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. Gina Glandorf Contrucci

    The almighty dollar. Or yuan.

  2. Brittany Reaves

    Typical sell out attitude, cover the real reason with a cherry coated excuse. They alone had the right to sell in China, greed wins out again. Adios UD.

  3. Daylin Hull

    That kinda sounds like bull. Money beat out the fight.

  4. Alice Bird

    Urban Decay have long since moved away from their original image, and seem to be becoming much more focussed on profit (“customisable palette,” anybody?). I never knew UD were interested in women’s rights, either. I haven’t seen anything from them regarding recent politics in America.

    Interesting post Temptalia, thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Aubrey Madden

    They also sold the Vegan Pallet knowing it had lanolin in it, so they’ve been on my no buy list for since then.

  6. Sarah Johnson Taylor

    Good for UD! I work with factories in china everyday. It’s a very diff country than the US and they have different regulations. What the customer does with their product is their business, not UD. UD should not be held responsible for that.

  7. Kris Woods

    GDP in China is about US$5400. I’m not sure how much UD thinks they’re going to profit there.

  8. Lisa Pu

    They said that they don’t expect to for many years.

  9. Francesca Teti

    Thanks for sharing. Another one for the no buy list.

  10. Kelly Baker Dangzalan

    I guess the prospect of making a little extra money is enough to turn their heads the other way and not hold strong to their principals. Shame on them.

  11. Wendy Mildsun

    While I here, why is your Urban Decay shading brush’s bristles so sharp & tough? I love the look of the brush but it hurts my eyelid skin when I use it so it just sits there in the brush holder. Actually it’s the worse brush I have out of 30 others. Why?

  12. Alice Baruscotti

    They’ll acquire new chinese customers and they’ll lose their old affectionate buyers. Bye UD.

  13. Kisa Agape

    No, no, no!

  14. Victoria Conley

    And THAT’S why I make my own makeup!!! I KNOW it’s not tested on animals :)

  15. Aurora Valadez

    I won’t be buying any ud product any more. China is so cruel to animals, I just can’t be behind a brand that would do this.

  16. Liz Coltart

    I am beyond words. I relied on UD as a cruelty-free company, not any more. I was so disappointed after the Estee Lauder company sold out, but I never expected this from UD. I need to find a new eye primer as I will not be buying their products ever again.

  17. Stephanie Blackmore

    Every year that passes, I buy less and less UD. I think this was the nail in the coffin for me

  18. Sarah Graf

    Bullshit. A cosmetic company that sells in China is NOT a cruelty-free company. And that press release is just twisted propaganda to make us think they aren’t responsible for testing (yet the tests are to be run in their own labs).

    REAL Cruelty-free brands like Lush and The Body Shop has never ever opened in China because they have strong enough opinions. This just shows how much UD cares about making profit and how little they care about animal welfare. Nothing surprising coming from a brand owned by LVMH, the world leader in animal testing.

    Anyway, i never believed the whole vegan claim from UD ever since i found out that its founder, Sandy Lerner, owns a restaurant specialized in meat. How can you be a vegan and cook meat for others, huh ?

    I had already decided I will never buy from them again, now i’m just comforted in this decision.

    ( See now THIS is a real cruelty-free policy : http://www.lushcountries.com/partnerships/china.html )

  19. Kimberly Adams Wunsche

    …….Personally I could care less about their “supposed” plight for animal testing or womens issues. This whole press release was written by an expert B.S. specialist. I don’t appreciate someone trying to manipulate me and handing me a beautifully packaged box or manure. Two things we can never count on happening in China….Respect for women and animals. Hell animals are treated a step above women over there. The sheer thought that anyone at U.D. thinks they are going to help save the world one eye shadow at a time, is beyond laughable. U.D. releasing this press release was really stupid and an over all business FAIL.

  20. You know? I have to say that I give UD props for releasing a statement about this and trying to explain why they’ve made this decision. I mean, at least they’re putting it out there and being transparent about it, rather than doing it all sneaky and under the radar.

  21. BlackFuji

    @Screamer77 well of course not. Vegans just spring to mind because they are just one of UDs main markets. We even had little paw print stickers for end caps that said “vegan friendly”.

  22. Shannyn

    I actually have a lot more respect for Urban Decay now for actually coming out and saying they are going to sell in China and what that means. Other brands, namely MAC, started selling in China but didn’t announce it to their customers and just kept it hush hush. I’ve been forgoing MAC products since I found out about that (not that it’s been too hard recently) because it makes me sick to think that they are more interested in making a profit (because they know their decision to move into China and have animal testing will lose them customers) than being honest and letting the customer decide for themselves whether or not they are still comfortable buying from the brand.
    So I say good on Urban Decay for not being deceitful about this issue, even though it is likely to loss them customers. 

  23. ai

    this made me sad. props for releasing this statement, but honestly speaking (and this is from a canada- raised chinese teen’s opinion), no one in china will give a thought to wether or not it’s tested. the people who are able to afford UD in china are the ones who coat themselves in fur, indulge in shark fin soup every week and drive the most gas consuming cars out there. 

  24. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lisa MarioInvincible

    To everyone who thinks UD is doing this because they see mad bank: super highly unlikely. There are a million cosmetics companies and a thousand of those are dupes of Urban Decay. (When I was visiting last summer, I went to a high-end cosmetic store and I saw UDPP that was not UDPP… with the same packaging and everything) So Urban Decay will be nothing immediately new to China. Urban Decay products will be mega more expensive to the average consumer than it is here unless they really bunk their quality… unless they have amazing connections… profit will be extremely slow. They were honest.However, I do believe them when they say that they are attempting to influence the Eastern world. A lot of you are making the claim that UD has no right to feel that they can change a culture… but I totally believe they can. If they were to make it big eventually they would be an extremely luxury Western brand in a country in which the younger are highly influenced by the Western world. If they were to be respected, and they still hardcore PRed their stance against animal cruetly, it would raise awareness and possibly begin to change the culture.Since when have American’s hated dreamers that are doers?

    • Miss J

       @MarioInvincible EXTREMELY naive. As someone with a background in marketing, the Chinese market is HUGE for them. It’s about money, not about trying to change the world. Give me a break. This is prime real estate for expansion. 

      •  @MarioInvincible EXACTLY! With my personal issues aside as a vegan, I am merely analyzing their statement…I gave UD’s pull from LB this morning the benefit of the doubt, and was going to do my own research…but this statement was the nail in the coffin for me. Don’t care to be lied to, and women who buy makeup are smart, and work hard for it. The statement is intellectually insulting.

    • Leila

       @MarioInvincible Much as I would like to believe what you say in this case, that is not the case. With all due respect, it is a naive way of thinking. You have no idea how the China market for international brands has exploded.
       
      The Chinese have a thirst for foreign brands that doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon. I have friends who have come from China studying here and they tell me how in many luxury stores across Europe (including London and Paris), they now require some members of staff to be able to speak Chinese (wheras in the past, this was mostly English, French, Japanese, Arabic etc.). Many of these stores are even seeing the largest group of their customers coming from China!
       
      I also read articles some years ago of the enormous success of Western brands in the Chinese market. I think this was due to some restrictions being lifted around maybe five or six years ago, but I’m not certain. I suggest doing a little reading around this subject and you will understand why everyone’s screaming hypocrisy here.

    •  @MarioInvincible Don’t worry for the price, I’m pretty sure they’ll adapt to the market and Chinese consumers will pay a lot less for the same product as you.
      Now do you really think UD will force one of the last communist governments in this world to change their policies?? The idea is laughable…

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Diana queen_frostine

       @MarioInvincible I think you’re misinformed about the potential of the Chinese market.  Yes, China is famous for its knockoff market but according to CNNMoney, China’s on pace to top Japan as the biggest market for luxury goods in the world by 2015.  The Chinese are already spending over $10 billion a year on luxury goods, and that number has been increasing steadily year after year.  If knock off Louis Vuitton bags aren’t stopping LVMH from making money hand over first in China, why would knock off UDPP stand in the way of profits for Urban Decay?
       
      Luxury companies are tripping over themselves to gain a traction in China right now because of the incredible profit potential.  Why would we assume that UD is really interested for different reasons than anyone else?

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lisa MarioInvincible

        @queen_frostine @MarioInvincible
        Sorry all, I must not have been clear. Of course the long run is about money but it’s not going to be an easy bang for the buck. They will most likely not profit for years and years.

  25. Alison

    I’m not an exclusively cruelty free shopper yet but I was such a loyal URBAN DECAY customer because of the brand’s strong stance against animal testing.  This was really the main reason for me that I was happy to pay what I viewed as the premium the brand put on their prices which have always been slightly high for a mid-range brand.  Now that they have renaged on this aspect of their brand identity I’m simply going to respond by not giving them any more of my custom.  I almost feel like I should be entitled to some kind of refund because really I was only willing to pay such high prices to support their cruelty free stance.

  26. SkyOlson

    The simple truth is that this decision puts animals at risk. Period. We’ll probably never know whether animals are smeared, choked, coated, and blinded by UD products in China or not. Animals have been placed in jeopardy. Period. With this decision, UD shows itself to be nothing more than a hipsterized version of MAC.

  27. As a vegan, and animal rights activist who only purchases what I believe to be cruelty free (including but not limited to third party testing, or anything of the kind) I am truly offended by their statement. It shows that they took no time or consideration to type this. Sorry but its true. I have seen better statement releases in regards to changing policies. 
     
    Most companies hide behind a veil of cruelty free products, but this company insulted our intelligence with this statement. 
     
    “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer.” If anything this “plan of attack” will be seen as disrespectful. One company especially one as small as Urban Decay, will not change the laws. If anything I feel UD will be seen as disrespectful….
     
    The EU doesn’t require animal testing, so if they truly believed in being cruelty free, they would sell in UK. This is for profit. I am not out to get anyone who needs to put food on the table, but profit is more important to UD than their cruelty free statement.
     
    It has been an issue of mine for a while now (between the jacked up palette price, and UD not responding to customers feedback..) that UD has a vegan list…but if you look at the ingredients, it says may contain carmine..Which isn’t vegan…I guess they are hoping ppl don’t read the fine print, and this letter is a perfect example of them trying to pull the wool over their fanbases eyes.
     
