Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

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.

Comments are now closed. Readers are disrespecting each other and their beliefs. 

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577 thoughts on “Urban Decay Press Statement: Animal Testing and China

  1. Sarah

    Why can’t they all do this? If a company wants to sell in China, that’s their decision but if China demand animal testing then THEY should be the ones to do it rather than the company, who, in turn, are losing millions of customers across the rest of the world.

    • I honestly thought this was what would happen. UD will supply the products and Chinese companies will test them, as happens with other brands. I may be completely naive.

      • Lauren

        I agree with you.  From the way the statement reads, the government will be doing the product testing, not the company.  
         

      • Sarah

        @CherrySueDoinTheDo I was under the impression based on the backlash MAC received that others are testing on animals themselves rather than getting people in China to do it. This whole hoopla is incredibly unclear – I sincerely hope I’ve misunderstood. I think everyone here thinks companies should make it crystal clear as to who is doing the testing.

      • ssstaysss

        That is what I took from it also…

      • Sandy

        I think Christine and another commenter explained that in order to pass Chinese regulations, a company has to show that certain standards have been met.  These standard require animal testing– so UD WOULD be carrying out the testing in that case.

    • sarah w

      @Sarah it says in the article that UD will not be doing the testing, China’s government will. i do find it interesting that china requires the testing at all when they are so lax about making products full of dangerous things.
      i am not upset with the decision, as it is their decision alone to make. i do understand why some people are though, and it is sad that so many fans will be disappointed in the long run.

    • BlackFuji

      @Sarah yes it is their decision…of course it is…..and yes that’s just business….but they can no longer stand on one side of a line and say they don’t support what they have chose to allow.

    • decembeir

      “Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens”
       
      UD will not conduct the animal testing. However, the Chinese government conducts testing on some cosmetics because they think  this will ensure safe products for consumers. Thus, UD’s products could be tested on animals which is contrary to their mission statement, but the company’s US products would remain cruelty free I believe.

      • Sarah

         @decembeir I definitely understand why people are mad, they’re pretty much urinating on their own doorstep. I see it as products sold in the UK WONT have been tested in such ways which, although selfish of me to think like this, wont make me feel AS guilty.
         
        Fortunately I’m not the biggest fan of UD in the first place, but again I admire how honest they are being about it – although not completely in laymans terms for any idiot to be able to understand, it’s definitely clearer than what MAC offered.

    • candleashes

      Chinese government is the one who will be doing the testing, but if UD is condoning it, it doesn’t really matter who is actually going to perform the tests. If you hired a hit man, you’d still be responsible for the crime.

      • Sarah

         @candleashes See, this just confuses me further. A comment not that further up says Christine and someone else have said it will be UD themselves performing the testing.
         
        Either way, they’re still making a lot of people angry.

  2. MAD RESPECT! I completely Agree with what they are doing & how they are doing it!

  3. squigglyee

    Wow… an unexpected move from Urban Decay. Although I do see their point, and where they are coming from. For that reason I support them in their decision. I’m assuming/hoping that this doesn’t affect their animal testing policy in the US and Europe? Does anybody know? I’m not too familiar with reading between the lines of policies – am I missing anything here? Many thanks. x

    •  @squigglyee Basically all the testing will be done in china with companies the government sanctioned for the job. Until they get their foot in, the government can and will white wall any outside movement on animal testing without public support of awareness from the inside. There is a huge moment going on right now and bring all the issue that have been berried and it makes scene that brands are going to push the market to get those exposed. (much like Victorian England with the industrial revolution we seeing the same movement in social changes in china).
       
      I know this is going to frustrate a lot of vegan and anti Animal Testing supporters.

  4. radiofireworks

    I can’t say I’m happy about their decision to sell in China, but I really respect the fact that they’ve taken the time to write such a thoughtful and in depth post about it, it’s certainly more than MAC/Estee Lauder gave us (as far as I know, at any rate). I’m also extremely pleased to see them addressing the topic of women’s rights.Hmmm. Don’t know how to feel about this, in other words. I don’t buy all that many Urban Decay products in the first place (I only own a few palettes) so I guess it’s not a huge deal for me to avoid their products as far as possible, but I honestly don’t know whether I feel this warrants a boycott in the first place.

  5. NeenaJ

    I don’t see how it’s going to change anything in China to cave in on your company’s (and customer’s) beliefs by engaging on animal testing so you can bring your goods to market.  The “if we don’t do it, someone else will” argument leaves me totally cold.  Just sayin’.
     
    This statement was written by a PR rep who was well aware of the backlash against MAC for doing the exact same thing.

  6. Gabby T

    I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised.  Their pathetic excuse about “if we don’t go in, others without our values will” is PURE BS.  They are doing this because they want to make billions in China. Proving that their commitment against animal treatment is easily outweighed by their greed.  I’m extremely ashamed of them.  

  7. Dominique33

    Vegans will notbuy Urban Decay products anymore, I agree with that. China has a reputation of being very cruel towards animals, it’s no secret, well it’s a bad news for all UD fans, including myself.

    • xobiancax3xo

       @Dominique33 I’m definitely not buying their products anymore and I’m not even a vegan. I’m just strongly against animal testing. It sucks because Urban Decay was my favorite makeup brand. 

  8. Gina

    Thank you for spreading the word on this, Christine. I’m sure this is an issue that is important to a lot of your readers. And because it is such an important issue to so many, I really hope you don’t have to shut off the comments due to abusive comments. This is a topic that needs to be talked about, and I hope people can be respectful to one another.

  9. I can see their reasoning but there is a part of me that thinks that they could have exerted pressure on China and companies within China because they were already manufacturing cosmetics there! If they already produce cosmetics there, wouldn’t it be possible to negotiate for better salaries and better welfare for their employees (similar to the way LUSH tries to) and have upkeep on that? I’m a little skeptical of the way they are portraying themselves as a white knight and I am disappointed in the move. I mean, why not try to form a coalition with other cosmetics companies to negotiate a pull out of their manufacturing unless the mandate was changed? I suppose I just see other alternatives.

    •  @stefanily I agree — I think there are likely other alternatives available. I’m also not clear or sure what Urban Decay does here in the states to change domestic animal testing requirements/laws. e.g. I know some of the REALLY big conglomerates (P&G, L’Oreal, etc.) spend money on finding alternative testing methods, which is really the only viable way to convince a government to accept alternative test results. I’m not saying UD doesn’t – I just don’t remember seeing/reading it, so I’m not sure if they do, but I would be curious what their plan of attack is to NOT participate in animal testing and how they intend to fight against it in China. I think outlining some kind of plan of attack would be better. There are a lot of moving parts to changing any law, let alone within a government setting that isn’t particular conducive to it.

      • Gina

         @Christine (Temptalia)  @stefanily Very, very well put, Christine and stefanily! I agree with both of you entirely.

      • mylipsbutbetter

         @Christine (Temptalia) @temptalia My understanding is that companies can use ingredients that have been previously tested on animals and proven safe. In other words, they can say “we don’t test on animals”, but they’re still profiting from past animal testing. That may be how UD avoids required testing here in the USA.

        •  @mylipsbutbetter  @temptalia Yes, I’m very aware of that :)  I was questioning what Urban Decay does here, affirmatively, in regards to stopping animal testing, point blank, in this country. 

    • Screamer77

       @stefanily you said what I meant to say with better words, thanks!

  10. blauriche

    I have to say I feel very betrayed right now. I love most of their products, but they always positioned themselves as though they really cared about animal testing. I guess I have enough Urban Decay eyeshadows and eyeliners to last me a lifetime, but it’s sad that companies like MAC and Urban Decay aren’t even as ethical as Revlon. It’s annoying because I had been planning on picking up some more UD lip junkie glosses for the summer, I guess I’ll save money and buy the store brand from Sephora. I think I’m going to mark this occasion by stopping at Walgreens on the way home from work today and buying one of those new Revlon balms.

  11. Jo Green

    So they ship in a load of products to China, knowing they’ll be tested on animals yet claim to be totally against it.  I just can’t reconcile that at all, sorry!

  12. Hmm. I’m not sure how to view this. Although I can see where people may be upset towards the animal testing and things, I also understand that they are a business which needs to expand. However, I’m not sure whether this a good or bad decision for them.

    •  @macyxmakeup Urban Decay isn’t even largely available internationally, so it seems like there are other markets available. They even mention that the market isn’t exactly receptive to their non-traditional platform!

      • Screamer77

         @Christine (Temptalia) They should go to other markets first. Their message is the best written I saw so far, but in the end they’re still saying “sorry, animal testing is going to happen, deal with it”.  ’Change comes from within’ is a lame excuse. I know it’s idealistic, but if all the companies refused to sell in China unless they change their policies, instead of saying “we’ll bend to your rules hoping that one day you’ll change them”, then maybe the country would really feel forced to consider other options. Especially when it comes to UD, China is not the only market available.

      • kinogodt

         @Christine (Temptalia) Yes, they could have expanded into Europe instead, for instance.

      • Veronica

        Even if it doesn’t appeal to the over all demographic, the sheer size of China’s population may more than make up for whatever loss they take on initially to get into the market.  China may appear conservative to an outsider, but the country ia also home to the most financially powerful black market on the planet.
         
        Something else influencing this decision – which I doubt any company would own up to directly – is the fact that the PRC recently decided to cut tariffs on several luxury items, including cosmetics.  The regulations and import duties may be a deciding factor in Urban Decay limiting their expansion to other countries.  (The rather bizarre exception to this would be Australia, which according to severeal sources actually has extremely low to zero tariffs on American cosmetics due to previous trading agreements between the two countries.  I honestly can’t explain or defend the lack of a UD market expansion there.)

