Household Products

P&G stops using badger hair in Art of Shaving brushes after PETA sounds alarm over industry abuses in China

Key Points
  • P&G will stop using badger hair to make its high-end Art of Shaving products after animal rights group PETA sounded alarms over industry abuses in China.
  • PETA is pressuring other companies that make shaving, painting, and makeup brushes to follow P&G's lead

Procter & Gamble is discontinuing the use of badger hair in its high-end Art of Shaving products after PETA sounded alarms over the animals' brutal treatment at farms in mainland China.

P&G said its shaving subsidiary will immediately stop buying the hair and will sell off its existing inventory, which ranges in price from $30 for an entry-level brush to $250 for its Silvertip Engraved brush. It's also looking to develop alternatives to animal hair, P&G said in a statement. Most of the world's badger hair used in shaving, makeup and paint brushes originates from mainland China where the animal doesn't have the same protections as in North America and most of Europe.

"When PETA reached out to P&G about this report on the badger hair industry, we were very disturbed to learn of these terrible practices," the company said in a statement. "While we have no evidence that any of our suppliers are engaging in these types of methods, we believe we can play a role in helping to stop such practices."

P&G spokesman Scott Heid didn't say how the change may affect sales at its luxury men's grooming line.

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals filmed inside several badger-hair farms and brush-making factories in Shijiazhuang, China, between November 2017 and August 2018. The footage shows a worker beating a badger with a chair leg before slaughtering it for its fur. The badgers' small cages and lack of stimulation have led to injuries and stress, PETA said.

The animal rights groups said the Texas-based Art of Shaving agreed to switch to synthetic brushes as their current brushes become unusable and to collaborate with PETA to develop a synthetic brush.

"These commitments are in keeping with P&G's ongoing efforts to pursue non-animal alternatives," P&G said.

PETA is pressuring other companies to follow suit.