    If cruelty free isn’t a selling point in China, there is no need for the crusade. Its like telling a vegan who has seen Earthlings that something is Kosher. Means nothing.

    • watchthesky

       @cosmeticcouturier amen

    • Margot

       @cosmeticcouturier They do sell in the UK, I have found their products in quite a few shops over here.

    • Leila

       @cosmeticcouturier Good point about UD seeming disrespectul. They certainly will be seen that way and it could potentially be a huge loss for them.
       
      I just wanted to add that they do sell in the UK (and have for a long time). They pulled out of Boots last year (bad, bad move) and sell in Debenhams and House of Fraser. Seems like they want to appear more “upmarket” which seems a bit pretentious and really doesn’t suit the brand (even though the quality is good, but that’s beside the point).
       
      I agree with what someone said here, that after the success of the first Naked palette, the attention really went to their head. Come to think of it, that was around the time they pulled out of Boots (I remember you could buy the palette there). I don’t think these two things are entirely unconnected somehow.

      • I think its a bad move to have a big head…you will lose so much respect…Boots is a huge store….and it seems UD doesn’t listen to whats really going on, or what their customers want (I am referring to their over designed bulky packaging).
         
        I was a fan before the  Naked Palette. And yes, they have changed. As a long time vegetarian, now vegan, if you truly believe in something its heart and soul. 

        • Leila

           @cosmeticcouturier Oh yes, you’re absolutely right about UD not listening to customer concerns over packaging. Remember the atrocious primer potion packaging? Cute but highly impracticle. It took them years to listen and finally give in to customer demand to change it. It was years. Just look at the age of some of those videos and blog posts on the internet on how to cut open the packaging. The sheer number of them is laughable and a huge embarrassment to UD.
           
          Many people wouldn’t repurchase or make a first purchase because of the packaging and bought Too Faced Shadow Insurance instead. I guess they eventually made too much of a loss as Too Faced also grew as a company and became established. That’s probably why they finally bowed in to pressure.

        • I agree….they lost too much, that is when they cave.

    • k

       @cosmeticcouturier Uh actually about that, checking on their site, the ones that “may contain carmine”, esp ones like Woodstock, ARENT marked as vegan. The vegan shadows don’t say “may contain carmine” under the ingredient list as far as I can tell, I went through a few of them and it seems consistent.

      • From site: ALL SHADES MAY CONTAIN: CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491/77492/77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

    • @cosmeticcouturier Agreed. I don’t expect companies to be angels for the good and proper, but the blatant disrespect and contempt for their customers (new and old) in this statement makes me question UD’s sanity.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ellie Screamer77

       @cosmeticcouturier well said Grace!

  28. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Davina Vinaj

    The reason UD is selling to China is simply for profit.  China will not stop testing their products on animals no matter how much UD tries to “encourage dialogue and provoke change”. Very dissapointed in Urban Decay.

  29. Suselew

    Please do NOT be conned by their public statement.  They want you to think they are doing this for altruistic reasons as they are well aware of the ensuing public outcry.  They figure that if they appear to be on a global mission you will forgive this decision and when the next Naked palette comes out, you will cave.  Don’t cave. I love their products as much as anyone else but we need to send them a monetary message that costs them dollars.  They want you to blame the Chinese and not them.  And they give you no examples of anything proactive they are doing to convince the Chinese to use alternatives.  I look at my Vegan palette right now that says “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?”  Well, UD, how could anyone?  I guess the Chinese can and you are in bed with that monster now.

  30. Sumer

    Bye bye Urabn decay !

  31. Sadie

    I really don”t know why people are so worked up about animal testing to this level. Testing is still necessary. Would you like it if the testing was done on consumers instead when a product starts causing problems on people over time? Not only would that hurt people but cost the company millions in lawsuits as well. Sure we can use computer models and cell cultures; however, the body is a complex system in which several parts communicate with each other. This isolation is not a natural way and only provides a small window into how things work. Animal research is limited too but it can give us a deeper insight into how ingredients affect the living body.
    That being said, I do advocate the search for better research models in order to cut down on animal testing as well as a strict adherence to ethical animal treatment. I know that researchers are held to a strict code and anyone who violates it receives a punishment, such as having their grant revoked to losing their license. This happened to one of the researchers where I worked. So what did he do that merited this? He kept the animals’ cages in his lab overnight in order to gather data on behavior patterns instead of the designated building.  This is against code and his license was revoked. 
    Testing is done after much thinking and research has gone behind the ingredients and recipes as well. They are not blindly smearing random chemicals on animals. They must come up with a formula they have come to believe will be effective and must test this belief in order to make sure there is little to no error. How do you guys think we learned which of ingredients were safe to use, ingredients that are in products we use every day of our lives.
    I respect UD for letting consumers know their reasoning behind their decision. Such honesty and consideration for the consumer in the business world is rare. 
    Fight for ethical treatment of animals in research. Support the scientific community and the search for new research models. Sure the system we have now is flawed, but it’s the best we have for now. The future always holds new solutions.

    • watchthesky

      animal testing is not necessary. at all. it’s beyond disgusting and it’s scientifically inaccurate. there are so many alternatives out there that it does not need to be tolerated, by ANYBODY.

      • JezStar

         @watchthesky It’s only inaccurate if done improperly. Since you know so much about it, could you name some alternatives? I agree that animal testing for cosmetics is not necessary but there are some very important drugs which were developed after animal testing and saved the lives of a lot of human beings.

        • watchthesky

           @JezStar did i make any mention of medicine in my post at all? no. this subject is about animal testing for cosmetics. while i ethically believe even medical testing on animals is wrong and alternatives are out there waiting to be discovered, it’s not what i meant.

      • Leila

         @watchthesky While I understand and respect your viewpoint entirely, I don’t think such extreme statements are necessary. There are grey areas.
         
        Animal testing is not as you say “scientifically inaccurate” and is in many ways, the best model we have, especially when it comes to medicine. Much understanding of how to avoid animal testing and creating alternatives will sadly have to come from animal testing itself. In many ways, it is a necessary evil at present and hopefully one day, we will be beyond it.
         
        Believe me, many scientists would rather they didn’t have to do animal testing if it was the best way (although there are those who don’t care either way). Do human lives count less?
         
        My aim isn’t to target anybody here, but just to get everyone to think about why we can’t do without it 100%, just yet.
         
        Having said that, I don’t think animal testing should be done for purposes of mere vanity and our understanding of ingredients that go into cosmetics is advanced enough at this point in time, that we can do without it.
         
        UD should not have compromised on their own principles for mere money.

        • watchthesky

          as i replied in the comment above, i did not mean medical testing at all. even though i believe even that is wrong, we have not reached the same understanding with alternatives for medicine that we have for cosmetics. and it is scientifically inaccurate. i am not a rabbit, or a monkey, or a dog, or whathaveyou. i will not react in any way the same way they would. there are too many uncontrollable variables for it to be scientifically accurate.

        • Leila

           @watchthesky I see what you mean. Just to point out, it was your words “animal testing is not necessary. at all.” The “at all” makes it sound like a blanket statement that applies to every industry and sounds ambiguous. It seems from the other comment that I am not alone in this. Now I know that’s not what you meant.
           
          Again, with all due respect, animal testing is not “scientifically inaccurate”. There are many, many biological pathways in all the animals you mentioned that are common to humans as well. In fact, isn’t one of the points against animal testing is that we are so similar? (Just one of the points, mind you, of course there are many others.)
           
          Animal testing is not a perfect system and there is rarely anything that is. It is the best system we have at present and actually very accurate.
           
          However, we should still work to move away from animal testing. That is all.

        • Sara B

           @watchthesky Sorry, but you’re wrong to say that it’s “scientifically inaccurate.” Rabbits, dogs, and monkeys, like humans, are all mammals and are therefore very genetically similar to us–in fact, human and chimpanzee DNA only differs by 2%. (Look it up if you don’t believe me!) So the reactions would be much more similar than you would think. In saying this, I’m not condoning animal testing, but to say that it’s scientifically inaccurate is not correct.

        • watchthesky

          @Sara B @watchthesky i know that we are all mammals and i know we’re very similar to chimapanzees, you’re not pointing out anything that i don’t know. but 2% is still a large difference. it’s not scientifically accurate.

        • Sadie

           @watchthesky  @Sara 
          I reiterate, animal models are the best we have because it tests the impact on the whole body. the body is a system, it doesn’t work in isolated bits. Products we use everyday (i.e cosmetics) can have an impact on our health and thus we should test if they can have a negative impact. 

        • Leila

           @watchthesky  @Sara Just saying 2% is not scientifically accurate? How? Where’s your backup? What magic number will you come out with that is scientifically accurate. Rarely is any scientific test 100%.
           
          The default level of significance in science tests is 5%. Then that is revised down as needed  (especially in such tests regarding human safety, where often that number can go down to below 1%). However, 5% significance is more than enough for many tests and is scientifically accurate.
           
          Also, that 2% difference between humans and chimpanzees is rarely enough to make enough of a difference in the tests. In fact, even when a safe dose of a chemical is found in an animal, the species’ differences are taken into account and those numbers adjusted. So a safe dose for an animal, will be divided by 100 to make a safe dose for humans, then by 100 again to account for differences between human individuals. Do you see how methodical and cautious the steps are?
           
          Please keep an open mind to facts and try to understand what we are saying here. We are not condoning animal testing. However, in some cases it is a necessary evil and when carried out, done with the highest care.

        •  @watchthesky  @Sara
           Actually, just to let everyone know, 2-5% is a large difference… When it comes to the animal vs man comparison overall. However, when it comes to cosmetics, the only difference that significantly matters is the structure and function of the skin between the animals, since cosmetics only interact (mostly) with the skin. Animal-testing for cosmetics is usually done to determine if there could be allergic and/or other negative reactions. Even in medical studies done on the skin, a lot of animal models such as porcine, mice, and bovine skins are routinely used to predict if similar reactions will manifest in human skin. Just go to Pubmed.com and type in “skin bovine/mice/porcine” and you’ll see thousands of peer-reviwed studies that employ this concept. To say that “it’s not scientifically accurate” would be to say that the tens of thousands of studies done using animal models on issues related to skin, are completely wrong and irrelevant. That’s certainly not the case. I think what needs to be realized is that cosmetics and “medicine” aren’t so strictly and mutually exclusive. There are definitely overlapping areas.
           