  13. BethaneyMars

    so are they starting to test on animals? i dont get it its a bit confusing to me! China have always been cruel to animals its a disgrace they are just as much human as we are :(

    •  @BethaneyMars Basically, to sell cosmetics in China, you have to show certain test results/safety, and from what I understand, China’s standards require results from animal testing.

      • BethaneyMars

         @Christine (Temptalia) thats awful! :( why would you want to sell products in a place that condones that it baffles me!

    • Aneta

       @BethaneyMars China will test UD products on animals. UD will never test on animals

    • k11y

       @BethaneyMars lol if animals were ‘just as much human as we are’ then they would be called humans, not animals

      • Kafka

         @k11y  @BethaneyMars  No, animals aren’t “just as much human as we are.”  In my personal opinion, they are BETTER.
         

        • MarioInvincible

           @Kafka  @k11y  @BethaneyMars
           Ok… How so? Anything you see that humans do cruely, animals do to. Animal species engage in the seven deadly sins… and they only reason we ruin the world better is because we are smart enough to cater the world to us. If being smart makes us horrible… well then I have nothing really to say to that.

        •  @MarioInvincible  @Kafka  @k11y  @BethaneyMars Isn’t there a saying that the smarter a species is, the more sadistic it is?

    • queen_frostine

      @BethaneyMars From what I understand, Urban Decay won’t be conducting any animal testing itself, but by entering the Chinese market they’re agreeing to allow China to do its own animal testing using their products.

  14. Kate

    Well, there’s yet another makeup brand that’s losing my business.

    • BlackFuji

      @Kate you have standards. Way to stick to them and not be spoon fed forced niceties.

    • ValerieAllison

      Why? Because they want to try and change another countries policies? After women in China see how awesome UD’s products are AND that they are made without animal testing, then they will start to see that it is not necessary and possibly help cruelty free movements take a foot hold. It’s a small price to pay for starting change.

      • watchthesky

         @ValerieAllison except that their products WILL be tested on animals…..

      • Kafka

         @ValerieAllison It’s an authoritarian country. That’s why.  People barely have control over what internet  sites they are able to access or what they’re allowed to post on BBs.  I highly doubt ANY women will have access to information on UD’s prior stance or their (naive) hopes regarding change in China, whether to animals or to women’s rights.  The ONLY difference between China and pre-1987/Vaclav Havel Czechoslovakia is: 1) the general standard of living of some of its citizen in the wealthy cities (and if you look at demolished zones and the squatters’ issue, even that is questionable); 2) moderately greater movement into China by the average person; and 3) the amount of luxury and other Western goods flowing into China. 
         
        In terms of all the ways that matter when it comes to CHANGING MENTAL PERCEPTIONS, China is probably worse than Soviet Bloc Czechoslovakia.  Their power is based on mental, intellectual repression. It was the implicit deal that the Govt. made after regaining Hong Kong and after Tiananmen Massacre: we give you some economic freedom and capitalism, and in return, you will never, EVER revolt again. You will put up and shut up with whatever, in return for being able to buy a car and eat a hamburger from McDonald’s.  This is not a country that is going to change its views and policies just because some Gaijin Western company that caters to women — women of all people! — has decided it wants to come in, sniff the daisies and make women & dog’s lives better.  And let’s not even START on the issue of dogs in China or how many basic dishes involve dog meat. This is not a country that is going to care about what happens to Fido!
         

        • Veronica

          For the most part, I agree with your statement, but I find it somewhat ethnocentric to criticize the country for its use of canine meat.  I get that the Western relationship with to the dog can generate a lot of emotional controversy in the face of Eastern practices, but I think it’s rather unfair to implement a universal morality on the issue when we’re speaking of a culture that’s been in existence for 2000+ years.  Always keep in mind that opposite - in America, we produced more than 26 billion pounds of beef, something that I’m sure doesn’t go over too well with parts of Hindu India, where cattle are considered a sacred animal that must never be harmed.

        • Kafka

          @Veronica,  You’re absolutely right. On almost all of it. Except that I don’t criticize China just for its use of dog meat. As you’ve noted, I have a lot more issues with China that predominate first and foremost. To clarify things, I’m very much a gastronome and understand eating things that some Westerners would have issues with. I also completely agree with not making a universal judgment on a country *SOLELY* because of its culinary practices. And I don’t, for *any* country. (Not even Namibia which eats warthog rectum without cleaning it so that it’s…. er…. gritty. I criticize that just on culinary/food prep grounds. LOL!) 
           
          That said, I *FULLY* admit to a totally irrational, utterly emotional, subjective problem with eating dog, horse or cat. I’m not imposing Western ethnocentrism – since I don’t usually have that when it comes to food — but my own personal biases & neuroses. Animals are my weak point. I can’t even watch a movie trailer for a film like War Horse because it upsets me. I will sob over a Sarah McLaughlin commercial for abused animals. But none of that is the sole, driving force behind my condemnation of the Chinese government’s policies. And, FWIW, I love China (the country) and its people, and seriously contemplated moving there with my German Shepherd in 2008.

  15. messharma

    I completely respect UD’s decision. While I do not go out of my way to avoid products that test on animals, it is clear that it was a hard decision for UD and they wrote a very thoughtful piece on their reasoning behind it. 
     
    Yes, I can see that some people are upset about it, but this is a business world, and this is completely out of UD’s control. They could withhold from selling their products in China, but they are right in saying that other brands, including those who could be advertised as animal-cruelty free, will go into China regardless. I completely respect their honesty!

    • Shana B

       @messharma
      This is definiely not “completely” out of UD’s control, it’s TOTALLY in their control, its voluntary to get into the Chinese market. Look up the testing that is done, it is cruel. I was not completely certain of the testing until I looked it up, animals go blind and worse during some of these tests, its disgusting.

    • Leesa VanDeelen Montero

       @messharma If they stood behind what they supposedly believe in and advocate for, they wouldn’t be selling to China.  They’re hypocrites.

    • shii

       @messharma “They could withhold from selling their products in China, but they are right in saying that other brands, including those who could be advertised as animal-cruelty free, will go into China regardless.”  …so why does that mean Urban Decay has to do it?  Just because other companies might enter business with China doesn’t mean Urban Decay suddenly has to.  There’s no necessity here.  I don’t think it was a hard decision for them to make; as a company who made themselves out to be staunch animal rights supporters, there should’ve been no possibility in their eyes of expanding business to China until the laws there were changed.  That they went ahead and did it anyway proves that they don’t care about what they purported to care about.

  16. jeanniesmiles

    It’s a shame they’re going to sell in a country that requires animal testing on cosmetics and their products are still not available here in Australia (where animal testing is most definitely not required!) I’ve seen several Australian fans on FB in the past pleading for them to sell their products here but they only do it through an online retailer but for me personally, I like to see & swatch products in person (thought I’ve never done it, I assume returning packages internationally would be a pain). Oh well, at least I won’t feel like I’m missing out on as much anymore! 

    • Gabby T

       @jeanniesmiles Australia doesn’t have over a billion people!  Urban Decay would rather go against everything their brand was supposedly based on to sell to this newly available money maker!

    • Notacoralfan

      @jeanniesmiles I know what you mean. I have family in Sydney and Adelaide and have a friend who have sent urban decay numerous emails to them with no avail. Simply put, more people in china = more profit.

  17. CandaceMarker

    what does it mean when the animal test their products? just wondering… any one want to explan

    • ReecesPeeces

       @CandaceMarkerhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing Essentially it means that they will test these products on animals before humans use them.  They will apply them to the animals, often in a cruel way.  Such as they will put it into the eyes of animals with no tear ducts to see if they cause blindness etc.

    • Shana B

       @CandaceMarker
       Super good question, I mean are they placing eye shadow on a monkey or ???

    • simone lymbery

       @CandaceMarker The chinese government in order for urban decay to sell in the domestic chinese market requires samples of UD products for testing on animals  that is it in a nut shell.

    • Kristin

       @CandaceMarker Please google it.  It is absolutely disgusting and torture of the animal and just the thought of it makes me sick.

    • greh

       @CandaceMarker they put the makeup on animals like beagle dogs often to see if it may cause skin conditions and they like in humans. obviously thats a very simplified explanation. google ‘vivisection’.

    • Leesa VanDeelen Montero

       @CandaceMarker They use animals to conduct tests on them.  It’s cruel, and causes the animals pain.  The inject things into their skin, into their eyes.  It’s a mean practice that no longer needs to be done.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing

    • candleashes

       @CandaceMarker http://www.idausa.org/facts/costesting.html  – i think this article explains animal testing in a fairly comprehensive way without being too graphic about it

  18. Elena

    I do not understand how people can be mad at UD. Its a business decision to enter a country to sell their products. How many post on their facebook page have you seen asking if they sold products in China. One company can not change a country’s policy, China will change its mind, look at what is going there. It sucks but bottom is a business decision and they are a business. They did not have to write a letter to their loyal fans and they did explaining their side. Don’t mad at UD, its stupid to be. Other women deserve to have their wonderful products just we do. Our country is very different than China, we have the right to voice our opinions, not alot of countries do. So get it over, there is a whole world out there that does things we do not like but its their country and their policies. Like I said they are more important things to worry about in this world.

    • jeneyg

      I came here to say something very similar to this. First and foremost UD is a business. That is the bottom line. Businesses want to make money. Why are people all up in arms about a company wanting to make more money? Of course they do! And China is a huge market!
      I’m sure many of the women in China will be thrilled with this news. I don’t see it as wrong to try to expand a company or to allow people all over the world to have access to wonderful products. It is not UD’s fault that China requires animal testing. It sucks, sure, but you either deal with it or stop using the products.
       

      • shii

         @jeneyg They wouldn’t be up in arms if Urban Decay hadn’t made “we don’t test on animals!  how could anyone?” and “cruelty-free is part of who we are, and has been something we stood for from day one”.  They’re going against their original ethics, their moral stance, which shouldn’t be expendable just to gain a bit more money.  If they weren’t a company so vocal over being against animal rights, there wouldn’t be as much anger over this.  Urban Decay made a hypocritical decision when the extra money to be made in China wasn’t necessary.

