Thursday, June 7, 2012

Urban Decay & Animal Testing in China

Some of you may have heard the news announced on Temptalia here that Urban Decay are making a move into the Chinese market, and that animal testing is a part of that. Here is the statement, I'd love to here what your thoughts are on this important issue.

"Urban Decay is going to sell our products in China. Because of China’s policies on animal testing, we know that this will not be a popular decision with some of our loyal customers. But the decision is a thoughtful one.
For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.
For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. Do we like China’s policies? No…and that is really the point. Going into China was a huge decision for Urban Decay. But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.

When we were considering expanding into China, a group of marketing consultants told us to remove the section of our company history that describes our crusade against animal testing. “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer,” they said. Of course, we refused. Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one. The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there. During Urban Decay’s infancy, we worked hard to inform consumers about animal rights in the United States and Europe. The battleground for animal rights is now in China, and we want to be there to encourage dialogue and provoke change.

We also hope to shed some light on women’s rights issues in China. As a company that caters to a female customer, this is extremely important to us. For one thing, going into China is a way for us to advance women into important professional positions. We will help grow the cosmetics industry, which primarily employs and creates career paths for women. Although workers’ employment rights are a relatively new concept there, progress has been made partially because of pressure from businesses, consumers, and advocacy groups from other countries. Based on this, our belief is that both an outside force and inside pressure for change can result in helping transform both the importance of women and animal testing policies in China. And more importantly, we hope to influence the perspective of the citizens on both of these issues.

If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change. We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products, and who view professional women as role models who influence their lives on a daily basis.

Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years. But our foray into this market is also about participating in an amazing time of change in China. We don’t like animal testing (and neither do the 13 dogs in our office), but we are trying to change the world… even if it is one eye shadow at a time! Sitting on the sidelines isn’t our style. We understand that you might not like our decision, but we hope you can respect it.

For any advocates or Urban Decay fans interested, Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir will host a live chat on to answer questions about our entry into China."

While I appreciate that they are a for-profit company, it makes me wonder how strong their animal rights beliefs were to begin with. Mentioning the 13 dogs in their office makes me cringe, to be honest.
What are your thoughts?


  1. I don´t like this AT ALL!!
    I can understand that they want to branch out and reach an even wider popularity but I would NEVER EVER EVER branch out to a country that so openly support animal cruelty... if they say their products do not test on animals, why the he** do they choose to branch out to a country that are known all over the world to treat their animals like sh*t... I just don´t understand it and I am not so sure I want to own any more products by Urban Decay

    I may be silly but animals (no matter how small or how big) mean the world to me and I do anything I can to stop animal cruelty...

    They sank really low in my eyes
    And yes... 13 dogs in one office really makes me cringe too :/

  2. Le sigh. I am feeling so glad I don't own anything by urban decay now. This is akin to the K Rudd/Julia PM problems, except Urban Decay is the ones laughing in their loyal customers faces.

  3. I don't like to buy makeup made in China. Many women do, because its cheap in cost, but do you know what you are getting? Lead? Mercury? Carcinogens? I wanted to get the Palette by Urban Decay, and I haven't yet, so now, I guess I don't feel bad..

    There are so many many makeup companies out there, many Vegan, so UD is really shooting themselves in the foot.

  4. I don't buy makeup made in China. Many women do because its cheap in price.
    But what is in the makeup? Lead? Mercury?

    We don't need to test on Animals.

    I wanted very much to get the UD Naked Palettes 2. Maybe I have just changed my mind.

    Seems UD needs to grow a backbone..


I'd love to hear your opinion on this post! Please don't leave links in your comments, I always check out the bloggers who comment so there is no need :)

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