          I’m not going to debate about whether or not animal testing is “right” or “wrong” or anything in between, since it’s all about a matter of perspective. There really is no clear-cut correct or incorrect answer. I just wanted to clear up that statement.  

        • Leila

          @John 3D
           I hope you didn’t mean to say that when I mentioned 2% and 5% it wasn’t a large difference. Of course it is when comparing for example, human and chimpanzee; that 2% is two separate species!
           
          However, how large that 2% is, is all relative to the situation and the point I was trying to make is that in the sort of tests carried out for cosmetic testing, like those you mentioned, that 2% species difference is not necessarily large to make a huge difference in the tests. The species used for a test is also carefully selected, to make sure it is the most appropriate.
           
          Also, my 5% figure was separate from my point about species differences. I was only trying to explain why you can’t put a figure on what is scientifically accurate, why that figure varies and at what level a test is deemed significant.
           
          Anyway, I do agree with your post! There’s so much to be said and a lot of potential for misunderstandings, but I do try to be clear.

        • No, no, no. My comment was actually submitted before your subsequent posts were written; it’s just the approval process that made everything appear out of order. No I wasn’t referring to your 2% and 5%. Of course I know that 2% is a huge difference. Your explanation is unnecessary. :)
           
          Anyways, my 2-5% (just an arbitrary range I threw out; I didn’t actually look them up so don’t quote me) was just showing the varying degrees of how different various animals’ DNA (like the ones I mentioned) can be when compared to that of humans. It was only mere coincidence that I selected the numbers 2 and 5, which was the most likely reason you misunderstood my post. Also, there’s the out of order responses thing. xD 

        • Joni

           @watchthesky  @Sara 5% significance level is not at all the same as the 5% difference in DNA.  It’s an entirely different statistical value which has no place here.  And while doses can be adjusted for size, they can’t always be properly adjusted to account for the differences in how our bodies work.  We will have different ways of reacting to chemicals than a rat will, different chemicals in our own bodies to process and break them down, and different structures to protect ourselves from them.  In the case of something new being tested, it would be extremely difficult to predict how a human body will deal with it just from data from another animal, because we may lack defenses that they have.

        • Leila

           @John 3D Oh I get it. Yeah, thanks for clearing that up. It was the numbers you chose that  were coincidentally in my post, so I thought it was directed at me and like you said, the approval system.
           
          It’s just so frustrating when people won’t be open to facts, so you try to explain clearly to get through to them.

      • Sadie

         @watchthesky Dion’t you think that the ingredients we find in our everyday products weren’t tested on animals? How do you think we found out it was safe for the eyes, the skin, the mouth, etc.? Are you not thankful for the sacrifice of these animals? Because of them we are able to wear mascara without the worry that it might make people go blind

        • Vegan

           @watchthesky Oh ya mascara….couldn’t live without it…..seriously? We should be grateful for animals being maimed, violated and assaulted, while their bodies are used for science, WHILE THEY’RE STILL IN THEM??….but you’re right, yay for mascara…

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ashlee TheCandyfloss1

      Obviously UD (like many other companies) has successfully managed to produce and sell all of their products without testing it on animals. 

      • Diana

         @TheCandyfloss1 That’s because they use ingredients that have already been tested to be safe. They just take that knowledge and make a formula. 
        However, different countries have different policies and standards on the ingredients in their products. What is ok here may not be ok in other countries. The standard procedure for China is to test incoming products just to be sure. 
        Also, the statement says that they might have to do one-time animal testing but still haven’t gotten the signal from the government. The Chinese government reserves the right to conduct testing but it doesn’t mean that it always exercises this right. If they stick true to their word about fighting against animal testing, UD will try their best to negotiate with the government and present their data/records  in order to dispel any outstanding concerns and thus avoid this one time testing

    • Animal testing for medical research is one thing, and I respect the fact that it is necessary and helpful, and that ethical committees strictly control it.
      However testing cosmetics on animals is absurd and pointless. The ingredients composing cosmetics have, for most of them, long been used by the industry, and their effects are also well known. Additionnally, new components can easily be tested on skin cell cultures.
      Believe me, if animal testing of cosmetics has finally been banned by the European Union, it is, mostly, because it has become unnecessary. The industrial lobbies wouldn’t let the law pass before that.

    • @Sadie, that is not an argument from both sides.  It is about how some animal rights protesters have done crazy things (not okay) and how pharmeceuticals sometimes need to be tested on animals.  But cosmetics do not need to be tested on animals, so that article isn’t even really relevant here.

      • Sadie

         @Sarah S It recognizes the flaws in what is being reported to the public despite their pro-animal testing stance. They recognize that their is still trouble in animal testing regardless of it being for medical purposes or the everyday product. Although animal testing is not the what people consider ideal, testing should still at least play a part in product we use everyday since they can have an impact on people’s health.

  32. Margot

    I work in the media industry and I deal with statements all the time. This one does not scream bullshit like most I have the pleasure to read. 
    Sure, they are after profit, but they are honest about it. And seeing the company’s history, I don’t have too much difficulty believing that, indeed, there is a bit of thought behind the decision. Of course, it would be naive to think they weren’t there for profit at all, but I think their motives and not completely selfish and money-hungry. 

  33. Sarah Kathleen Head

    Doesn’t bother me in the least, there are more important things to me regarding… counterfeit goods. That’s important to me. I don’t use makeup all the time. It is rare for me. I only use makeup when I want to. and feel the need too.

  34. Cris Quintana

    Please don’t treat people like idiots, UD. This is about money, and anyone with half a brain knows it. Stop BSing us.

  35. Marilisa

    I believe that UD’s marketing people has well advised them about how much they are going to earn from the sales of their products in China and think that they did considered that the loss of some of the Western customers will be very very much profitably offset by the Chinese customers’ purchases.
    I do not trust the UD’s statement, which I believe is just gimmicky and made out of fear of outraging even more their customers. I think that they wickedly wisely decided to tell about their about-face before being outed by against animal testing’s organizations and before being removed by the so-called ”GOOD GUYS LISTS” which, in the light of the latest happenings, I’d say unreliably list ”good’ companies which are therefore actually allegedly supposed to not test on animals as it also already happened in the cases of  EL, MAC, … and lately TOO FACED.
    Sorry but I do not think they are acting in good faith, I am very disapponited in them and by the sad moves they are making to attempt to save their face and most important their earnings.
    I will not buy UD again as I do not believe at all UD is still worthy of my confidence after they did change their animal testing policy and also tried to justify it only for mere mean profit reasons, nothing more than this.
    I do agree with Vinaj, SkyOlson and Suselew ‘s comments.
     

  36. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cat Cat Ray

    I do not necessarily seek out cruelty free products, nor do I actually own any UD products, but it boggles my mind that a company that apparently took a very strong stance against animal testing is now expanding into a market that requires it. Especially because it appears that there are other markets (Europe, Australia) they could expand their product to that do not require animal testing and therefore more in keeping with the brands ideology. If China is “not immediately profitable” as their letter states (which I have doubts about) then why not expand into these areas where they might be more profitable right off the bat. Obviously, this is a business decision, which is fine, as they are a business, but even a polite, outwardly upfront letter about wanting to help human rights and end animal testing from within are pretty shallow given that most of their consumers are savvy enough to know what this is really about– money.

  37. Leila

    <b>SELL OUTS.</b> Pure and simple. Let me start this by saying that I don’t necessarily have strong beliefs about animal testing that I would go to research every single product I buy (although since any company based in the EU or who sells their products in the EU is banned from animal testing, I don’t have to try very hard). However, every time I see a company say they are expanding to China, it’s obvious why.
     
    As I was reading this, the first thing that struck me was how painfully, <i>carefully</i> it was worded. It gives me the impression that it was all just to appease their customers (well, I don’t think they’re pretending otherwise anyway) and not that moving to the Chinese market was a difficult decision at all.
     
    I won’t censure a company for moving into the large Chinese market; it is a business after all and this is an excellent business decision. There’s nothing wrong, nothing wrong <i>at all</i> with making that move and many companies before have done it successfully. However, when that move causes you to compromise one of the most important policies that your brand is based on, reeks of hypocrisy to me.
     
    Estee Lauder also made this decision a few months ago, effectively wiping out their decades of work on this issue, the same goes for UD. In a way, it makes me sad that these companies are letting themselves be bullied just for the opportunity to sell in China. What an ignomonious move on their part.
     
    I mean, there are plenty of other markets they would be successful in, yet they choose China. For one thing, there are other Asian markets they could expand to, where UD’s message could actually make a difference and they also wouldn’t have to compromise on their own policies, yet they Choose Chine and it’s glaringly obvious why. Also, UD’s aesthetic really isn’t in line with the Asian market in general (although of course there’s room for variety) so it’s not really the best market to expand to from that perspective.
     
    There are many better markets to expand to. I’ve heard many Australians lament the fact that they can’t buy UD over there and would buy their products in a heartbeat if they could (granted the market size is <i>much</i> smaller there, but that’s a different point). I know some European countries don’t get their products and also many countries outside of Europe.
     
    There are so many markets potential markets for UD, that going for one simply for the money, being <i>so blinded</i> by money that you betray one of your fundamental beliefs is simply wrong.
     
    Urban Decays’s transparency is to be commended, credit where credit’s due, however this press statement does seem to be done partially for the purposes to appease their customers and to keep losses to a minimum. Despite saying that, at the end of the day, I don’t think UD would ever be the type of company to keep this sort from their customers anyway, they are still better than many.
     
    Finally, I am in no way bashing China in case it sounds like that. They have their right to insist on animal testing, in turn, companies have the right and <i>choice</i> to refuse to do so and turn away. The issue here is with UD’s hypocrisy on the matter.

    • Leila

      Off-topic, but it seems this comment system doesn’t take html codes? I was sure it did. Never had trouble using the codes before, it looks awful, how embarrassing. Sorry about that everyone.

