Urban Decay reached out to me yesterday, shortly after I published the press release, and said that they were happy to take any questions I might have. On behalf of readers, I took the opportunity to ask several, and I also included a couple asked by Twitter followers. I’m still waiting on the answer to another question (and they’re working on it), but here are their answers to the questions I had and a reader question:
What has Urban Decay done in the past to proactively change the way animal testing is done or perceived in the US? Have measures been taken beyond being a cruelty-free brand? Does UD fund alternative testing research?
Urban Decay has been a cruelty-free band since our inception in 1996 and was one of the first few brands to adopt the Leaping Bunny Logo. We created our “How Could Anyone” campaign to raise awareness about animal testing in cosmetics. Bracelets with our “vegan paw-print” and “How Could Anyone” statement were sold at all retailers to benefit the Humane Society of the United States. We do not work with any manufacturers that conduct animal testing. We work regularly with organizations such as PETA and the HSUS to raise awareness and funds for alternative research.
We have turned down several opportunities to participate in high profile fashion shows and designer collaborations that use or promote fur. Despite that fact that many cruelty-free brands sell brushes made with animal hair, we only manufacture our brushes with synthetic fibers. We do not make donations to organizations that conduct or condone animal testing. We are the first brand ever to create a vegan shopping section on our website to cater to our vegan fans. We have made, and continue to make, monetary donations to further research into alternative testing.
How does Urban Decay intend to change the mind of Chinese government regarding animal testing and women’s rights?
We will continue to seek out alternative methods for testing and creating a demand for them in the industry, as well as influence the community to request this of their government. By creating new jobs for women and putting them into positions of importance, we hope to influence the community and our consumers via education and brand messaging.
How does injecting money into a country that has historically been difficult to persuade put either Urban Decay in a position of power or China in a position to listen? When major business and brands, both within and outside the cosmetic industry, can’t create impactful change in the country, how does Urban Decay intend to do so?
We are working with cruelty-free organizations on the ground in China to focus our efforts and make sure we are making the most impact. We consulted with the Feminist Majority Foundation and learned from them that giving Chinese women professional opportunities is an important step in creating cultural change. As we gain an understanding of the market, we plan to develop creative solutions to drive awareness about these issues.
With Urban Decay’s home country still requiring and allowing animal testing, why is the push into China so vital – particularly when UD has stated that they don’t even plan to make money for quite a while and the market isn’t quite ready for the brand? Did UD consider participating in the dialogue as a potential market entrant, thereby still holding onto all of the potential dollars and business to bring into the country?
While me may not be out of the woods yet as far as eradicating animal testing in the US, there are approved alternative methods approved and available for use here. We are implementing additional efforts in China where immediate change is necessary to provide alternatives in order to continue our fight to end animal testing.
How is UD planning on enacting the changes? Will the brand hire experts in Chinese culture to make an education plan? (Asked by Phyrra)
UD is working on developing a team based in China who will drive our education program and media outreach. They will train and educate our employees who will then pass our message on to the consumer, thereby raising awareness of the issue. We also plan to support via marketing and social media as we have successfully done here in the US.
Comments are now closed. Readers are disrespecting each other and their beliefs.
5 Effortlessly Natural Blushes
My go-to for a great natural cheek color is Korres #15 Natural, which gives my cheeks a little warmth and natural color without being too pink or plum. I also really love Tarte Exposed, which gives a little more color but still retains a soft, natural result.
- Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane — soft medium brown
- Burberry Russet — medium-dark brown with orange undertones
- Korres #15 Natural — medium-dark brown
- Tarte Exposed — muted rosy plum
- Burberry Cameo — muted plum
What’s your go-to blush for a natural cheek color?
L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow 24 Hour — New Shades for Summer 2012
Known for its long-wear color authority, L’Oréal Paris’ Infallible collection introduces Infallible Eye Shadow – the first 24-hour formula in the mass marketplace. Available in a range of 12 irresistible and wearable shades, Infallible Eye Shadow was purposefully formulated to be long-wearing and to not settle into eyelid creases and lines – two of the top concerns of eye shadow-wearers. Its revolutionary velvet-soft texture comes in a lightly pressed form. This luxurious shadow blends easily and provides a pop of luminous color with a smooth, even finish. From softly shimmering to intensely rich, eye shadow wearers can now experience the colors they crave with the long-wearing benefits they’ve been dreaming about. New shades will be available in July 2012 for $7.95 nationwide.
- Liquid Diamond Diamond
- Golden Emerald Green
- Endless Sea Blue
- Glistening Garnet Burgundy
- Bottomless Java Brown
- Smoldering Plum Plum purple
From Urban Decay:
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 urbandecay.com to answer questions about our entry into China.
Please keep comments respectful, thoughtful, and refrain insults, personal attacks, and the like. I know that this is an issue that is near and dear to many readers’ hearts, and sometimes passionate beliefs can inspire equally passionate, but sometimes hurtful, disrespectful, or disparaging responses. I ask that readers give each other the respect that each of us as human beings deserves.