  19. MarioInvincible

    I feel the only people that have the right to criticize Urban Decay’s decision are true vegans… People who don’t eat mean, and do not use -any- animal products. OTHERWISE, Urban Decay is trying to make money in a market that is traditionally not friendly to animals… meaning they are trying to competitively sell their products over products are are cruel to animals… meaning less cruelty all around. Why is this worth a boycott to people? They will raise awareness and create jobs for women in China. Thank you Christine for bringing our attention to this, and UD for expanding into the market.  

    • shii

       @MarioInvincible Make-up is not the same as food or other necessities (though the latter has alternatives, I believe, such as deodorant and the like, in some cases there might not be a choice available to consumers but in that case there were no alternatives, unlike in the cosmetics market, where there are several make-up companies for the consumer to choose from who are cruelty-free).  Make-up is a luxury, and one that can be found with cruelty-free products.  Advocating cruelty-free make-up doesn’t need to be something that only vegans or vegetarians can care about.  Something that sustains life and can be done swiftly isn’t comparable to a lipstick brought about by prolonged torture.

  20. OK then.  Hey China has how many billion people??  So this means that UD wants some of that paper. It’s a shame they will go ahead with KNOWING their products will be tested on animals.  China will do it!  So by them saying they don’t know this or that is baloney, but hey it is what it is.  In other words, the UD brand now tests on animals period…I wouldn’t be commenting like this if they didn’t boast non-animal testing, but now they do.

  21. ThugScout

    Their PR person should work for a political campaign the way they spinned this. Sheesh! I support a company trying to make money by venturing in to a new market like China (especially when the US market is not what it was a decade ago), but changing your core values to make a buck makes me angry. Is UD trying to say that it is okay to have your company back something up, but if it interferes with your ability to turn a dime, then you should no longer stand for it? 
     
     The plus side to being in the US is that I can voice my disdain for their policy by choosing not to support their business with my US dollars.     

  22. JackeeTM

    I’m really disappointed in their decision. In the end, it’s all about making money and nothing else! Shame on them!

  23. Oh Puhlease..I’m sure it has nothing to do with the massive profits they will see..sure, it’s all about women’s rights and getting the message across about our non-animal testing policies…  cough..  bullcrap!!!!!!!!!  There is nothing I hate more than companies positioning themselves as touchy feely in the name of greater profits.  It makes me want to barf.  Seriously!!  And this just smells like teen spirit to me..’kay!  ’nuff said!  Grrrrrrrr

  24. Natsume

    I kind of want to cry.. ;{   I watched a video a very long time ago about animal testing and the like.. I was horrified, and in short changed my life and the way I think about things.. I’ve not yet been able to try out their products, and it’s sad to say I wont ever.. 

  25. Tigress

    This is completely unexpected and utterly disappointing. UD has been my favorite cosmetics brand since they first launched, and a huge part of the reason was the fact they didn’t test on animals. As someone who does not purchase cosmetics tested on animals, I will no longer be purchasing UD and that seriously breaks my heart. What happened to “We don’t do animal testing, how could anyone?”. Well China does, and UD are allowing them to do so, therefore they are no longer a cruelty free company. Integrity is worth way more than money, and for that reason they will not be getting any of mine ever again.

  26. Hayley

    I’m sorry but one small cosmetic company cannot change China.  I understand their want to improve women’s rights, but there are so many other countries that want their product that do not require animal testing.  I don’t think it is a good decision, and it definitely disappoints me.  I cannot express in words the deep love I have for animals. 

  27. LaurenMun

    Urban decay was the first makeup brand that made me love makeup. I adore their products and many are go to products for me, but I honestly have a hard time tin this decision. I understand wanting to expand their brand, but why China when there are other markets that don’t require animal testing? I have a big issue with this decision and I likely will not buy their products anymore. This is a shame and I wish they would realize that to the costumer this makes me question their united states no testing policy. Good bye Urban Decay.

  28. BlackFuji

    Everyone has a price. China will yield profit. Call it what it plainly is. UD wont animal test unless its the law of a country who they wish to expand their business to. Then standards get watered down. UD controls their products. UD says cruilty free. UD stands for this 100%……well not anymore. This is like saying “I don’t punch my kids in the face…..the babysitter does. I hope the baby sitter learns from my example.”

  29. Shana B

    When the phrase “no animal testing” appears on a cosmetic product’s label, it may be slightly less than true. Even though the label states that the makeup product you’re holding hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t mean that the ingredients inside never were tested on animals by the manufacturer. In addition, an ingredient may be used in cosmetics by a number of manufacturers and one of themanufacturers may have tested it on animals. It would take considerable research for youto determine whether a cosmetic’s ingredients had undergone animal testing.
     
    As for actual testing, I did find this article- not sure how factual it is, maybe the FDA can explain more on what is done during animal testing. If it’s anything that harms life, I am opposed. ANIMAL TESTING – http://www.idausa.org/facts/costesting.html

  30. jessettery

    I respect Urban Decay in their decision, but doesn´t mean i’ll support it.Its true when they say to create a new culture of only buy cruelty-free products, yet their products wont be cruelty-free any more as one or so will be taken by government to test on animals to be approved or not.Sadly i say Goodbye to Urban Decay, too bad another brand with an empire, built of values and not a single drop of blood, will get a permanent stain.And Good luck fighting for the cause, i really with all my heart hope China change their politics, i just wish there would be a way to do it without the suffering of the innocents.

  31. Cat G

    I feel horribly naive on the whole animal testing subject, though I do support companies that don’t do animal testing. But gosh, just one look at google images for cosmetic animal testing and I wonder about UD’s decision now. The statement released would be much better if they explained exactly how they intend to comply with China’s rules on animal testing whilst remaining openly against it. I get the idea of change coming from within, but it seems like from a business standpoint they could tackle other countries first and grow the brand to have more power before entering China. I feel disappointed, because I wonder how much they really do plan to challenge and resist China’s stance of animal testing once they are established there :/

  32. k11y

    a company putting profits ahead of ethics? sounds like business as usual.

  33. Rachel Summer

    Never liked UD to begin with. Their quality when the were a wee company hardly used outside of the Pro circles changed drastically when they switched to the mainstream consumer market. Their eyeshadows were reason enough for me to stop even considering buying the product. Their color range is nothing special and has been done many times over. I honest to god don’t see the hype behind the brand other than packaging. But that packaging doesn’t substantiate the price for a subpar product when compared to other brands out there.
     
    So the condensed version of this statement above is that UD is becoming a hypocrite on the stance of animal testing. At least that’s what I get from reading their press release. Add in to the fact that you have people commenting here from Australia where Animal Testing is a big bad no-no and UD STILL has yet to break into this market area.
     
    Seriously goofy tact here UD!

  34. simone lymbery

    on the one hand i understand what UD are saying, in business you can’t sit still and watch things go by you have to expand and move forward… but i am not so sure this is a wise idea regarding china’s animal testing policy only time will tell…
     
    by the way totally unrelated when are UD coming to the UK? would really love that… maybe one day

    •  @simone lymbery I’m curious as to why UD didn’t expand into the UK, Australia, etc, other places that really want their products.

      • Killerteeth

        @Phyrra @simone lymbery It’s probably because the market potential of those countries combined pales in comparison to China’s.

        • queen_frostine

           @Phyrra  @simone Killerteeth: It may pale in the long run, but not in the short run as Australian and European markets (UD is available in the UK and parts of Western Europe, but not through the majority of the continent) are likely to be much more receptive to a brand like Urban Decay.  Plus the average consumer tends to have more buying power.  That stands to change with the growth of the Chinese middle class obviously, but there’s no clear logic in choosing to head for China before they even hit Germany or Australia.

        •  @queen_frostine  @Phyrra  @simone Germany maybe sorta makes sense (though I want to move back and sometimes remembering distribution to Germany makes me sadface). I can’t generalise too much, because I haven’t been everywhere in Germany (and there is definitely an east/west divide as far as I’ve seen) but they seem to be much more casual about wearing make up. When I lived there (2010/2011 in the former east) most of the people I saw wore very minimal make up (eyeliner/mascara) even on nights out. From what I remember of Cologne in comparison, there was definitely more people wearing make up casually. There are definitely hardcore make up lovers there, like anywhere, but it seems like it’s less common to wear make up daily in comparison to countries like the UK.

      •  @Phyrra  UD has been in the UK for years, as far as I remember.

    • xamyx

      @simone lymbery I’ve read blogs from the UK and as far as I can tell, UD *is* available there, in stores as well.

    • Sarah

      @simone lymbery UD have been in the UK for ages…

    • Ola168

      @simone lymbery I live on the uk and I’ve bought urban decay online and from debenhams

    • alicedreamshere

       @simone lymbery you can find UD stuff in UK already. At least I’ve seen counters in London for sure. Selfridges does sell them, and so do House of Frazer and Debenhams. Am I missing something here? Ehm, sorry if not in line with the discussion. 
       
      Regarding the topic itself, well, I do think it’s kind of suspicious … it seems they are trying to justify their commercial expansion, all about making profits no values involved.

    •  @simone lymbery Try Debenhams, usually the medium-larger ones.

  35. Veggiechik

    And yet another major brand in my collection goes in the garbage or will be given away. Soon I will have no makeup left to use except for revlon and almay. I am not happy about this at all. I felt betrayed by MAC and now Urban Decay.
    - Ve

    • kittygoddess544

       @Veggiechik Sugarpill has really great makeup with incredible colors. Granted, it’s mostly eye makeup, but all the loose shadows are vegan and all the makeup is cruelty-free.