  38. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Guadalupe VJNS

    Frankly, China testing on animals is probably NOT the worst they do, so don’t even get me started. But the US does just as badly on violating the earth’s ecosystem and animal habitats. I don’t think it’s a matter of what country UD goes to as much as whay they stand for, whatever they stand for. Going into any country is their choice and it matters not to me. What does matter is what they stand for. Be truthful, thinking you can make a change in the next few years is as unrealistic as building a ladder to the moon. UD sees the $$$ signs and that’s the bottom line. Cheap unionized labor too (women’s rights my eye…literally). I may continue to buy, I may not. My bottom ineis that I’m the consumer and I decide where my money goes.

  39. Kathy S

    The goal of any business is to make money. Any secondary agenda gets financed out of that money. Knowing China a tiny bit, they may edit the boxes to take the animal testing stuff off. They do things like that. Maybe UD can make a difference, maybe not. They may find that doing business in China is not to their liking. Maybe they’ll love it. The one thing that I’m sure of is that the conversation on animal testing and women’s rights won’t happen until someone does something. I support UD and always will, more now because of this statement. I hope they make bank.

  40. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Guadalupe VJNS

    Frankly, China testing on animals is probably NOT the worst they do, so don’t even get me started. But the US does just as badly on violating the earth’s ecosystem and animal habitats. I don’t think it’s a matter of what country UD goes to as much as whay they stand for, whatever they stand for. Going into any country is their choice and it matters not to me. What does matter is what they stand for. Be truthful, thinking you can make a change in the next few years is as unrealistic as building a ladder to the moon. UD sees the $$$ signs and that’s the bottom line. Cheap un-unionized labor too (women’s rights my eye…literally). I may continue to buy, I may not. My bottom ine is that I’m the consumer and I decide where my money goes

  41. nacacijin

    The way this reads (for me) is:
     
    “We want to sell our products in China. We are committed to the fight against animal cruelty. China tests on animals. Don’t blame us, blame them. Our brand can change the culture. It’s not our fault, we hate animal testing, but we have to let China do what they want to do.”
     
    It’s a letter full of contradictions and, as much as I respect Urban Decay’s decision to release a statement like this and not just ignore something that is a very passionate cause for a lot of people, all they are doing through this letter is trying to soften the blow and take blame away from their company for a decision that was theirs to begin with. If they’re so against animal testing, they should not put themselves in a market which openly and unapologetically tests on animals. But we’re supposed to just blame the Chinese government/market because it’s not Urban Decay’s fault? That’s just a cop out. The brand makes plenty (more than plenty!) of money in very strong cosmetics markets already without putting their policies in jeopardy.
     
    Not knocking the Chinese at all, but their culture simply does not care whether or not products are tested on animals. The fact that the overseas component Urban Decay doesn’t test on animals won’t even register with them. You can’t market your cosmetics as Cruelty-Free in China as you do here because they’re not going to be cruelty free. So even if a few Chinese buyers do happen to be interested in the idea of cruelty-free makeup, buying Urban Decay from the Chinese market is going to do absolutely nothing because those cosmetics WON’T be cruelty-free. You are allowing that market to use your cosmetics in ways that directly contradict what is supposed to be your moral stance.
     
    You know what would have more of an impact? One of the top cosmetics brands not entering the Chinese market in the first place and doing so on principle. Why don’t you expand to other countries? Ones that don’t test on animals?
     
    I understand their statement that they personally will not be testing on animals, but they are also well aware that China WILL test their cosmetics on animals. Allowing someone else to do so is essentially no different than doing so yourself. Allowing them to test your products on animals is indirectly supporting animal testing. It doesn’t matter how much you speak out against it, how much you say it’s wrong or the fact that your brand as a whole doesn’t test on animals. Allowing another market to conduct their tests sends no message at all. If you let them do it, they’re going to do it and nothing is ever going to change.
     
    It was nice of you to come out with this statement letting people know about your changes, but that doesn’t automatically make you the good guy. Trying to justify a bad decision doesn’t make it any less of a bad decision. And trying to use fancy wording to make yourself seem like champions for the cause is just a cop out. Sorry, Urban Decay, but I am disappointed. Not only in the decision that you’ve made to enter the Chinese market, but also in the tactic that you’re trying to use to make everything look like it’s okay. Carefully worded press releases don’t erase the fact that you’re no longer a Cruelty Free company. Sorry.

    • watchthesky

       @nacacijin best comment i’ve seen so far. spot on.

    •  @nacacijin My thoughts exactly. I could not have said it better myself.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kafka Kafka

       @nacacijin  Brava!!!!! 
       

    • ocelot1

       @nacacijin very well said! 

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Monique jane

       @nacacijin so how do you know so much about chinese culture? 

      • nacacijin

        History was one of my majors in college. And I had concentrations in Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology as well. And…I pay attention to what’s going on in the world.

        • xandreaaa

           @nacacijini respect your comment, but pay attention to who publishes your textbooks. perhaps if you lived in china for a bit and not just reading about what a non-Chinese wrote about them, you’d understand more. everything else i agree on, this is a disappointing decision by UD.

        • nacacijin

           @xandreaaa The beauty of studying history in university is that the professors (at least at my university) are products of the region and culture that they teach. When I studied Chinese history, the three professors that I became familiar with were all from China. And outside of the core curriculum, we didn’t have textbooks (not saying this to be condescending or rude at all, so I hope you don’t take it that way…it’s just something people don’t often know). Nevertheless, was something that I said incorrect? Perhaps I could have used “government” instead of “culture” when addressing the issue of animal testing in China (of course I am aware that there are people in China who are sensitive to the idea of animal testing, so that was a semantic mistake on my part), and I certainly don’t think that I said anything insulting or closed-minded about the Chinese people. Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to, I don’t have the expendable income to move to China, or any of the other regions that I’ve studied, so I focus on learning what I can from here and maybe one day have the chance to travel to these places. But if something I said was incorrect, let me know. I’d like to have all of the information that I can.

  42. Brittany

    I don’t exclusively buy cruelty free make-up but when a brand markets itself as cruelty free then allows its products to be tested on animals, it makes me think twice about the brand quality. Reputation is everything, especially with so many indie brands who can duplicate the same quality products. I will definitely think twice about buying from UD now. 

  43. Nikki

    This commenting system is SO frustrating!!!! I cant even read through all the comments. Just like 10 at a time when there are 247…. ugh…

    • It shows 50 at a time – which I believe is what the previous system showed as well, actually. You just have to click “show 50 more” – this is was how we had it set up before, too!

      • Nikki

         @Christine (Temptalia) Ohhh! I thought that was just for the facebook comments….

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

         @Christine (Temptalia) I’ve been finding that there are lots of times the Livefyre system doesn’t load completely…that leads to the button not showing up at the bottom or showing up, but being unclickable, and it also won’t load enough to log me in, sometimes.
         
        I don’t know if it’s a load issue on particular pages…I finally had to go to a page with a low comment number, wait for the widget to log me in there, and then refresh this page before it’d become fully functional. This all just so I could tell you it’s got some sporadic functionality.
         
        Hopefully that won’t amount to bandwidth-eating reloading on your server…

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kafka Kafka

           @Quinctia  @Christine (Temptalia) It happens to me too! All this week, I’ve been booted out in essence for hours on end, even though I’m still logged into Livefyre.  I wrote to Shaun about it once but it came… eventually. I was so excited to read about your trick for fixing things but, alas, I tried it and it doesn’t work me.  Everything becomes unclickable or else, vanishes entirely– from buttons to even the ability to log in and post as a guest. When it comes back, typing is a problem (like now) as words vanish, or don’t show up and I have to scroll with the mouse for it to appear. So odd.  
           

        •  @Kafka  @Quinctia I will definitely notify Livefyre! Thank you!

  44. Joanna

    as if the CEO and executives of Urban Decay aren’t wealthy enough.. this is asinine. they’re just like every other corporation in america, greedy and willing to compromise their alleged beliefs they constantly preach just to get the next million. jesus christ it makes me sick. sell outs. sorry christine, but there really isn’t anything nice to say about this. that letter from UD is a joke and i can’t believe they think their customers aren’t smart enough to see through it and see it’s a BS apology for their greed. sickening

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Maureen Grizzabella

    I will no longer be buying Urban Decay.  If they really believed in a cruelty-free company, they would join Cruelty Free International and fight for change, not cave in because it’s convenient and profitable for them to do so.  http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ 
     
    One assumes this has a lot to do with the long-rumored sale of Urban Decay.  As WWD has been reporting for some time…  “Deutsche Bank sent out books detailing the finances of Urban Decay to potential strategic buyers…”

  46. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Maureen Grizzabella

    I will no longer be buying Urban Decay.  If they really believed in a cruelty-free company, they would join Cruelty Free International and fight for change, not cave in because it’s convenient and profitable for them to do so.  http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ 
     
    One assumes this has a lot to do with the long-rumored sale of Urban Decay.  As WWD has been reporting for some time…  “Deutsche Bank sent out books detailing the finances of Urban Decay to potential strategic buyers…”

  47. Nikki

    Sorry for so much commenting but I have a LOT to say about this!!!!
     
    When you let greed get to your head and you forget the purpose and passion you once had, you lose everything. I believe that the greed that UD is feeling right now is through the roof.
     
    They had to WORK to build up this company and now they’re tearing it apart brick by brick, starting with their strong-hearted vegan customers. It’s just sad.

  48. millasondailey

    Like many others, I do not exclusively use cruelty-free products, yet I am shocked that Urban Decay would begin selling their products in China.  Their position against animal- testing has been foundational to their company.  Not only am I considering boycotting the company, but I would also strongly encourage them to change the name of their brushes- no good karma can come of this!

