused great environmental disruption; examples of this include Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, SL-1 and Fukushima Daiichi. These infamous disasters not only caused damage to the Environment and surrounding wildlife, but also caused great human injury and loss of life; the repercussions of these incidents are still being experienced by people today. This is why it’s positive that Shiseido has not been found to have any connections to the Nuclear industry.

How can Nars brand improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide score results from multiple ethical criteria in relation to Nars. To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Nars has some issues to resolve, including Shiseido’s use of palm oil, water wastage and misuse and animal testing.

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