      • Veggiechik

        @kittygoddess544 Thanks! I will look into them. I think it is time to start looking at alternative makeup companies then the really well known brands. They all seem to be converting to animal testing. :(

  36. keleighbeth

    So how is testing cosmetics on animals cruel? Isn’t it better than waiting until the product is used by a teenager or other human? I’m sorry, but I can picture anything horrible about putting skin cream on a rat.

  37. danzas

    Maybe I’m cynical as someone who has background in marketing and PR, but this is what it is. 
     
    In order to sell UD products in China which is a huge market, they are letting China do their own testing on animals.
     
    This press release is marketing, PR, smoke smoke and plenty more smoke. 
     
    I think UD products are “alright”. As in, they’re not available in my country (now I’m glad they aren’t) and I’m not gonna cross the river and mountains to get it, but I do own some and I have no problem never buying another one. I really can’t say it’s any better than others. At least we know what MAC is and they’re not trying to make an issue sound like a foray into making the world a better place. 
     
    There are brands out there that are doing their damnedest fighting against animal testing. There are also brands that does do animal testing but out in the open and not making it sound like a fight against animal testing when it’s really what they’re doing in order to scoop out another market.

  38. keleighbeth

    So how is testing cosmetics on animals cruel? Isn’t it better than waiting until the product is used by a person? I’m sorry, but I can’t picture anything horrible about putting skin cream on a rat. I would think that it would’ve gone through other testing before it get’s to the live testing phase.

  39. Vanillasnow

    Not completely surprised tbh… UD seems to be straying from their original image/branding in recent years due to growing popularity.  I can see why some long time fans are upset, but a part of me believe that many of the new UD client base doesn’t care too much about the animal-cruel/testing-free stance.  It’s trendy and it’s popular.  There isn’t really another mid/high end company that is as young, edgy and fun with appealing packing that attracts the young consumers (probably the biggest client group out there) as UD in North America as far as I know.  The majority of people will either not know or care about this, and the rest forget over time.  My prediction is that they already worked out the risk of losing a certain % of their current clientele, but weighed that the profits from selling in China will outweigh it in the long run.  Sad, but from a business stand point it makes sense.  China has a huge population which is starting to become wealthier and want to buy foreign luxury products.  I don’t necessarily agree with this move (I am personally quite disappointed), but hopefully in the future, more companies will advocate against animal testing for cosmetics and China will be pressured into it.  Overall, I don’t really see how this changes anything (from UD’s growing profits and China’s policy on animal testing).

  40. Seagulls

    I’m not an animal person, at all. I support reasonable testing on animals for medical purposes, but animal testing for cosmetic purposes? It’s asinine.

    Further stupid about China’s policy: how many years has UD (or Lauder, or any othe company now subject to the whims of the Chinese government) been sold around the world? How many billions of units have been sold? None of us has gone blind from their eyeliner, or developed second degree burns from their blush.

    For a country that keeps producing some of the world’s shoddiest goods (melamine laced formula, dry wall that crumbles, children’s jewelry with lead), you would think they’d get their own safety in order. And I do realize the irony of typing this out on a Chinese made iPad.

  41. annabanana333

    What a load of BS.  They want to make money and so they’re selling in China.  Fine.  But don’t beat me over the head with a sugar-coated, half-assed “apology” and beg forgiveness for something you don’t have the decency to even ADMIT to in the first place.  Shame on them.  I could have respected their honest explanation but this blatant attempt at covering up the real issue fills me with disgust.  SEE YA UD. 

    • MarioInvincible

       @annabanana333
       Why do you feel they are being dishonest? UD cannot seriously be expecting to make money in China. One USD is ~$6 RNB. Meaning, that $20 eyeshadow you get here in the states will sell for $120+ in China. (iPhones are $5000RNB). People make a LOT less money there and most people are poor and will not be able to afford it. Seriously guys, they arn’t going to make bank here.

  42. PersianIntrigue

    Ugh – reading this made me sick to my stomach. I only use cosmetic products that do not test on animals, and Urban Decay is one of my top two favorite companies. This statement sounds like a bunch of excuses. Trying to bring attention to animal testing? Then why not actively avoid marketing in a country where it’s [most likely] required and release a statement/produce awareness? Bringing a non-animal testing company into China will definitely not, in any way, bring attention to animal rights, especially when the products themselves will [eventually] be tested on animals? That seems SO hypocritical.
    Urban Decay is a company, yes. This statement seems like they want to portray themselves as something more than that, which is the biggest insult. If they had true, strong values against animal testing, then they wouldn’t take part in it. They act like “it’s out of our hands because China is doing it,” but really, they don’t have to be in China.
    Have they lost my business? No. It does make me angry, though.

  43. by

    I respect their decision but I don’t buy it’s for a change in China. How is company against animal testing agreeing to animal testing supposed to provoke change? Also it’s going to take a lot more than just being in the market to encourage change in my opinion, and it’s not very clear “do our part” entails.

  44. lauramarie100

    I am disappointed. UD was a brand that I respected, and one that I have heavily invested in. I think there are other markets they could reach first. As much as they talk about getting the message out, I think a better way to do that is sell their product in countries that respect their stance. I am hesitant to believe this was a move to increase awareness and empower women. It seems much more likely they were primarily looking at long term financial gains, considering the size of the market. To say they are not expecting an immediate return is obvious and would be true for nearly any new, unfamiliar brand. It doesn’t wash.

  45. Turboweevel

    My eyes are rolling so fast they’re getting their own electrical field. Go ahead and break into the huge chinese market, god knows it’s profitable, but stop acting like stealthy paladins of righteousness, you’re not fooling anyone. God, I hate it when companies assume we’re all idiots.

  46. THANKS for posting! This was a very interesting read! Though it seems to focus more on their ideology than actually outlining any real plan of attack. I don’t understand how just showing up in China under a banner of animal rights will do much to change the laws, especially if “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer.”
     
    “If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change.” is bordering on intellectually offensive. There are many other large markets (that do not require animal testing) where UD is not available. Why are they not expanding into those countries first?
     
    This statement is designed to appease, not to rally. It’s a carefully written apology, not an outline for social change. As the polite version of the saying goes: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

    • MarioInvincible

       @hunterdustin
       Actually @hunterdustin, China is extremely influenced by the Western world. If UD continued to market under “we don’t test on animals, we don’t condone testing on animals, etc, etc, etc” and they become a LARGE brand… I completely believe that Chinese attitudes towards animal testing will begin to change. Additonally, if UD marketed themselves in China and were to come successful, they would most likely be seen as a *luxury* brand… the same way Best Buy sort of is (more so than the states anyway). Being animal friendly would become “cool”, and “cool” things change the public.

  47. > admit that your brand isn’t traditionally favoured by the market you’re likely going against your principles to set up in
    > set up there stating you can change things
    > don’t set up in countries that DO adhere to your principles and are more likely receptive to your brand
     
    … Logic. What is it?

  48. Caitlin9127

    I do like urban decay products but I find this to be extremely frustrating. Why write a huge statement about how they want to extend animal rights into China when they themselves are going to be testing their products like every other company there? They are no different than these other beauty companies so they should stop acting so self-righteous. They are going against what they claim to be fighting for, so should stop using their “cause” to defend their actions. I understand their decision from a business angle, I just hate how they are defending their position. Overall, I am a fan of their products and I understand that they want to make profit, but perhaps they are going about it in the wrong way. Obviously, its a fair debate and clearly an ethical dilemma as well, and is leaving me quite torn about the company.

  49. Sandra TK

    I really fail to see what difference it makes if UD or the Chinese government does the testing. Animals still die as a result of that testing, with UD’s full knowledge and, yes, participation. I find this PR release lame on their part. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of their products, and even less so now. I didn’t, however, go out of my way to avoid them. I will now. And I’m neither a vegetarian or a vegan.

  50. queen_frostine

    I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to cruelty free beauty, so I’m neither surprised or upset by this move. Just from my experience, unless you’re committed to buying only through smaller indy companies that do nearly everything in-house, you’re probably being duped by cruelty free claims in the fine print. A company may not be doing animal testing of their own, but there’s a pretty good chance that the companies

  51. Does it really matters who test on animels for UD, or where ?
    UD’s products are not cruelty free anymore, and this statment is full of exuses. 
    If you are against animel testing, you can’t sell in China because the chinese FDA will test your products on animels. I don’t buy their exuses… its all about money :(
     

  52. ChandraSalas

    I’m sorry but this smacks of corporate greed. The hardest part if standing behind something you believe in is when you have something to lose and you do it anyway. There reasoning makes no sense.

  53. Wilcoa

    I’ll say this to start off – I am completely against animal testing and don’t like the idea that these products, or actually the ingredients, have to be retested. One thing we forget as consumers is nearly all of the ingredients have been tested on animals at one time or another. Just because UD doesn’t test their individual products doesn’t mean that what they use in the products hasn’t been tested.

  54. candleashes

    Honestly, i don’t buy exclusively cruelty free products. But UD’s entire platform was always “we don’t test on animals, how could anyone?” To completely undermine this at this point is hypocritical. The fact that they tried to spin this as a good thing just made me angry. The whole “we’re not directly testing on animals, someone else is doing it for us” thing is ridiculous. I’ll no longer purchase any of their products. Such a bad move on their part. I used to see them as a company that cared, now it’s just all about profit margins. They cared about animal testing in a market where most customers would support it, now that they found new markets they changed their tune.

  55. xobiancax3xo

    not going to buy products from them anymore. their being against animal testing and not being in china is what made me like them. very disappointed that they’re in it for the money.

  56. RominaElorrieta

    Very stupid from UD and MAC as well, knowing that the Chinese market is the one that produces more harmful goods for the whole world to consume…

  57. Suselew

    My email to Urban Decay: 
    It is UNBELIEVABLE that you have decided to pursue the Chinese market at the expense of your morals.  Instead of standing firm against China’s barbaric insistence to test on animals, you have caved and are oblivious (admitted in your press statement) on whether your products are being tested there.  Of ALL brands, you were the leading crusader and you are now hiding behind your supposed intent to “change the world” when instead it’s about corporate greed.
     