  49. So, in a nutshell: UD is against animal testing from the bottom of their heart, but they’ll let Chinese government agencies test their products on animals, although they’re not sure if they’re actually gonna do it (??), but that’s for a good cause.
    No, I don’t buy it. The Chinese consumer is a very, very long way behind the Western consumer in terms of awareness (environmental sustainability, animal testing, respect for communities), and I don’t think the change will come from UD… The change will come from education and open view to what the rest of the world does, which is not possible nowadays due to the form of government.
    Besides, how can they mark their products “cruelty free” there if they were actually tested on animals, be it by a government agency?? The animal testing itself would be utterly absurd, since us Western consumers have been using these products for years, conducting a reliable human testing phase…
     

    •  @Lulle Totally disagree.  China has invested more than another other country or countries combined in research and actual development of alternative fuel sources.  Their solar program far surpasses anything in North America.  China is not some backwards country in the dark ages and I’m certain many of it’s citizens would be quite offended by your statement.

      •  @wwendalynne Alternative energy sources and animal testing are two quite different subjects… and the former is not necessarily developped because of environmental concern.
         

        • t pan

           @Lulle As someone who is Chinese, i have to agree. Alternative energy is developed in china not due to ethical or environmental concerns but due to economic necessity as china has a huge population than can not be sustained on gas along. However, i do see rampant disregard for animal rights and environmentalism and other social issues in china. Not by all of course, there are always exceptions but in general it appears to be true.

  50. DarlaB

    I have two major qualms with the UD press release.
     
    First, if you knowingly enter a market where there is a high chance that your products will be tested on animals, that directly goes against your cruelty-free mandate. These are opposing values with no middle ground.
     
    Second,  I have issues with a company trying to masquerade their business decision as action towards furthering human rights in China.  I truly do believe that those working at UD support values such as women’s and worker’s rights, however if they were serious about these claims they would announce concrete actions (such as a certain % going to a charitable organization to improve worker’s conditions).  Trying to champion yourself as a human rights activist trivializes the real work and risk that others are undertaking in the region.

    • jennyh

       @DarlaB I was going to say the same thing, but you already said it! It also seems foolish to try to change China’s policies by becoming part of the problem. 

    •  @DarlaB Right. The wording of this statement is so infuriating. They’re coming into China to make money, and then have the gall to claim that it’s for our own good (the Chinese people’s).

    • AnjeeVictoria

       @DarlaB THIS. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but as others have said, there are so many other ways to be a champion for animal rights that don’t involve selling yourself out. If they are incredibly proactive and aggressive in spreading their message (ala Lush), then yeah, I’ll get it. For now, it looks like they’re jumping aboard the same bandwagon MAC and Smashbox are… Only they were smart enough wait a little longer and allow them be in the front line. Seeing the enormous outrage people had at their very covert changes to their policy, they decided to go in the opposite direction and be totally forthright. Seems like someone has a great public relations team. Ugh, Urban… SHAME. ON. YOU.

  51. Julia

    A lot of strong opinions posted, as to be expected, and many angry.  Honestly, I’m not sure this is so black and white – I don’t have the full picture of what the decisions were, the potential market, China manufacturing potential, the regulatory landscape, etc.  I can imagine that UD did their research in coming to this decision and the decision to put out this press release.  If UD takes a stand and does not expand to China, it would have no impact on change in China.  It would be easy and straightforward for them to stay away.  But if UD stands behind their words, and I have no evidence that they would not, I believe there is potential for change.  Cosmetic companies can unite and affect change.  They can persuade US and other nations to lead in novel testing and setting new standards.  My God, UD has been tested on tons of animals – us – why not harness data from existing products and demonstrate overwhelming safety?
     
    The let down here for me would be if they end up skirting the issue, not putting the effort into backing up their beliefs as stated in the press release.  UD has survived in a market where others have failed – I have optimism that they can make this work.
     
     

  52. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Asia Asia C

    I personally don’t think they should entire a market that test on animals, especially since that is something they tried so hard to stand for as a company. I believe the company would be more affective in creating change while they are outside of the Chinese market.  Being that they’ve already made the business decision to move to China, imo they have no longer have leverage to push for change, they’ve already conformed to what country’s law.  My mom always says, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything” and I believe that their “hoping” for change isn’t looking at the situation realistically. I do believe that the company really thinks they can cause change.  But I would pose the question to them, what if nothing changes?? What will they do if 20 years from now China still has the same animal testing laws in place.  Will that be the point at which they decide to pull out of the market?!  I doubt it, I just think they are “putting the cart before the horse”!!   Since I do not buy products that are tested on animals (in any part of the world) I will not be re-purchasing any of the brands products from here on out.  That being said, I’m not a huge fan of their items, so me not buying isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, just my opinion.  I wish them the best and hope that China will actually change their laws.  If UD has something to do with that, they will get my applause, however I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!

  53. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Maureen Grizzabella

    I meant to add, Burt’s Bees sells in China and DOES NOT test on animals, so it is possible.
     
    To quote, “Burt’s Bees had to deal with an issue that went straight to one of its core values: animal testing. The company doesn’t do it, but the Chinese government requires animal testing on imported products … Executives finally chose a partner with local manufacturing and established go-to market channels and, most importantly, one that shared Burt’s Bees core fundamental values.”
     
    Read the whole article: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/09/25/1512399/burts-bees-saw-opportunity-challenges.html

    • Julia

       @Grizzabella Thanks for posting this – I hope UD can learn from this and search out alternatives

    • Diana

       @Grizzabella And yet, Burt’s Bee’s is owned by Clorox, which does carry out animal testing to make sure their cleaning products are safe for humans. 

    •  @Grizzabella I think if UD had posted this (or similar) instead of this spin zone letter, they wouldn’t be peeving nearly as many fans as they have. Then again, if they cared, they would have known that this is possible.

  54. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lacey liveforlove13

    I am not going to say that I buy completely cruelty free makeup- I try and be conscious, but at times I have to comply with my extremely sensitive skins needs with things like skincare and foundation. However, it appalls me that they not only have the nerve to give up their integrity and go against the claims they have made since their inception, but then go and try to claim that they are still cruelty free is completely hypocritical and offensive. This is a decision based on avarice and greed, and nothing more. The statement above is a long winded, pathetic excuse. It’s not even the teasing- yes, that is terrible, but the fact that they continue to use cruelty free as a selling point. What they get now is people buying into them for being cruelty free and such, but then they get the chinese market as well. All they see are the dollar signs. Even though I don’t always completely purchase cruelty free (I’m slowly making the transition and trying to cycle the products out of my collection that aren’t) I will never buy from Urban Decay again because I can’t condone to a company being this completely shady and greedy and disgusting.

  55. Initial thoughts: I’m very, very skeptical that this decision is actually about advancing rights.  I think it’s more likely to be purely financial.
     
    Still, I think the press statement is really well written, and I really appreciate that they are being forthright and upfront about the fact that going into China = animal testing.  They aren’t trying to hide that from consumers, and that is worth something these days. 

  56. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

    The press release just sounds stupidly naive. I do think that the distinction that the company is not doing any testing, but the Chinese government may do it of their own volition is an important distinction, however.  If the company isn’t changing its own production process, I wouldn’t say the domestic customers are funding animal testing, so I don’t think it’d change the company’s status from being cruelty free.
     
    My opinion on this may not sway others, though, because I don’t care one way or another about animal testing.  I’m skeptical of the moniker in general…the outcry stems from the history of testing, right?  So, I’m pretty sure the tried and true ingredients were at one point put onto animals, and I’d be willing to bet there are a lot of ingredients that are tested on animals before they arrive to the cosmetics companies. “We don’t need to do it any more” might be a salient point, but anyone wearing cosmetics is benefitting from the legacy of what was done in the past for testing ingredients/products.

  57. jennyh

    I don’t believe for a second they actually believe they won’t make a profit right away..  If they really believed they wouldn’t make a profit right away AND they had to give up their most valued moral tenant which will damage their existing business, possibly beyond repair, why on earth would they do it?  That would be a really bad business decision. If they really believe they can change an entire culture, that strikes me as arrogant, not honorable.  Allowing UD to be sold in China and be tested on animals won’t change anything. NOT allowing their products to be sold in China where there may be demand for it would.

  58. JiveLai

    I’m Chinese. It’s true we don’t really care if it’s animal-tested tho we WILL op for the ones that don’t when it claims so.

    But wake up and be reasonable, DO WE EVER USED ANYTHING ON OUR FACE THAT”S NOT TESTED ON ANIMAL? even stuff as common as glycerin has been tested on animal for milliion times for years! years before we realize anmial-testing is not right! even if a brand swears to their mother’s grave that they’re cruelty free (like Body Shop), they don’t do the dirty job, THEIR SUPPLIERS DO IT FOR THEM, or the suppliers of the suppliers do.

    “we do not test on animals” is just some gimmick pretty to the ears. why it has to be buggin about the country the policy the human right again (even tho i know it’s really not in good condition) when it’s just some wording games?

    • Lacey

       @JiveLai Why don’t you or your culture “care if it’s animal tested”? As a culture do you not care about animals?

      • folieadeux

        Not all cultures share North American Ideals and values, to assume that they should or to try and shame them for not is wrong and ethnocentric.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

          Ah, no, I do think “PC bullshit” is entirely appropriate.  You can constructively a country government policies without resorting to ethnic generalizations about an entire population of people.  The fact that some people here can’t seem to do that says more about their internalized racism and privilege than anything else.

      • Fiona

        I’m not sure if you meant it, but as a Chinese person, I found your comment very very offensive.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kafka Kafka

       @JiveLai  Nars doesn’t and it doesn’t have its suppliers test for them either: “NARS does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, such as suppliers, conduct any animal testing on our behalf.”
       

  59. Hypocritical and bloody condescending to the Chinese public, whom I’m guess are not the intended audience for this statement. I’m going to post this on Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter/Facebook).

  60. SerenaNehruPerfetto

    This is just insulting.You don’t change China by submitting to their stupid laws. If UD really wanted to change something they should have moved in a complete opposite direction: boycott the chinese market, ask other companies to do so, tell the government to change.Well, they just lost me as a buyer and supporter. And also i might add that this move was a high risk. MAC did it too but MAC has a gazillion of loyal fan and buyers, most UD buyers loved the brand and started using it just because of the no-test policy.Illamasqua should send UD and MAC flowers or something at this point.

