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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is Origins an ethical brand?

Estée Lauder Companies Inc., which owns a number of subsidiary brands, including Origins, receives a subpar ethical grade from The Good Shopping Guide. Unfortunately, as shown by its poor Good Shopping Guide ethical rating in our Ethical Make Up Ratings Table, this brand currently comes far below our ethical benchmark for this sector. Origins must make a number of changes before becoming qualified for our Ethical Accreditation.

Estée Lauder Companies and Origins’ involvement with GMOs and Animal Testing

Origins’ parent company, Estée Lauder, lacks a Cruelty-Free certification and has lax Animal Welfare guidelines. Estée Lauder made a vague and seemingly conflicting remark about animal testing.

Estée Lauder states,More than 30 years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies was one of the first cosmetics companies to eliminate animal testing as a method of determining cosmetic product safety. We don’t test our products on animals and we don’t ask others to test for us. We acknowledge our brands are sold in countries where animal testing on cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients is required by law.

Are Origins’ cosmetics vegan? 

Origins is not vegan. Since it neither manufactures nor sells any vegan or vegetarian products, Estée Lauder, the firm’s parent company, receives a low Good Shopping Guide rating in this research category. Ingredients in Origins’ cosmetics include lanolin, a waxy material made by sheep.

Estée Lauder, Origins and colourism

Well-known cosmetics companies including Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Beiersdorf have come under fire for promoting skin-lightening cosmetics and skincare products; these tactics encourage colorism. Estée Lauder has reviewed its own whitening products in light of criticism during 2020

Origins and Human Rights abuses

According to a report by the Associated Press, women working on palm oil farms in Malaysia and Indonesia are subjected to cruel employment practices including physical and sexual assault and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Women who had been spraying harmful pesticides on a plantation for years without any safety equipment suffered from fevers, coughing, and nosebleeds. On another plantation, girls as young as 16 reported being sexually assaulted by managers and other workers. These women can’t afford to visit the doctor because they only make $2 per day on average. Well-known cosmetics companies like Avon, Colgate-Palmolive, Coty, Estée Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Kylie Cosmetics, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever purchase palm oil from the plantations and fields where these atrocities took place.

Please be aware, that the article from The Associated Press contains some very upsetting details.

How can Origins improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide evaluates Origins’ performance based on 15 ethical standards. The position Origins takes on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Animal Welfare, and its parent corporation Estée Lauder’s role in the unethical production of palm oil are just a few ethical problems that need to be addressed and clarified.

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