    Un-freakin-believable.  I was so proud to be an Urban Decay user.  Now I’m simply a past UD user. 
     
    You should all be ashamed of yourselves.  You are no better than Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay.  This is ONE huge step backwards in the fight against animal cruelty.

  58. WingLaw

    I am personally offended NOT because UD wants to make money, not because of China’s animal testing policies, but because of Urban Decay’s hypocrisy of the whole thing.  And who is Urban Decay to go into a country to try to “change” its polices?  That is straight up colonialism & frankly BS.  China needs changes and it will do so by itself.  A cosmetic company is not going to accomplish change by selling eyeshadows.  I am sorry.

    • moena

      @WingLaw I agree completely.

    • kittygoddess544

       @WingLaw Absolutely agree. Selling supposed cruelty-free products in a country that will test them regardless weakens the message substantially, if not negating it altogether. Cosmetics can’t change policies. That’s stupid and fallacious. People change policies, and China has people in surplus. They just don’t give a damn.

    • MarioInvincible

       @WingLaw
       I disagree; I just posted on someone elses comment; but China is highly influenced by the Western world. If UD made in big, it would be seen as a very luxury brand. Luxury brands that openly claim not to support animal testing -will- raise awareness to the issue.

  59. AlexandraAveiro

    IMHO, I see this statement as full BS. China is the one of the powerhouses that has driven Asia to the rise these past few years and it has proven to be fertile business ground. So I think their move to sell in China is purely business seeing that from the comment, some countries don’t even have UD there eventhough they have pleaded in the past. There are too many factors accounted for a country to change a certain law and I think a lone company playing white knight isn’t going to make any difference. Me myself try to buy ethical products most of the time, though not 100%, but I’m kinda dissapointed with UD’s statement and business move, seeing that it is a big company with strong ethic against animal testing.

  60. AbbeyWard

    I would say I respect their honesty, but I’m not sure it’s completely honest to say they don’t foresee themselves profiting in the near future from the enormous Chinese market. I’m not sure I respect or agree with this decision at all, but I’m reserving judgement until I see their action plan on trying to change government policy (assuming they will release that).

  61. Kafka

    Hmm. A very good lawyer wrote that. A *very* good lawyer. 
     
    I’m honestly too flabbergasted to know what to think. Being a lawyer myself, one is trained to think as a Devil’s Advocate so, theoretically, I can see the logic in their reasoning. I can see the wishful thinking behind it too. However, the practical and cynical side of me doesn’t think their arguments have much basis in socio-political reality. That opinion comes after having studied the country extensively for years and years, and also having spent close to a month in China some years back. In addition, I also have several ex-pat friends who lived in Beijing and who experienced quite a lot of govt. control over their self-expression and daily life in Beijing. I think UD is being naive. VERY naive. Despite it’s commercial openness to Western products, there should be no mistake as to the tightness of govt. control and the authoritarian nature of that control. So, those are my theoretical and intellectual responses. My emotional response, however, is a sudden desperate need to go hug The Hairy German. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll just do, while trying not to think of all the horrible photos I’ve seen of lab research dogs.  My heart hurts.  

  62. So they wanna change the animal testing thing in China by introducing the brand into that country…and by testing on animals. Good job, UD! ¬¬

  63. CShell

    From what I understood as I read it, CHINA is going to do the animal testing with the products, not UD as a company doing the testing
     
    . That sucks, but I can see where UD is coming from. All over their packaging and even some dedicated palettes are the “We don’t test on animals”, all over their website too. If seeing that could galvanize Chinese citizens to push for a change it might be worth the one time testing. As long as UD keeps all of the “not tested on animals/ we don’t and won’t test on animal” printed on their prouducts and front and center as it is here in the USA then I do think it could help inspire people in China.
     
    I’m also impressed with the statement they released about the issue, it makes me think they did indeed really debate the decision to sell in China. Of course I don’t like that a company I love is going to cause any cases of animal testing, but in this case I personally don’t see it as a reason to boycott the brand. Change as to start somewhere.

    •  @CShell But UD say they’re taking the announcements off (and, FWIW, they’re also off LeapingBunny.org) because it won’t help business in China.
       
      Also, it’s not whether UD are doing it themselves, but that a brand – that has marketed themselves for YEARS under “vegan” and “cruelty free” headings – is now perfectly willing to expand to countries that require animal testing. Obviously, we can’t know everything that UD may have planned for this move, but overall it doesn’t seem at all logical that they are moving into the Chinese market before the Alternative Testing measures PETA is pushing for (apparently successfully) are implemented. They admit that they don’t expect to make a profit for a long time, they go against one of their longest standing causes to – what, be a Trojan horse into China? -, and they do it when there are many countries around the world that they could expand into without contradicting their animal cruelty beliefs which leaves something of a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
       
      And, quoth the UD, “We don’t do animal testing. How could **anyone**?” Directly or indirectly condoning AT is still contradicting a long standing policy of UD’s.
       
      (FWIW, while I’m disappointed at UD for the way they’ve gone about it, I probably won’t boycott. I’m just seriously not seeing how this is a good business decision and I’ve had enough of bad decisions to last a lifetime, so I’m testy. >> )

    • caroline

       @CShell Saying you will not test on animals, but in full knowledge, allow someone else to test your products on animal for the express purpose of being able to market to them, is exactly the same thing. I think it’s rather naive to think that China is going to roll over and suddenly stop testing. I’m afraid that I don’t really believe their statement that it’s not about profit etc, because there are plenty of other markets that they could’ve gone in to, which would not have jeopardised their CF status.
       
      They are using the Chinese government as a scapegoat “it’s not us that are the baddies, it’s them” sort of thing. UD know, that there is a possibility, that by retailing in China, their products may be subject to animal testing, it doesn’t matter who it is doing the testing, they are still allowing it to happen. 

  64. Kafka

    Hmm. A very good lawyer wrote that. A *very* good lawyer. 
    I’m honestly too flabbergasted to know what to think. Being a lawyer myself, one is trained to think as a Devil’s Advocate so, theoretically, I can see the logic in their reasoning. I can see the wishful thinking behind it, too. However, the practical and cynical side of me doesn’t think their arguments have much basis in socio-political reality. That opinion comes after having studied the country extensively for years and also having spent close to a month in China some years back. In addition, I also have several ex-pat friends who lived in Beijing and who experienced quite a lot of govt. control over their self-expression and daily life in Beijing. I think UD is being naive. Very naive. Despite it’s commercial openness to Western products, imo, there should be no mistake as to the tightness of govt. control and the authoritarian nature of that control. So, those are my theoretical and intellectual responses. My emotional response, however, is a sudden desperate need to go hug The Hairy German. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll just do, while trying not to think of all the horrible photos I’ve seen of lab research dogs.  My heart hurts. 

    • Nikki

       @Kafka Agreed, I think that they are either lying or in denial about changing China’s policies. China is one of the oldest countries and a lot of the time they are very close minded when it comes to the law/changing the law. You think that the President is going to change the policy of animal testing just because one little American company says so? No. We are talking about a country who will kill your first born child if you decide you want a second child due to the over population!!! Changing the law in China is like changing the color of the sky.
       
       

  65. StephanieT

    I definitely think this will hurt urban decays market a lot because a huge part of their American and Canadian market is all for cruelty free. I appreciate the press notice they wrote giving us an explanation but it doesn’t excuse anything for their loyal customers. Even if they gave it a long thought, they clearly didn’t think long enough because by going into China knowing their policies is just plain wrong. They shouldn’t advertise as cruelty free anymore, even if it is only in China because it’s misleading. Everyone knows china is a great trading partner for the U.S and that’s purely why they made this move in my opinion, if they manage to help with animal and women’s rights in china, they will gain a lot of my respect back. I’m not an activist, or a slacktivist, just concerned that a lot of cruelty free supporters will be cheated.

  66. ValerieAllison

    I am definitely not someone who thinks about animal testing when it comes to my cosmetics. I totally understand that it’s out there and a lot of people take it very seriously, and my experience with Urban Decay has all come from how awesome their products are. I do love that I’ve sort of absorbed a lot information about the animal rights movement from the brand and I love that they are making a foray into China and the reasons behind it. Honestly, they are STILL a cruelty free company so if you have issues with the fact that they want to wade into a battle zone and take a stand, then maybe you don’t care for the movement as much as you think you do. I mean, no omelette has even been made without breaking a few eggs! 

    • watchthesky

       @ValerieAllison  you’re kidding, right?

      • ValerieAllison

         @watchthesky Sort of. I see why everyone is upset, and I do think that Urban Decay has been slipping up a lot lately, but like it was said above, China only reserves the right to test, it doesn’t say they will for sure test. Also, if UD was in this totally for the money, it would make far more sense to go to another country where they are already well known, and that has laws against animal testing. Obviously they are in to make money, that’s why they exist, but I don’t think that is their soul reason for heading in there.

        • watchthesky

           @ValerieAllison they will for sure test, that’s why it’s LAW. thinking they won’t is naive at best.

    • AliceM

       @ValerieAllison They can’t be cruelty free if their products are tested on animals, even if it’s not by them. And the only reason they are going to china is PROFIT, not wanting to change their policies. Taking a stand would be not to sell their products there or refuse to comply with the animal testing policies. 

      • AnaCarolinaRibeiro

         @AliceM Exactly, Alice! I really wonder if they are going to keep printing their slogan…

      • ValerieAllison

         @AliceM Well they sort of already stated that they (and most other foreign brands) don’t stand to make a profit for some time. And besides, they can’t exactly refuse to comply to national laws. I agree that if they were to stay really true to branding, they wouldn’t go over there. They would actually make a big stink about it. But I think it’s a little unreasonable for a lot of people to swear off the brand because of the possibility of animal testing. Idk, I don’t feel strongly about the subject, so I have a hard time understanding. 