  61. Y’know, I appreciate that unlike most cosmetic companies that have decided to sell their products in China but claim to have a cruelty free policy, UD have actually bothered to release a press statement stating that they are a bunch of money hungry hypocrites. 
What I do not appreciate is the manipulative manner of this statement. I don’t care how many hypocritical excuses they make, it’s all bullshit. This is a bad decision and I hope their expansion into China fails miserably. Animal testing is not an effective means of cosmetic testing because we are genetically different and therefore we could react differently. And c’mon, if a cosmetics company has to test on animals – it should make you consider what nasty things they are actually putting in cosmetics and whether you want to slather that over your face.

  62. zeinab

    I wish they’d just be honest- it is mainly about turning a profit. That’s why they’re not expanding to places like Australia, even though our policies are much more amenable to their cause, we’re just not as appealing a market as China. Personally I’m not going to come out and say I’m an ethical consumer, I seldom research company policies and I figure virtually all cosmetics companies benefit from a pre-existing corpus of knowledge gleaned from animal testing (as numerous other commenters have pointed out). But if their company is going to bleat at me about the wholesomeness of their products I’d like it if they either stuck to that or at least didn’t rub it in the consumer’s face when they decide not to stick to it. 
     
    So just say it’s about profit or say nothing- you’re going to lose some customers either way, why not just be honest? They’re a for-profit cosmetics company, not a charity, and their main market has been in a downturn. We get it, it’s about money. Don’t blame China for this one. 

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pippa Lumissne

      Ditto here. New Zealand is a small country yes, but it’s growing globally and it frustrates me that companies like UD aren’t bothering to expand in Australasia.

  63. yajuwen

    It’s really a press states nothing but a piece of crap saying “we want to make money but, excuse us, we have to write this long crap to make it look like we are still after something good”. The wording and phrasing are insanely naive and contradicting itself. I don’t buy it and I am not a UD fan anyway.
     

  64. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lara LaraM

    Forgive me if I’m rather naive to Chinese culture and subcultures, but I have a hard time seeing how UD can properly profit from going to China regardless. Much of UD’s products are, first off, risque-ly named, and last time I checked that sex themed amusement park that they attempted to build in China didn’t go over so well. Will they be altering their products accordingly? Secondly, they have wildly unique colors. Its hard to sell an electric blue eyeliner here in the States, and I can’t imagine it flying off the shelves in China. 
     
    All in all, I have a hard time seeing how they can benefit greatly from their expansion to China (while their country does greatly out populate many others, I doubt that ALL of their women wear make up), on top of the fact that they could potentially be endangering one of their core values.

    •  @LaraM They have the internet there too Lara..  You are quite wrong about their culture.  You do know that China is one of the richest countries in the world and their buying power far exceeds that of the USA.  It’s only a matter of time before they surpass the USA in financial power.  Truth.

      •  @wwendalynne  @LaraM
         Just letting you know that unlike the US, China censors/blocks a lot of websites. It’s called “The Great Firewall of China.” There are ways to get around it, but usually that’s a bit too technically complicated for the average consumer to bother with. That’s not to say that your statement doesn’t have validity. I’m just pointing out that yes they have the internet, but there is certainly a greater degree of control there than in the US.

        •  @John 3D  C’mon John.. they won’t wear electric blue eyeliner..  you know where I am coming from 

        •  @John 3D  @wwendalynne  @LaraM Living and working in China currently as I am, I can testify that VPN’s (a way around the Great Firewall) are a part of everyday life for tens of millions of Chinese people (not to mention the expats here).
           
          And as a point of interest, my country of citizenship, Australia, also has some of the most restrictive internet censorship laws in the developed world. But nobody ever talks about that, preferring to target China instead.

        • Miss J

           @wwendalynne Damn! This reminded me that I really wanted Radium 24/7 Liquid Liner!!!! LOL. More than anything, I’m irritated by this stupid ass press release. It’s like they are saying they are going to make an unpopular decision with a large portion of their consumer base, but don’t blame them, blame China! They aren’t doing it for profit, nooo. They are acting out of purely altruistic reasons. 
           
          I’m not a fan of animal testing, but I take no issue with them wanting to expand. But this release, what a bunch of hypocritical BS, and sort of condescending to boot.

        •  @wwendalynne
           Hehe! I wasn’t saying your assertion isn’t possible… :)

        •  @Li Wen  @wwendalynne  @LaraM
          Well conversely, I’m sure that the same workaround apply for the Australians. But that’s irrelevant. What I’m saying is that despite having a workaround, not everyone knows how to do it and/or not everyone does. In the end, there is still more control in China than in the US.
           
          But I’m sure many of us (including myself) would like to know how these VPNs work. Because I’ve encountered a few Chinese readers that have emailed me saying that they can’t read my site. If what you’re saying is true, enlighten us. Thanks!

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Keely kiwikeely

           @wwendalynne As a native Chinese beautyholic I’d just like to point out you’d be suprised by how popular UD as a brand is overall in the chinese beauty community. Sure, the best seller had always been their UDPP in all shades, but thats not to say the 24/7 eyeliner in all bizarre shades are a complete turn off. I myself, looking 120% asian with single eyelids and a flat nosebridge and strong yellow undertones, find it relatively comfortable to run around shanghai in bright blue eyeliner. Much as I don’t see a lot of “me”s around the city, allow me to point out naked and naked 2 were UD’s best sellers for basic practicality reasons.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        @wwendalynne @LaraM Not only are they rich, China holds the bulk of the US debt.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

           @xamyx  @wwendalynne  @LaraM Well, they are the single largest foreign investor in American debt, but depending on what statistics you use, it rounds out to 8-15%.  Roughly a quarter of American debt is held by foreign investors overall, but the majority of it is still held by American financial institutions.  I’m not disagreeing that it isn’t a substantial amount of money, but it’s a slight overstatement to say they hold the bulk of it.

      • Sunzelle

        Which they could do at any time, if they decided to collect on our debts.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

      It really depends on what area of China you’re dealing with.  In the more conservative, rural areas, you’re less likely to see it, in part because the cumulative wealth of the country has yet to filter down to the lowest levels.  But more industrially developed areas and major cities have a considerably more relaxed standards, luxury income, and significantly more intercultural exchange.  Based on sheer demographics alone, the country may provide them revenue that well surpasses what they rake in between the United States and elsewhere.

    • @LaraM Dildos can be bought in supermarkets in Chinese cities; it guess it all depends on your definition of prudish.

    •  @LaraM Of the many people living in China today, there will be several people who are originally from overseas who live in China for business or whatever reason. To say that Urban Decay will not sell is somewhat far-fetched. The “sex theme” that you say they have (which I honestly didn’t notice) should not be an issue either. NARS products are just as bad, if not worse in terms of names. The amusement park would obviously not go over well in any country..! 
       
      Second point was their wild colors. In my travels to China, the colors blue and purple are amongst the most used eyeshadows by a lot of women. I am Chinese myself, from Hong Kong, and my mother only uses bright blue and bright purple. 

  65. Personally, I would really like to see people refrain from negative and uneducated comments about China and the Chinese people while at the same time stating support for a cruelty free environment.  It’s rather hypocritical.  Christine’s supporters come from many countries worldwide and a little respect would go towards a better community environment.  

    •  @wwendalynne Hear hear! I actually find it pretty hilarious that UD is managing to diss both parties with this statement – the existing cruel-conscious customer base, and the market that it’s trying to enter.

  66. Sierrablue

    This is very disappointing, I am actively trying to select brands that don’t test on animals and to hear this from a brand that prides itself as a cruelty free company is a slap in the face of the consumer. I understand that China is a large market but maybe UD could have made a stance and not broke into the Chinese market but instead continue to brand themselves as a great company with high standards. Definitely leaves a bad taste for me. 

  67. Vegan

    This is what I just wrote to Urban Decay:
     
    Dear Urban Decay, I have been a consumer of your amazing products for years, and a loyal customer as you were against animal testing. I am both a longtime vegan and an animal rights activist. Today I had the displeasure of reading your press release statement regarding your new “for-profit” business venture in China and what animal testing regulations you as a company may need to meet before being deemed safe for Chinese consumers. Within your statement you said your two main causes have been animal welfare and women’s rights. I am wondering if you would continue to venture into a business partnership with China if it mean going against women’s rights instead of animal right. Just because animals cannot speak for themselves and women can, doesn’t make this right. I find it both disappointing and extremely insulting that you would claim to dislike China’s animal testing regulations, but be perfectly fine with making a profit (at the cost of animal wellbeing, health, and lives). I don’t believe you will be making any changes to animal testing laws and women’s rights by this business venture, and are hiding behind this reasoning. You are  solely trying to make a profit, and should just be honest about it, as your consumers are nor stupid or naive. If you truly valued your company’s morals and belief of being against animal testing, you would have never considered this venture in the first place. Therefore, I will no longer be a consumer of your products. 

  68. ocelot1

    im so beyond pissed. i was soo happy that i had made a decision to stick with UD since its inception due to not testing on animals. their motives are all about and only about money. as of late, since it came out that mac tested on animals i have slowly stopped purchasing from them and i was trying to replace my products with UD. so much for that! now i have all these UD products that i want to get rid of. this is so absolutely infuriating.

  69. Vegan

    This is what I just wrote to them, as I try my best to only use 100% vegan products that are not tested on animals, and do not have third party companies who test on animals either.
     
    Dear Urban Decay,
     
    I have been a consumer of your amazing products for years, and a loyal customer as you were against animal testing. I am both a longtime vegan and an animal rights activist. Today I had the displeasure of reading your press release statement regarding your new “for-profit” business venture in China and what animal testing regulations you as a company may need to meet before being deemed safe for Chinese consumers. Within your statement you said your two main causes have been animal welfare and women’s rights. I am wondering if you would continue to venture into a business partnership with China if it mean going against women’s rights instead of animal right. Just because animals cannot speak for themselves and women can, doesn’t make this right. I find it both disappointing and extremely insulting that you would claim to dislike China’s animal testing regulations, but be perfectly fine with making a profit (at the cost of animal wellbeing, health, and lives). I don’t believe you will be making any changes to animal testing laws and women’s rights by this business venture, and are hiding behind this reasoning. You are  solely trying to make a profit, and should just be honest about it, as your consumers are nor stupid or naive. If you truly valued your company’s morals and belief of being against animal testing, you would have never considered this venture in the first place. Therefore, I will no longer be a consumer of your products. 

  70. Jules

    I’m just not going to buy any more products from Urban Decay. Simple as that.

  71. AmyAmyAmy

    Urban Decay is a business out to make money. They are not the ones performing the animal testing, and they do make some good points about why it’s important that they create a presence in the Chinese market. So I really think all the rage and boycotting is unnecessary. Animal testing is horrible, but it’s naive to think that UD isn’t going to try to expand, especially when the U.S. economy is poor and China is quite wealthy. 
     
    Maybe I’m cynical. But honestly, UD, hasn’t really done anything wrong, from a business standpoint, and even an ethical standpoint. They cannot control the Chinese government, and they also can’t refuse the opportunity for more global branding. As long as they don’t perform the testing themselves, they’re fine by me. It’s the citizens of China who should be angry at their own government, not companies like UD.

    • Ok, if I were a marketing/BD consultant to UD, I would support going into China. But I also uphold corporations to a certain degree of honesty and long-view thinking; and saying one thing when you mean another, not to mention turning your loyal customer base against you by betraying your company’s brand image, is not good business.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ellie Screamer77

      What’s wrong from a business and ethical standpoint is that being cruelty free was supposed to be part of their identity. And maybe they can’t control what China does, but they can control what they do. There are many other markets where UD could expand. 

      • totaldebmove

         @Screamer77 You realize China has the largest population in the world right….? No other country would even come close to being as profitable as China.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

           @totaldebmove  @Screamer77 I don’t think anybody’s ignoring the fiscal reality of China’s middle class.  The backlash UD is receiving from its more passionate consumer base is part of the reality of the business model they chose.  That’s the risk you take when you put yourself out there as a moral or ethical authority.  They made a strong stand against animal testing, then completely undermined that when a financial opportunity too large to ignore came their way.
           
          Frankly, the press release is half of the problem.  The wording is just condescending – they want to exploit Chinese money while shifting the blame of invalidating their own principles onto the PRC.  I’d find it wiser of them to have released a statement along the lines of, “China is too big of a market for us to ignore, and we can’t let the opportunity slip by unless we want to be phased out by other competitors over time.”  That would have gone over better than waxing morality over changing the ways of China.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

           @totaldebmove  @Screamer77 I should add that I’m not a completely cruelty-free consumer, so I’m not passionately opposed to UD expanding into China for that reason.  I do, however, find it hypocritical of them to garner a consumer base using a very specific rhetoric and then turning it around later on.

    • Suselew

      They can NOT expand into China but choose many companies that do not force cosmetics companies to test on animals when there are sound and proven alternatives.  It’s posts like this that UD wants as validation of their actions.  You are pretty delusional if you believe what you just wrote.

    • niche

      Exactly! China is a huge market and it is harmful to many companies to ignore it. Urban Decay is a private company so none of us know their financials (who knows if they are doing well in this economy) but it probably has investors. And these investors want growth and certainly don’t want stagnation. My guess is that there is little growth left in the American market. I’m not sure if Urban Decay has a big presence in Europe. I remember Lisa Eldridge, the British MUA, saying that she’s not familiar with the brand and that kinda shocked me since she uses everything from Bourjois to Chanel. As for Australia, my understanding is that selling there is basically a money loser for many businesses but a lot of brands who can afford to, stay there to have a presence. 
       
      And I wonder how many people here realize that all the ingredients used in Urban Decay products were tested on animals ages before UD used it in their formulas. That’s how UD knows they are safe. Someone else did the testing.
       
      Unlike some of the other Chinese people posting, I feel UD is not talking down to Chinese people. Chinese people are not as aware about animal testing so there is something to learn there. It’s not as deep in our culture or lexicon. Few people in the Western world is unaware of animal testing. Whether its ingrained in movies, TV or the news (Legally Blonde 2? PETA?), everyone has a good idea of the issue whatever their opinion. If UD goes into China and actually does marketing (something they don’t seem to do much of in N. America with the exception of blogger relationships), I can see how this will effectively differentiate the brand and its products. Also, last few times I was visiting family in China, I noticed that so many people had dogs as pets. Mostly rich people who are the likely target market for UD products. I think these pet owners don’t want testing done on their pets if they realized that’s happening. 

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ellie Screamer77

        The fact that gazillions of years ago products had to be tested for lack of knowledge and better alternatives doesn’t at all justify testing in 2012.

  72. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    UD is probably looking primarily to *manufacture* in China, which I feel, given the economic climate of the US, is actually more offensive than the mere chance they will test on animals. UD should really be making more of an effort to keep jobs here, in the US (unless I missed something and the unemployment rate dropped). Unfortunately for the US economy, many companies are seeking to create jobs overseas, due to things such as taxes and government regulation (yes, I see the irony). With the previous administrations tax cuts in jeopardy, it seems like a very well timed move on UDs part. Maybe those of us in the US should just stick with “Made in America” labels.

    •  @xamyx I share your concern about this. For what it’s worth, “Made in USA” doesn’t necessarily mean American jobs were preserved. A lot of companies hire prisons to provide labor, and they pay the prisoners less than minimum wage – so they’re getting the “Made in USA” label without having to provide regular jobs at minimum or better wages. And this helps keep non-prison labor wages lower, so it’s a huge win-win for big business. I don’t know if it’s okay to post a link, so I’ll just say: put “prison industrial complex” in a search engine and read the Wikipedia article for more info.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

      If they intend to move their manufacturing to China, then I admit that would be more likely to put me off from the brand.  Even overlooking the fact that it would mean the loss of Western jobs (and the safety of FDA regulation), how any company that proposes an ethical backdrop to their business would think it a wise PR move to shift manufacturing to China after the Foxconn scandal is beyond me.

      • Hannah

        I agree with this entirely. Perhaps because I care a great deal more for the well-being of humans, if UD decided to manufacture in China, I would consider not buying their products any more.
         
        I never have bought UD due to their “ethical” claims, so it never really influenced my decision to buy or not buy from them, but since they are bringing up the issue, it is definitely on my mind when I think about their products (and not in a good way, since China has such a wide variety of human rights issues).
         
        You also raise a very good point regarding FDA regulation. I have stopped buying cosmetics when I realized that they are manufactured in China. I simply do not trust their safety. The FDA does not do nearly enough in our own country, in my opinion,  but they do enough that I can mostly trust the products that they regulate.

  73. jdr77

    This actually really makes me happy in that if I get a job in China, I can purchase Urban Decay’s palettes. The most common brands in shopping centres there are Dior and Chanel, and those are too expensive for me. I like the quality of Urban Decay and am looking forward to seeing their counters when I travel. 
     
    Also, I find that many of the American commenters are being highly ethnocentric and possibly racist due to their passion for animals. I understand that you care for animals deeply, but not everywhere in the world is America and has American values. You must understand this before you type in furor, attacking China, Chinese people, anyone who is of Chinese descent, and the Chinese culture itself. Please be aware of your actions before you act upon them.

  74. Emily

    UD is just doing what every other business in other industries are trying to do: make a profit. From an economic point of view, this is a great move on their part. What makes me mad, however, is that they are going against their core values (cruelty free) and strategic plan (sell cruelty free and vegan products). While making a profit plays a significant part in the running of a business it certainly isn’t everything. They have to keep their customers satisfied too, which UD won’t be doing if they start selling somewhere that requires animal testing. They will be losing their customer base, therefore decreasing their profits instead of raising them. After all, that is what UD set out to do in the first place. In my opinion the costs outweigh the benefits of this upcoming business transaction.

    P.S. I in no way support animal testing! I am just looking at this situation from a business point of view.

  75. Selling in China does not mean the products will automatically be tested on animals. It means UD will not be able to stop the Chinese govt from testing if it chooses to do so. Interestingly, Rimmel’s position on cruelty is that they avoid testing as much as possible, but the UK government forces them to test certain items. And if MUFE wanted to market their neon Aquacreams in the US without the “don’t use on your eyes” warning, they’d have to go through FDA approval, which IIUC would involve killing a lot of mice.
     
    The Chinese government is not alone in making it difficult for companies to promise to be 100% cruelty free. I don’t know enough to judge, but it’s very possible that UD’s approach here really is the best for the cause as well as for their profit.
     
    And before we judge them for wanting to make money, I think we need to be aware that a lot of the products we buy are made by children and slaves, and a lot of companies we work for engage in wrongs ranging from ageism and tolerance of sexual/racial harassment to outright law-breaking, and we have no idea about these things because they’re hidden from us. There’s no telling how much I have inadvertently benefited from practices I would never condone, because it’s just so hard to find out what businesses are doing behind closed doors. UD is being pretty up front here, and I appreciate that.

  76. Inkeri

    Well, they just lost one customer.

  77. Sandy

    “China is Taking Steps Toward Alternatives to Animal Testing”
    http://www.frame.org.uk/dynamic_files/editorial_final_2.pdf
     
    “Laboratory Animal Science in China: Current Status and Potential for the Adoption of Three R Alternatives”
    http://www.frame.org.uk/atla_article.php?art_id=1259&abstract=true

  78. casey23

    It is obvious that this is a “for-profit” decision.. Since you are talking about a looooooong looooooong time traditional country that here people will bring their food (like a dog) alive to a restaurant, and give it to the chef to cook it and bring it to them! So I am so sorry to tell that I don’t believe a change is even possible either outside of that circle or within! I believe UD just tried (and made) the kindest explanation about their plan to conquer China, but I don’t buy the statement.. I understand the profit side and why they have to enter the Asian market but I wished they could have kept their promise to themselves and only enter the countries without the strain of animal testing.. It is so frasturating that people all over the world is trying to stop violence against animals and China is still insisting on this. Since China is the second biggest market in the world, unfortunately I can’t blame UD for their decision, but UD can’t blame for making the decision is they are no longer in my shopping list. 