    • Screamer77

       @ValerieAllison like someone on Facebook said, UD’s new ‘battle’ is like trying to turn people who eat at Burger King vegan by going there and eating a burger…. :/

  67. xbrookecorex

    I have nothing respectful to say here. Between the slap in the face to customers last month with that disastrously overpriced and impractical palette, to giving up on being Cruelty Free in order to be more profitable. HOW do they think it’s more profitable overall for them to give up the 2 qualities that MADE their company stand out from all the rest? The 2 things Urban Decay is most known for, Value (in their palettes)and CF. Out the window. They must be hitting rock bottom if they need to jack their prices through the roof and allow animal testing in order to remain profitable. And I guarantee it will be worse for them now.
     
    “Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one.” Then goes on to allow animal testing. Urban Decay apparently thinks their customers are stupid, but it’s actually just their own team that is.

    • Nikki

       @xbrookecorex Omg you just expressed exactly what I was thinking into one paragraph… I’m so disappointed in them and they’ll probably lose more customers because of this rather than gain more customers from China! It’s just dumb!!!!
       
      I bet they’ll be receiving a lot of hate mail -.-

  68. LuceLys

    This is really too bad. I’ve always loved Urban Decay for their strong ethical stances and great products…but will not be supporting them any more. Life without Flipside 24/7 liner and Sin eyeshadow will be tough.

  69. Anna

    I think this is really a shame. While I can understand their argument that now they can fight these laws from the ‘inside’ and giving women jobs. The fact is I highly doubt they will have any pull with the Chinese government, and it would  take years of being a huge successful/popular company in China before their word had any weight to it. And also one reason to go into China, whether they want to admit it or not, is you can get away with hard labor for cheap, and I’m positive that’s what all these women are signing up for in their newly available jobs working at glorified sweatshops.
    And what they really end up doing is expanding a market that is based of animal testing, creating new jobs that rely on animal testing, earning from animal testing. No matter how you spin it, it’s really a disappointment to all of us animal lovers.

  70. Sharlie Gugel

    Dear Urban Decay,
    Saying you will not test on animals, but in full knowledge, allow someone else to test your products on animal for the express purpose of being able to market to them, is exactly the same thing. You are justifying your actions, and not following through on the terms you set for yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Who speaks for the animals? I wonder if the animals will enjoy wearing your products as much as the people who will be putting it on them??

  71. Leesa VanDeelen Montero

    I will no longer be buying anything from Urban Decay.  They have lost a long time supporter.

  72. mpca66

    The press release states that the Chinese government has the right to test UB products on animals, not that UB will start testing on animals.

    I don’t understand the ‘one time test’ theory as when UB comes out with new products, then these product will need to be tested by the Chinese government on animals before release to the Chinese population.

    I can see how UB wants the public to “think” that their entry into the Chinese market will help them ‘change’ the Chinese view on animal testing. But truly – they are entering the Chinese market for pure profit. There are 1.3 billion Chinese consumers in China .. so as a stockholder – where do you want your profit margins to grow?

    Urban Decay: Capitalism in its purest form.

  73. Callen

    If they were truly dedicated to their stance on animal testing they would stay out of this market. It’s as simple as that. 
     
    Principles are principles and if Urban Decay wants to stand by them… then stand by them. There is no grey area. They know the Chinese government WILL most likely test their products on animals and they have chosen to enter the market anyway. However thoughtfully written, their justifications are pretty fluffy compared to that simple truth. 
     
     

    • kittygoddess544

      Absolutely. There are other ways they can try to get China to change. Selling products in a country that will test anyway, if anything, condones testing on animals. Their representatives can go there without selling stuff. People are capable of doing that.

  74. watchthesky

    i am extremely disappointed in urban decay for this. their ‘reasoning’ may sound nice on paper, but the reality is there’s very little their company will actually do for animal testing in china. there are so many other markets they could have gone into and many other ways they could have brought animal rights to light. will not be purchasing from them again, which is a shame because they genuinely were my favourite. way to betray your loyal fanbase and morals for a market that won’t give a shit.

  75. Well, at the very least it’ll be interesting to see if/how UD will start the “change from within” in China. It’s amazing to me, after reading these comments, that they aren’t moving into another market that doesn’t require animal testing. I’m sure it’s all for the money. I imagine China is a huge market for them — huge enough to warrant foregoing their morales regarding animal testing! 

  76. really

    BS, but thanks for the note UD… I mean seriously… I respect the company for reaching out to consumers, but stop painting a slanted picture and blaming everything on China and their ‘backwards’ culture, and parade about your ‘mission’ to civilize them by bringing feminism and such. UD, #getreal, you’re out for #money, and it is okay to admit that. YOU ARE A BUSINESS, and need to sustain yourself. However, you’re a make-up company… not an NGO… 

    • Calli O

      yea –  agreed… i hate animal testing, but no one is forcing you to go there.

    • BlackFuji

      @really speaking to my heart kid!!!!!!!!!

    • Mermaid

      Well said! I totally agree with everything you stated. I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Caitlin Mary

      That was something that bothered me in their statement.  Animal testing is not part of Chinese culture and it seems ignorant of UD to say such a thing.  The comment about changing their culture too seems insensitive.  I personally do not agree with testing on animals but I could care less where UD chooses to branch too.  Who ever wrote that statement really should have consulted a semanticist.  Silly UD, caring more about money than what they stand for.

    • Marie

      I agree completely.

  77. Fayeaewraewr

    Disgusted… I will definitely be looking to products other than Urban Decay from now on for my beauty needs, having been vegan for many years they’ve just lost my custom. Why bother having a non-testing ethos if you’re so happy to bypass it in order to gain new customers/make more money? Brings to mind Anita Roddick selling Body Shop to L’Oreal.
     
    Not that UD will care, they’ll make many more fans in China than they stand to lose from being willing to sell their products tainted with vivisection.

  78. Lynn

    Omg, China? Why China? Why not Japan? or Dubai? Guarantee UD can sell 10 times the amout in Japan than in China. Oh. wow..does that also mean they’re going to start making their products in China too? If UD is going to be made in China…I will no longer purchase UD’s products. The last thing I want is to pay $20 for an eyeshadow that’s made in the country where they treat woman, and animals like slaves. I am disappointed..

    • moena

      @Lynn Although China admittedly does not have the best human rights or workers’ rights track record, it is fallacious to say that women are “treated like slaves there” as compared to the US, which has such a glowing record of misogyny, attacking contraception rights, slut-shaming, victim-blaming etc. There are some ways in which women have more equality there than in the US; please don’t make blanket assumptions that harken to imperialist and white feminist views of saving the “poor savages” from themselves.

      • Evelyn1

         @moena  @Lynn  There may be some ways in which Chinese women have more equality than American women however that goes not change that there is still plenty of misogyny and human rights abuses in China beyond what is in the US.  If you’re in China and your husband beats you it’s still more likely to be swept under the carpet.  My impression though is that to the Chinese government, whether you are male or female is irrelevant as long as you serve its purposes. 

    • MarioInvincible

      As a Chinese-American, I’d like to second @moena . In some ways, China is /way/ better are equality than some of the largest countries in the Western world. Many of the richest self-made women in the world are from China! I know it’s easy to get lost in media imaging but please try and do some research before you make blanket statements that influence more people to think in similar ways.

      • Kafka

         @MarioInvincible  @moena  But there is a MASSIVE chasm in socio-economic equity between those very rich women and the average Chinese woman in the big cities, let alone in the countryside. Blanket statements go both ways. Those who can afford buying a $500,000 Neapolitan Mastiff and escorting it to its final home (in Xian, I think) with a cavalcade of Escalades (subject to frighteningly high import taxes) are far from the norm.  
         
        But let’s say that we’re talking about the average 25 yr old girl in Beijing, working as a translator for one of the big tourism agencies (under govt. supervision) and spending all her tip money on foreign makeup (like MAC, if I remember correctly). Will she even be allowed to know that UD once had a cruelty-free testing policy or has progressive views on women’s libv? Not with the govt.monitoring of the internet when the existing Chinese policy is opposite to UD’s.  Even if she did find out, would her mother or cousins in Guilin or Souchou really care about UD’s views on women’s lib?  And how would UD be able to publicize such views when they reflect a socio-political theory that isn’t in accord with the reality of Chinese women’s rights? Recently, an Equal Pay Act in the *US* was voted down by every *SINGLE* Republican senator. If it doesn’t happen here, it’s not happening in China. And yet, UD hopes to advance a progressive social agenda there?  How? How will it do it? Do you think ads with such statements will be published? How will people know that they once had a Cruelty-Free policy when, in fact, their aligment with China’s policies effectively means UD products in China are subject to animal testing? Truth in advertising means they can’t say it because it wouldn’t be true. So, whether the Uber-Rich women (most of whom have probably already hopped over to the States to buy whatever they want), the 25 yr old translator in Beijing or her grandmother in Guilin — NONE of them are going to hear about it.  At least, that’s my personal opinion but we can agree to disagree. :) 
         

        • moena

           @Kafka   I don’t know what you’re trying to argue, but I never said anything about a lack of disparity between the rich and the poor. I’d appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.
           
          My point was simply that there are ways in which women, apart from socioeconomic status, were treated more equally than women in the US, which makes it seem ridiculous to make a statement that you won’t buy items made in that country when there are equally egregious gender inequities in your own country. Even though some of the Chinese equalities with men are simply because even men are being treated horribly, I didn’t feel as much of the Judeo-Christian focus on the “nature” of women or the shame that can accompany it growing up, nor did I feel any pressure to assume a traditional role because I was pushed just as hard in pursuit of education as my male counterparts. Most of my fellow first generation immigrant women were never told that they couldn’t achieve just as much as men by their Chinese culture, only by the American one. By no means are Chinese women free from patriarchy, but an examination of one’s one surroundings is required before making statements about Chinese women being treated like slaves.
           