  79. casey23

    It is obvious that this is a “for-profit” decision.. To respect for readers of Christine from all over the world, but China’s respect for animals are far away from changing it from within (I may never understand Chinese culture, so I am again sorry if I am disrespecting anyone but this is just my opinion that it you eat dog meat, then animals right is far away from discussion). So I am so sorry to tell that I don’t believe a change is even possible either outside of that circle or within! I believe UD just tried (and made) the kindest explanation about their plan to conquer China, but I don’t buy the statement.. I understand the profit side and why they have to enter the Asian market but I wished they could have kept their promise to themselves and only enter the countries without the strain of animal testing.. It is so frasturating that people all over the world is trying to stop violence against animals and China is still insisting on this. Since China is the second biggest market in the world, unfortunately I can’t blame UD for their decision, but UD can’t blame for making the decision is they are no longer in my shopping list. 

    •  @casey23 By your logic, when you eat the 10th most intelligent animal species on a regular basis (pigs), what right do you have to speak of animal rights?
       
      Also, only a small proportion of people in China eat dog meat – it’s popular mainly in the southern provinces, and even there, it’s not as ubiquitous as pork.

      • casey23

         @Li Wen first of all I don’t eat pig meat either… plus as I mentioned before I am not blaming you or any other country or nation for their traditions (I tried to explain it before but it seems like I failed, apologies..)
         
        But since we are talking only about “my logic”, I don’t like the idea that animals have to suffer just to make people a little bit prettier. That is it!!!!

  80. Mary Coltart Evans

    I agree, UD is deliberately causing suffering to countless animals in order to make a buck. What crap. I won’t be buying their products any more.

  81. Shelly Wang

    Have any of you guys ever been to China? No! then don’t say anything bad about things that you don’t know! I am a Chinese woman, and I never feel disrespect by anyone. In fact, only few days ago, a British man sexual assult a girl on the street in China, who is disrespect women? We are cruel to animals? Should I suppose gavage geese to get Foie gras is respectful to animals?

  82. Pamela Chiu

    So many negative comments about china on your blog… I will still buy UD products unless there is another brand that is really good in my opinion.

  83. Kelli Garrison Cummings

    You are kidding me. I love UD but not enough to continue to buy. Not happy about this at all.

  84. torahan

    Best of luck, UD. For change in attitudes towards animal testing (and women’s rights) to be possible, new views need to be available to those whose attitudes we want to change. I am happy to hear that Urban Decay will be flagging their anti animal testing policies in China. 

  85. Jess

    I believe that a distinction should be made between Chinese government policies and the people themselves i.e. the everyday Chinese consumer. The people in China are much more liberal and less barbaric than you think. 

  86. ThereseStafford

    I’m glad UD came out with this statement, for the sole reason that I can now add them to the list of brands I won’t purchase. Thanks for making the decision easy UD, better this than find out several purchases down the line! Such a shame as it’s an awesome brand and I truly love the products. But there are many many more out there willing to stick to their principles…

  87. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alison Alison Cole

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Christine. 

  88. D

    blah blah blah blah blah. All I heard was “cha-ching!”
     
    Not cool, UD.

  89. I find this quite amusing…given that other readers here have dissed me and made catty comments in regards to my past postings that I would never never never buy any makeup products Made in China…..And now, some of you are offended by the actions of Urban Decay!!!!  
     
     Now, Urban Decay decides to market in China.  Urban Decay should be called Parodoxical Makeup Brand.  Its statement sounds so defensive.  Doesnt Urban Decay realize that some of its own products are filled in China?  Yep, it’s ok to stick a needle into that Chinese puppy’s body since that puppy is not one of those 13 dogs at the Urban Decay’s office in the Ameican soil.  What a bunch of hypocrites!!!!!  The Chinese government is laughing its way to the bank….

  90. jilliant

    Ugh, I’ve boycotted MAC already and I was about to switch to Urban Decay for my next big haul.
    “not a popular decision” is an understatement.
    But things are getting better, the Chinese Govt is starting to approve alternative testing
    http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/05/07/china-to-approve-first-non-animal-cosmetics-test.aspx

    • I’m sure that PR/Marketing at Urban Decay is also aware of this development, and is jumping the gun to take advantage of the opening up of this new market in China for “non-animal tested” cosmetics. It is an extremely cynical (but strategically sound) move. Especially when this preemptive entry into China has caused UD to lose is Leaping Bunny credentials.
       
      Leaping Bunny Program Removes Urban Decay: China’s Animal Testing Requirements are the Reason <http://leapingbunny.org/press6.php&gt;

  91. kelly

    I never email companies but I just emailed UD. I’m someone that makes a point of buying cruelty free products & UD was one of my favorite companies, but I’d be ashamed to buy their products now.

  92. Maddy

    I personally don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. They ARE a business, in an economic climate that is bound to be making it difficult for them to turn over a good profit. Therefore, I think them branching out into China is a smart move. China is a huge economy and I’m very surprised that they weren’t already selling their products there.  I think some people just need to accept it.  Just because they now sell in a country that supports animal testing, it doesn’t mean that you are supporting animal testing. But whatever, UD is going to lose customers over this however they phrased it. I think that some people get too stuck on their morals and become very closeminded about issues.  But there is one thing that I agree wasn’t good in this press statement – I thought they were very condescending about the Chinese.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ricky blauriche

      Other than the fact that the logic in the above post is completely illogical, to borrow a line from THE WAY WE WERE, “People are their principles.”

    • Teddy Bear

      We even LIVE in a country that supports animal testing, yet we still buy UD here. Does your buying UD in the US mean you support animal testing in the US? Very strange way of thinking. The argument to boycott UD because of this is very confusing.

      • iggybiggy

         @Teddy Bear BUT the US doesn’t FORCE UD to test…. they are allowed to make that decision on their own. China on the other hand forces cosmetic companies to be tested if they want to sell in their country

  93. CydonianMU

    Giving in and compromising your CORE values (and what made many people respect your company) in order to instill change in one country that doesn’t WANT to change… you’re doing it wrong.

  94. KRISTANNA

    Even if they dont manufacture in china (which we dont know) there will be a ton of black markey copycat products like what happened to Benefit.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Elizabeth lesa5363

       @KRISTANNA
       They do indeed manufacture some of their products in China, the Smoke Out Palettes wee made entirely in China with Chinese components.  It even says made in China on the packaging. I  loved UD, but these palettes were not of the quality I expect from UD.  I inquired about this, but UD never answered  email.  Now I won’t buy another UD product.  This means that they ae contributing to basiclly slave labor.  The people who make these products won’t be able to afford them.  More people in the States will lose their jobs all so UD can make moremoney.  There is no way they can change a Communist country, that is all PR spin, and pretty poor PR spin, actually the worst I have ever heard.

  95. Erica

    I am so disappointed in UD and this decision. I think everything that needed to be said has already been said, but when a company builds itself from the ground up on the backs and support of buyers who are willing to pay a little extra and go extra lengths to help support an entity who vehemently opposes animal testing, and then that entity comes to a financial decision to reverse course, once they feel they have built enough equity and name recognition to justify losing that core fanbase, they are no longer ethical, in my opinion. You can blame the Chinese government, try to throw shade at the Chinese people, as a whole (which is offensive, to generalize like that), but the decision was YOURS, as a company, to expand into a market that is financially wealthy, but whose morals and ethics do not align with those you have been spouting for years, and that you literally built your brand on. Shameful. I think UD should never put anything on their website OR product packaging regarding animal testing or “cruelty free” when their higher ups made the choice to sell out to a market that will, almost definitely, be testing their products on animals in order to allow them to be sold. Just because you’re not testing on animals in the US and other markets does not mean your products aren’t tested on animals elsewhere. Not any longer! You now know that your products have been/will be tested on animals, so labeling the brand as “cruelty free” is an outright lie, from here on out. There is NO press release or PR statement that will absolve UD of this decision. None.

    • darkforest

      Very well said :)
      I am a vegan animal rights activist, and I am so sick of my favorite and some of the best brands of makeup selling out like this. MAC was very hard for me, but I did it. It felt like a true test for me as a vegan (and, not to mention, a slap in the face) but I came to terms with it, like Smashbox, Avon, etc. But Urban Decay?! With the strong stance they had and everything? Incredibly disappointing!

  96. SorryToBreakItToYa

    Well I am not an advocate for COSMETIC animal testing, however lol….I hope that NONE of you all that are totally against it ‘for the animals’ sake’ take any type of medication or drugs at all. Because they were ALL tested on animals. Mice, Rats, Monkeys, Chickens, Rabbits, Dogs and so many others. Its the reality of scientific research. Enjoy your medication free lives lol.

    • Anja

      And you dont even see the fault in your own thoughts there? While medication is for the sake of ones _health_ and beauty products are for ones _vanity_ …

    • Adele

      I’m pretty sure most people would be willing to take medicine that was tested on animals if it was their only option for survival… you can always turn to another brand for makeup or stop using it altogether, but that doesn’t always apply to meds. Disproval of this policy doesn’t mean everyone is some kind of ridiculously hardcore vegan.

    • Teddy Bear

      Agreed. I’m a scientist, but I hate animal testing. However, so many things are tested on animals – things we don’t even think twice about.  Plus, if you own pets, how do you think their flea/tick meds were tested? That’s right, on cats and dogs. You can’t get away from animal testing. It’s the sad truth.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ellie Screamer77

      the point here is cosmetic animal testing, not medical…

    • AnimalLover

      I’m against animal testing specifically for unecessary reasons like cosmetics. Animal testing for things that are for medical reasons like a cure for cancer I’m okay with. At least the animals are being used for a good purpose of saving lives. With cosmetics what is the purpose of animal testing?:To attempt to make our society less ugly on the outside than it is on the inside.

  97. Mayra B

    I wonder if the company is looking towards manufacturing their products in China instead of the US. That would be a good thing to find out. While I am neutral to animal testing, I do have a standing in keeping companies on the US. I understand they need to make a profit to survive, but moving manufacturing to China to save money and go against their core values as a company is even more insulting. Christine, is there any way we can find out if it’s only the sale of UD products or their manufacturing as well? Thank you!

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Elizabeth lesa5363

       @Mayra B
       They have already out sourced to Chinese factories.  The Smoke Out Palettes are made in China as well as the components of those palettes.  I should check mine for lead.