          Sure, totalitarian governments restrict freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc. But what I’m addressing is hardly even on the topic of UD’s new policy, but rather addressing the penultimate sentence in Lynn’s comment.

        • Kafka

           @moena  I wasn’t replying to you, so I was hardly putting words in your mouth. If you look up above, you will see my reply was addressed to MarioInvincible.Your name was automatically listed at the tail end because that’s Livefyre’s system; it includes the name of the person who was initially being responded to, no matter how far back in the conversation. I was specifically addressing Mario Invincible’s comment that some of the richest self-made women in the world are from China, in addition to her oft-repeated points elsewhere in this discussion which essentially can be summed up as: those super rich women will make UD cool and hip such that women throughout China will suddenly be interested in UD’s “cruelty free” policies.
           

        • moena

           @Kafka Ah ok, that makes more sense. I didn’t know about the automatic reply feature and thought I was somehow completely unclear. Thanks for the explanation!

    • chips

      They Enter Japan market years ago, and UD is available in Dubai since lase spring. 

    • lesa5363

      UD has already had some products manufactured by companies in China.  Look at the label on the Smoke Out Palettes.  I found that the quality of those palettes were not what I expected from UD.  I emailed them to ask why and received no response.

  79. Notacoralfan

    I’m really upset. This stands for everything I believe and animals should not be harmed in any way. UD may not be the one doing the cruelty but selling in a country that does speaks volumes. If a company truly does want to make an honest difference then take appropriate measures to do so. Selling cosmetics in hope of a change is greed and hypocrisy.

  80. BlackFuji

    To be clear……I’m not vegan. I don’t fight for animal rights but I respect those that choose to and I very much dislike fence riders. UD has decided to ride a fence that compromises one of their core ‘values’ and selling points.

  81. Lydia

    Urban Decay is a business, it’s in its interest to make money and expand their market share.  That’s pure capitalism, and it’s fine if they want to go down that path.  However, they can’t expect to instigate much of a “dialogue” from within a market that has a vastly different political atmosphere than western countries.  Their motivation to tap into China’s makeup market early is a bold move, but now they’ve just alienated a significant (and vocal) portion of their customers back home.  A big part of their brand identity is no longer relevant.

    • kittygoddess544

      Your statement about the different political atmosphere is spot-on. It’s like 1984 over there. The Chinese government doesn’t like the people to question it. Dialogue won’t happen.

  82. Melissa E

    Personally I find the stance behind their move as naive and unrealistic. And I agree with the belief that at this point they can’t call themselves “Cruelty-Free” because, well, you’d have to go into the whole thing blind, which clearly with their letter they’re not.
     
    But as I wrote on the FB page, Cruelty-Free for me also means not using products that do involve the harm of animals regardless of what kind they are. Their products for example mention containing Carmine. Boom! Already can’t stamp “Cruelty-Free” because these bugs have to die in order to have their bodies used for the process of making red dye. I still love the company regardless, but it’d be much more honest to cut the idealistic bull and just say “We’re moving into China where the gov’t tests on animals. We don’t expect you to like the idea, and we surely won’t advocate Cruelty-Free as this testing is out of our hands.” 

  83. xamyx

    First of all, there may not even be any animal testing. All UD is saying is, China, per *their* policies, reserves tha *right* to do product testing on animals. I may be wrong, but the fact that UD is such an established brand, and has been around for many years, there is a good chance China will waive the animal testing requirements. China does not test *all* cosmetics on animals. This brings me to my second point: regardless if a *company* tests on animals, it is highly likely one or more of the ingredients used in the most animal-friendly products, was indeed tested on animals at one point in time, which brings us back to China and their policies. Again, UD is a brand that has been around a long time, so it’s highly likely some, if not all, ingredients were tested on animals. It costs money to do any sort of testing, so I don’t personally think China is going to put up the capital to test products made from ingredients that they (or someone else) has *already* paid to test. It just doesn’t make fiduciary sense. I would also imagine UD has had several talks with the Chinese officials, and I’m quite sure they’ve made this point. As for the previous comment about MAC not putting out a press release, that is not true; I am not a fan of MAC, but I will come to their defense and let everyone know they *have* issued a press release. Again, *every* product we put on our face and/or bodies have at *least* one ingredient that has been animal tested at one point in time; in order to avoid this, one would have to *completely* give up *all* mainstream cosmetics, and I really don’t see very many people on this site going that far. As for any mainstream brands that don’t animal test, it’s likely because they don’t want to incur the costs, and since the top ingredients have *already* gone through animal testing, there’s no need. China likely feels the same. I mean, we in the US have a myriad of inane laws on the books that no longer bear any relevance, and they are *not* enforced, as it is not condusive.

    • Sarah

      @xamyx If the MAC part was referring to me; what they had to say on this matter was next to nothing, especially compared to this. I’m fully aware every ingredient at some point has been used on an animal which is why this isn’t a HUGE deal for me – realistically I’d end up going bare faced every single day, which, sorry, I don’t wish to do. What DOES bother me is just how unclear they came across – I, along with many others, interpreted it as MAC themselves will be doing it meaning current customers will be buying a product which has been tested on animals, where previously it wouldn’t have (I do have to say though, with some of the stuff MAC puts out it makes me wonder if they test it at all!)

      • Joanna

         @xamyx “(I do have to say though, with some of the stuff MAC puts out it makes me wonder if they test it at all!)”
         
        LOL!!!! so true!

      • xamyx

        @Sarah The MAC statement I (accidentally) ran across was fairly clear, in that they basically stated they wanted to expand their brand, and China was receptive, and again, China reserves the right to test, if necessary. Again, I’m not one to defend MAC, but perhaps I saw a different statement? I honestly don’t think China *will* test, though, and I think only a few items at a time will be introduced, by both brands. One reason I think these brands are choosing China is because the Chinese officials are making it the easiest. Sure, consumers in other countries want the goods, but there are likely alot of hoops to jump through.

        • Kafka

           @xamyx  @Sarah  Amy, China has a totally unemotional, nonchalent view about animals.  They *will* test. They see no reason why not and there are underlying political implications to not testing a Western product. It’s also another form of asserting their control and dominance vis-à-vis foreign influences coming into the country. Particularly when that foreign influence has an ultra progressive social agenda. (Or, at least, up to now, it *did* have one.)  But even apart from its laws, the underlying political ramifications, there is — again — the simple fact that they see cats and dogs as disposable.  I can email you photos of all the dog meat in markets or on the menus. And, if you’re ever interested, I can tell you about pet-ownership laws in places like Beijing (and how it compares to say, Shanghai).  Sorry, sweetie, I have to disagree with you because I would bet anything they WILL test.
           

        • Sarah

           @xamyx  animal testing is their LAW so it’s pretty naive to think they wont…

    • Screamer77

       @xamyx I’m sorry, animal testing will happen, it’s the law there. The wording used by UD is only aimed at avoiding responsibility and let less informed customers hope for the best.

  84. k

    I’m extremely disappointed in this, mostly because I feel a CF company purposefully going into a country where they KNOW testing might be required just is backwards and defeats their message of CF, because technically while their US cosmetics are CF, their China ones won’t be, so they can’t really say ‘not tested on animals’ there in the first place. So saying ‘we’re hoping to show China that CF cosmetics can work’ is defeated imo because their China cosmetics won’t be CF most likely. UD, I’m really sad you felt the need to do this.

  85. I really want to believe UD when they say that they are doing this for women’s rights and animal rights, because they truly do have a track record to support that statement. I even think that with as different as China can be compared to the USA, they’re probably right that change will have to come from within, rather than people in other countries trying to preach their beliefs to China from outside without having a cultural understanding. China is very different culturally from the USA. You can’t go in there armed with the same FAQs and campaigns that you can in the USA and expect them to work. You need a Cultural Anthropologist or a Cultural Expert who understands their culture, values and beliefs to find the best way to work with them. I applaud Urban Decay for being honest with us, rather than hiding their decision.

  86. Guest

    What is your response Christine?  How do you feel and what is your opinion on Urban Decay’s statement.  Also, will you continue to review their products considering the company claims of being Cruelty Free but is out right allowing animal testing?  Will you continue to display their products despite them foregoing their morals and betraying their fanbase and customers.
     
    I am looking forward to a response or a more thorough blog post on your reaction.

  87. Miss J

    Something stinks…OHHH, it’s this hypocritical, BS letter!!!! Spin, spin, sugar…keep on spinning, but it doesn’t change that this is some grade A BS!!

  88. Nikki

    *I also just wrote this on Phyrra.net if you’re wondering why you see it there too:
    I agree that it is AWESOME that they are so open with their customers. However… I am 100% positive that they are in this for money. How many people live in Chine? 1.5 billion? It is the most populous country in the world, so I do not believe that it would take time to make a profit like they claimed. I feel like this is very sad… I’ve seen other companies do this recently as well. But my question is, if they really want to expand their company overseas to Asia, why not do it in a different popular place like Japan or Singapore? WHY China? Since they claim to be **so against** animal testing, they would not do this. Urban Decay has recently become my favorite brand as I thought very, very highly of them. I still do. But this is SO disappointing to me. I feel like they are being sell-outs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a profit. Just stay classy and stick to your word.

    • kittygoddess544

      Japan would be more receptive, too. Japanese fashion is so wild a lot of the time and not as conservative as China. Their products would probably sell better, despite the larger population in China.

  89. Well, I am very disappointed in Urban Decay, but I at least respect them for reaching out, unlike Mac who just changed the policy statement on their web site and hoped no one would notice.

  90. AnnieFrench

    Urban decay always been my favorite make up company. I’m confused if they are doing it or are they considering the china situation as an option. When you have a product built upon brand loyalty I think your company values should be black and white not grey.

  91. I can only imagine all the UD execs and lawyers sitting around a table wondering how they can best word this statement.
     
    I don’t think not selling in China was ever on their radar. I think it was an easy decision and the only ambivalence was how to go about telling their customers.
     
    I think UD has failed to realize that the beauty community is not that of simple-minded teenagers or superficial 20-somethings. It’s full of educated men and women who do their own research and have strong beliefs. I mean, Christine has multiple degrees from higher education, including one in law. Why wouldn’t any other makeup lovers?
     
    For me, it’s kind of like if my sister stole $20 from me. I’m more concerned about the fact that she did the stealing, not that $20 was stolen. I’m not a passionate advocator of stopping animal testing, but I feel so insulted that UD went completely against their brand philosophy.
     
    I appreciate the brand’s transparency. I think, though, that they’re hoping this will be another MAC + Rodarte incident of BP oil spill: people will be very upset for a short amount of time, but things will calm down and everyone will go back to the brand anyway. I’m guessing they already did a profit/loss analysis for the near future’s sales to see how they can adjust.
     
    Dear UD: this was a risky move. Please do not make it any worse by having a sale or introducing new products amidst this ordeal. By the way, I think your first Naked palette went straight to your head and you milked its success and you haven’t been the same since.

  92. SpriteLite

    I think this was really well thought out, well written, and I support Urban Decay’s decision. It seems that they’re thinking about the bigger picture.

  93. Sandra TK

    To believe that the Chinese government is going to NOT animal test just because UD is a large company is very naive. If a person understands the culture & the way of thinking, they will fully realize that this just ain’t gonna happen. They are walking into a country that has a completely different set of values & which is not open to criticism or dialogue. This can be plainly seen from the Chinese government arresting bloggers & any other people within the country who criticize them. They’re going over there to make cold, hard cash. Period. I can swallow that. But doing so & attempting to whitewash what they’re doing is pathetic on their part. I just hope that those who are now claiming they will stop buying UD products don’t suddenly become spineless & later buy their products anyways. The only way UD, or any company, is going to listen to their customers is when they start losing mountains of money. That’s the only power their customers have.

    • watchthesky

       @Sandra TK i hope the same. when i say they will no longer receive my business, i mean it, no matter how much i may want a certain product. i hope others can really stand by the boycott and find replacements.

  94. I really want to believe UD when they say that they are doing this for women’s rights and animal rights, because they truly do have a track record to support that statement. I even think that with as different as China can be compared to the USA, they’re probably right that change will have to come from within, rather than people in other countries trying to preach their beliefs to China from outside without having a cultural understanding.
     
     
    China is very different culturally from the USA. You can’t go in there armed with the same FAQs and campaigns that you can in the USA and expect them to work. You need a Cultural Anthropologist or a Cultural Expert who understands their culture, values and beliefs to find the best way to work with them.
     
     
    I applaud Urban Decay for being honest with us, rather than hiding their decision.

    • Kafka

       @Phyrra  I agree with your last point but I’m not so sure even using a cultural anthropologist, etc.,would do any good. :( I wish I had that faith that it would but my knowledge of history and time in China make me beyond cynical. What could such a cultural knowledge DO in practical effect given the politics and social ethos? Women are lower than men in China and let’s not even start on dogs. Or animals of any kind. Do you want to know how many photos I have from across China of markets, menus and restaurants serving dog? It was ghastly but, to them, it was the akin to serving chicken. Because the thing is that dogs or cats, etc. aren’t seen as pets but as product or food. Yeah, sure, people in Africa or wherever also have diff. perceptions about animals/food etc. but what it boils down to me is that China will not allow ideological and intellectual change. At all. Cannot afford to economically and will not politically.
       
      The main source of the Central Committee’s power is intellectual compliance. No dissension, no “modern” outside opinions. Nothing but pure mental, intellectual repression. As I wrote below, it was part of the implicit deal that the Govt. made after regaining Hong Kong and after Tiananmen Massacre: we give you some economic freedom and capitalism, and in return, you will never, EVER revolt again. You will put up and shut up with whatever, in return for being able to buy a car and eat a hamburger from McDonald’s.  This is not a country that is going to change its views and policies just because some Gaijin Western company that caters to women — women of all people! — has decided it wants to come in, sniff the daisies and make women & dog’s lives better.  No, I don’t think a cultural anthropologist would be effective in changing China’s stance towards such Western values as UD purports to hope to instill. 
       
      And, honestly, instill how?? Does UD seriously think that the Chinese Govt. is going to allow them ads talking about the joys of women’s lib and/or greater rights for Fido? Hahahahaha. They’re delusional.  Gah, I better shut up now or I’ll rant about China for another year. So sorry to subject you to all that venting.    
       

      •  @Kafka To enact any sort of change, someone who is an expert with the Chinese culture, values, and beliefs needs to design a campaign that will resonate with the Chinese people’s values and beliefs. I hope that this is possible.
         

        • Kafka

           @Phyrra I absolutely agree that that is the sort of campaign that would be necessary. However, I don’t trust that the Chinese government would allow it. It would be too easy for them to view it as insidious agitprop.  In a diff. time and age, a diff. govt. had the same issues with entry of Levis, Coca Cola & the Rolling Stones into the USSR. To them, products carried a message, just as, today, UD is trying to do with its products, per their own words and even this press release. Ideas in and of themselves are dangerous, as the Czech Velvet Revolution showed when it helped bring down the whole Soviet Empire. So, I don’t see the Central Committee permitting any sort of cultural campaign that would carry even an implicit idea of social change. They’ll let UD and other Western companies in, take advantage of the goods, continue to successfully and cleverly used consumerism/economic success as a social pacifier, but totally shut them up.  Maybe I’m too much of a cynic. Let’s hope you’re the one who is right, Phyrra. :) 
           

    •  @Phyrra I completely agree with you Phyrra. Sometimes there are necessary evils to bring on change, and Urban Decay’s Track record shows they are truly a company that cares. I love the transparency, and I fully agree that China’s law won’t be changed by outside pressure, but rather than a company making money/paying taxes/wages in their market.  

    • kmk05

       @Phyrra But how is it any different from going in as a US company and preaching those values? They don’t have a Chinese sister brand sharing the same values, and they don’t seem to have a workforce or managers sharing their values. It will take at least half a generation to make that headway.
       
      To me it seems like it’s immediate profit vs. longtime brand image, and it looks like the against-animal- testing part is being abandoned for the edgy and trendy and monetary fruitful part.
       
      They’re obviously free to do whatever they want, and they are a business: it is just a tiny bit paternalistic (I don’t know if that’s the word I’m looking for…) of them to spin as ‘we are changing China all for the better from within!’. Chinese people are not waiting for you, UD. You’re not a saviour.

  95. nicole_aikoto

    Long story short, you lost what once was a highly respected customer of UD. Thank you Christine for posting this.

  96. nicole_aikoto

    Long story short, you lost what once was a highly respected customer of UD. Thank you Christine for posting this.

  97. misscheriamor

    This is not a smart move by UD. Sure, they may sell their product in China now, but they are going to lose lots of American and European customers. This definitely is a decision made because of money. It is sad that they have decided to almost abandon their stance all to make money and to open their product in a market where animals are tested on.

  98. Karen

    Someone else said it already, but the tone of this makes me sick.  They’re trying to be all sweet and nice and “if we don’t sell in China, someone less moral than us will!”.  One more American company selling in China isn’t going to change *anything* about their policies.  If you cut through the crap, all this says is, “We want lots of money.  We are going to sell in China and pretend we don’t know that they are committing animal testing on our behalf.”  Ugh.  Stop talking to us like we’re stupid.

  99. kmk05

    I understand the business move and don’t begrudge them that, but I find it quite offensive that they portray themselves as the bearer of change for China. Chinese people are not waiting for UD to become aware of these issues and become galvanised (or not) by them!
     
    And frankly, if you’re expanding into China, you’ll be hiring Chinese managers, Chinese lawyers, and Chinese employees. These people know about competitive business, and they’ve already seen your company and a thousand others like it. You’re basically a drop in a very very very big bucket, and making waves is improbable.

    •  @kmk05 Very true, and I can see your point. I do, however, think that just because they are, as you say, a drop in a very large bucket, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not worth at least trying to communicate their own beliefs and choices.

      • kmk05

         @demonrapunzel That’s also definitely true :) I guess it has to do with the Chinese people I know: most of them are from mainland China, and they joke about what’s being dumped in their food and in their air as if it’s nothing.
         
        To change the stance on animal testing, you need a lot of work on the ground, vocal consumers, people that care. In fifteen years, maybe the UD message will have reached those people. But until then?
         
        And because UD say it themselves, “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer”, at some point they’ll most likely downplay or get rid of the part of their brand that doesn’t suit the Chinese customer. And their ‘goal’ will be lost.
         
        …Or maybe I’m a cynic?

    • queen_frostine

       @kmk05 Yeah that was the part of the press release that stuck in my craw.  While I don’t dispute that working from within the system is often more effective than from the outside, using that logic as a means to justify their decision is like (forgive the crude saying) pissing on people’s backs and telling them it’s raining.  This is clearly a business decision, not an activist one and while I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, I do find it audacious that they’d try to portray it as something else.  Especially not when many (PETA included!) expect the Chinese government to change their testing requirements in the near future.  If this wasn’t about money, why wouldn’t they just wait a little bit to see if the efforts to change Chinese regulation are successful before jumping into the market?

  100. Evelyn1

    While I appreciate the idea of working from within, they are actually going to be making a financial profit on items that may be required to be tested by animals by the Chinese government.  Based on their beliefs it will be blood money unless the government makes an exception for them.  I’m not quite sure how they will reconcile the two.